Letter from... Abu Dhabi
By Shaimaa Aly, Newgate Abu Dhabi
As no mask can hide a warm welcoming smile, starting from the 7th of July, the Emirate of Dubai and “Emirates Airlines” are officially welcoming tourists to enter the country (YAY!). The beautiful capital Abu Dhabi’s “Etihad Airways” is also back to the sky with certain destinations. However, I still think that people will triple think about going on holidays at least until the end of the year in the UAE.
For those who live here, the Government is still strict about traveling and it has set certain rules, For example, no traveling for those who are above 70 years old, the epidemic condition of the desired country one intends to go to should be considered, and traveling cannot be for any reason other than education, work or an absolute necessity. This does not bother me too much because I have decided to enjoy a long road trip across the whole country this year!! (fingers crossed the weather will not be too hot.)
As the summer holiday started for school and university students, thankfully, public and private beaches and pools opened and malls increased their capacity, all whilst keeping safety measures in place.
A lot of hospitals in the UAE are saying “Goodbye, you can go home!” to their last Covid patient. So many hospitals and self-isolation facilities are almost free from COVID-19 which is giving people hope for a close to full recovery in the country.
When it comes to testing, so far, the UAE has developed a seamless and outstanding process for COVID-19. Over nearly 6 months, the UAE successfully carried out 3.5 million tests across the country (population is c.10m). The Government has also announced that it intends to carry out more than 2 million tests within the next couple of months.
Lately, and to maximise the tests numbers, doctors and nurses have been going to people’s homes, knocking on their doors and asking them to take the test right there and then. This step was made specially for people with special needs, people who are above 60 years old, and people with chronic diseases who have not left their homes in months, fearing the outside world and interacting with people.
Yes, I can see that there is still some fear in society from the virus and from returning to how dull our lives have been in the past months; however, I can also see that the UAE is carefully – and with very steady slow steps – bringing life back to normal. There is nothing wrong with keeping safety measures in mind while adapting, going to work, grocery shopping, meeting with friends for coffee. It is almost like that annoying scary monster called Coronavirus which hampered so many things, like the economy, people’s health, happiness, and social life is finally gone from here!