The Corona mutant ‘Omicron’ has imposed new restrictions on travel, threatening the recovery of the global tourism and travel sector, which has incurred losses of about 4 trillion dollars since the pandemic broke out in late 2019.

Al-Rai quoting airlines sources said more than 2.4 percent of all international flights for the next four months stand cancelled, starting this December, at a time when data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows the airlines in the Middle East recorded a decrease in demand by 60.3 percent during October 2021 compared to October 2019 just before the Covid-19 was detected in Wuhan, China at the end December that year.

Data shows air traffic for African airlines decreased by 60.2 percent during October 2021 compared to October 2019, and the demand for air travel globally decreased by 49.4 percent and domestic travel by 21.6 percent.

The lifting of US restrictions on travel from 33 countries last month, to boost hopes of increased demand for travel during the winter, poured cold water over these US attempts with the emergence of the mutant “Omicron”.

On the other hand, Dubai ranked second in the index of “100 best cities as a global tourist destination, for the 2021”, issued by the British ‘Euromonitor International’, which stated that this position came against the background of the emirate’s performance during the past and current years.

Dubai topped the world’s cities in the number of visits by international tourists, while it came second in the world in the number of tourists who arrived in general, both international and local, as the British Foundation explained in its report that the efforts made by the Dubai government to mobilize the tourism and travel sector in the emirate and mobilize full support for it contributed pivotally to its winning of the second place globally on the index.

The report revealed that over the past year, Dubai received 5.5 million international tourists and 0.8 million domestic tourist trips, while during the last period of this year it received 6.9 million international tourists and one million domestic tourist trips.

The report indicated that Dubai is the only city belonging to an emerging country among the top ten cities on the index for this year, and that it is the highest among these ten cities in the health and safety sector, while it ranked fourth in the sector in general.

The report pointed to the intensive vaccination program for the population with anti-pandemic vaccines, which Dubai is adopting which has instilled increasing confidence among Dubai residents and visitors alike.

The report explained Dubai is the only city belonging to an emerging country also among the top ten cities on the sub-index “economic and commercial performance”, where it ranked eighth, and came second globally in terms of employment and levels of operation, and fourth globally in favorable demographic factors.

The report revealed that the support granted by the Dubai government to the private sector played a major role in protecting it from economic shocks, noting that Dubai dealt with “Covid-19” in a good manner that allowed it to reopen consumer services, such as retail trade and services related to the food and beverage sector, more quickly.

The report says Dubai has one of the highest levels of disposable income in the world, which has given it a huge ability to increase its spending on destinations, leisure activities and hotel facilities.

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