Leading UK industry figures celebrate UAE vaccine approval

Dubai International Airport, the world’s biggest by international traffic, lists London as its number one destination

Dubai International Airport, the world’s biggest by international traffic, lists London as its number one destination.

Leading industry figures have commended Britain’s move to accept UAE-administered vaccines, boosting travel between two of the world’s busiest hubs.

The UAE will join 17 other countries whose vaccine certificates will now be recognised. UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the new rule would come into effect following updates to its vaccination app.

The latest easing of UK-UAE travel restrictions follows a long and harrowing 18 months for the air route, as Covid19-related travel bans battered traffic on the popular corridor. Prior to the pandemic, 7.7 million passengers travelled between the countries annually.

“It’s great news for business travellers that the UK will accept UAE vaccination certification. This is a vital route that bolsters economies at either end,” Wratten said. “We encourage the UK government to keep these routes open for trade and leisure on a permanent basis. Safe international travel must remain a priority.”

Reopening vital links

UAE Ambassador to the UK H.E Mansoor Abulhoul (pictured below) commended Britain’s decision to recognise UK-approved vaccines administered in the UAE.

“It will make it easier for Emiratis and the large British expat community living in the UAE to travel to the UK,” he said, adding that the UAE is at the forefront of the global battle against Covid19, with 82.6 percent of its population double vaccinated.

“Further opening up the vital trade and tourism links between the UK and the UAE will enable family and friends to reunite safely, and will allow businesses to further boost their operations,” Abulhoul said.

Joe Hepworth (pictured below), CEO of trade and investment advisor British Centres for Business (BCB), said: “This is the news we’ve all been hoping for. This is a game changer for UAE companies who can now go ahead and make firm plans to visit the UK and return without undue cost, hindrance or inconvenience.”

Relief and joy

John Martin St. Valery (pictured below), chairman of British Business Group, said: “Almost a year to the day that we first experienced the relief and joy at the re-opening of the UAE to UK travel corridor, this week’s welcome news that UAE vaccinations are now recognised by the UK is just as well received by expats and business travellers.”

“We will see an influx of UK tourists, which will be a great boost for the local travel and hospitality sector and, of course, the Dubai Expo programme,” St. Valery added.

In the week following the announcement of the UAE’s promotion to the UK amber travel list in August, flight bookings between the two countries rose to over 30 percent of pre-pandemic levels and the latest decision is likely to boost travel bookings further.

John Grant (pictured below), partner at aviation analysis firm Midas Aviation, predicts a “slow but sure” building of demand for the UK-UAE air route.

Traffic light system scrapped

“The last week has generally been full of positive steps forward, including the abandonment of the UK government’s ridiculous traffic light system,” he said.

“Major markets are reopening and demand is beginning to build although there is still far too many seats relative to demand, so we shouldn’t expect air fares to increase significantly in the short term,” the expert added. “We do still need South East Asia and China to begin to re-open before the recovery can enter a faster rate of return but we are certainly heading in the right direction.”

Arabian Business previously reported that restoring the route may not lead to a full recovery.

“Corporate demand remains limited with no real expectations of a pick-up for the next few months as companies grapple with issues such as duty of care to employees and the cost of travel for budgets that have been decimated over the last 18 months,” Grant said.

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