Dubai has reopened its doors to international visitors on Tuesday after a nearly four-month closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move is in hope of reviving its tourism industry which generates huge income for the nation before the closure of its borders in the heat of the pandemic.
“A warm welcome to your second home,” said the sticker applied to passports at Dubai airport, where employees wore hazmat suits and vending machines offered personal protective equipment.
According to AFP, Italian tourist Francesca Conte said on arrival she was worried up until the last minute that her flight would be cancelled.
“When I saw passengers queueing at the gate, I thought today we are not leaving, since the trip to Dubai had already been skipped three times,” Conte said.
She said she felt sad “seeing empty spaces” on the plane and stewards and hostesses “dressed like nurses and doctors”, in their lab coats.
The reopening Tuesday came as the number of COVID-19 cases in the United Arab Emirates climbed to 52,600 included 326 deaths, with millions of foreign workers living in cramped accommodation particularly hard hit.
Incoming tourists are required to present a negative test result taken within four days of the flight. If not, they can take the test on arrival but must self-isolate until they receive the all-clear.