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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 September 2020

UAE

Dubai given safe tourism stamp of approval amid global pandemic

World Travel & Tourism Council's new ranking gives guidance to travel providers and tourists about new approach to health and safety measures
Kite surfers fill the sky as people go to the beach in Jumeirah, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Dubai has been awarded a global safety and hygiene stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council to show the UAE’s commitment to reopening its tourism sector as it recovers from the coronavirus outbreak.

The WTTC, a council that represents private-sector travel and tourism, created the Safe Travels stamp to allow tourists to identify destinations and businesses around the world that have adopted the global standardised health and hygiene protocols.

The stamp provides guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the “new normal” of a post-Covid-19 world.

The protocols were devised following the experience of WTTC members dealing with Covid-19 and based on guidelines from the World Health Organisation and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and control.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has welcomed the WTTC Safe Travels stamp, which makes the safety and hygiene of travellers a top priority.

“As we reopen Dubai’s doors to tourism and welcome our international visitors back to the city, our foremost priority is their well-being, achieved through stringent hygiene and safety protocols that have been deployed across all tourist touch points,” Helal Saeed Almarri, director general, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) said.

“The WTTC's Safe Travels stamp endorses Dubai’s strong global co-operation in combating the pandemic with comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.

“We trust that our efforts not only provide an optimised experience for our visitors, but also secure their health and that of their families, further cementing the confidence that our guests have had thus far in Dubai, and encouraging people from every corner of the world to visit one of the safest cities in the world this summer.”

The UAE has been praised for its coronavirus response. A survey by the Deep Knowledge Group, a consortium of technology companies and non-profit organisations, last month ranked the Emirates as 11th on the list in its responses to the pandemic.

Costa Rica, Indonesia, Rwanda, Tobago and Tanzania are also among the latest recipients of the health and safety stamp.

The growing list of endorsements has come from many major holiday and city destinations around the world, such as Sharjah as well Malaga in Spain, which joins the growing list of Spanish destinations including Alicante and Benidorm.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC president and chief executive, said: “Our Safe Travels stamp is proving a great success and we are delighted to see even more popular countries and destinations adopt our global health and hygiene protocols.

“The success of the WTTC Safe Travels stamp shows its importance not only to countries and destinations, but also crucially to travellers and the 330 million people around the world who work in and depend on the travel and tourism sector.

“The stamp is a critical step in re-establishing consumer confidence in travel and tourism and ensuring travellers can rest easy knowing that enhanced standards of hygiene are in place and they can once again experience ‘safe travels’.”

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Updated: July 25, 2020 09:46 AM