Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi declares ‘success’ against war against Covid

Dubai | Updated on October 07, 2021

People watch fireworks explode on the first day of Dubai Expo 2020   -  REUTERS

UAE opens doors to all visitors with Dubai Expo 2020

Main thoroughfares of Dubai throbbed with life as it welcomed visitors early on Thursday morning after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, announced that the UAE has successfully fought back the Covid-19 virus.

The main road leading to the Dubai International Airport was choc-a-bloc with usual morning traffic typical of pre-Covid days.

Expo 2020

The excitement was unmistakeable as a crew member on board an Emirates flight from Thiruvananthapuram reminded passengers that they are welcome to the prestigious Expo 2020 event unfolding in the mega city. Special arrangements for Covid-19 testing had been made for visitors to the Expo.

But Thursday morning saw manageable crowds at the Dubai International Airport though a crew member onboard the aircraft mentioned to this correspondent that the visitor numbers would grow as the day wore on.

According to the Crown Prince, the UAE ‘is successfully on the path’ to Covid-19 pandemic recovery. “We have overcome the crisis and emerged stronger. We learnt lessons as as we lived the experience.”

On-the-spot RT-PCR test

Meanwhile, back in Thiruvananthapuram, passengers, armed with an RT-PCR negative test certificate at an Emirates Airline-approved facility, had to line up from 10.30 pm for the morning flight scheduled to leave at 4.35 pm. A private agency was on hand to register passengers on their own mobile phones and ask them to queue up at another counter to pay up ₹2,490 per head for another mandatory on-the-spot RT-PCR test inside the airport to be cleared for boarding.

Women and children were among those lining up patiently before the security men allowed them in for the test, result of which would be available in just an hour. “It requires a special kit that costs as high as ₹2,000 and is hence five times as costly as the normal RT-PCR tests,” an official of the private agency told this correspondent on condition of anonymity.

In fact, this ‘unconscionably high’ rates was the talking point among the passengers waiting for their results at the launch of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.

Packed aircraft

The aircraft was packed to capacity, especially the business class, signalling that high-value travellers are increasingly taking to travel on trade and business errands. The crew member said that this was only to expected since the UAE has thrown its doors open to all visitors cutting across class and profile with the high-stake Expo event becoming a compelling proposition for them.

Published on October 07, 2021

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