At first glance at Dubai, it seems as if COVID-19 never existed. Tourists have been coming back to Dubai, a busy city with eye catching attractions for tourists especially from Europe. However, consequences followed for opening this city; COVID-19 caught up and tourism brought one of Dubai’s greatest surges of COVID-19 cases. The number of cases nearly quadrupled since November. This is the result of negligence in COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Despite the rising cases, many are going to Dubai and posting images of the city on social media from instagram feeds or even celebrities. The pictures evoked a furious reaction from Europe, because they were put under a lockdown restraining them from visiting or coming from Dubai. “In Europe, everyone is locked at home, it’s cold and it’s gray,” a Danish tourist Emma Mathilde says. “Dubai is the only place you can travel to, so everyone is going there. It’s sunny, you can go out to eat, and that’s why people get furious over why they have to stay home when other people are enjoying their lives.”
Adding on, no strict rules are enforced for those who do not comply. The director general of Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing Helal Saeed Al Marri states “If you walk in the street in Dubai, people are wearing masks. If someone isn’t wearing a mask, it won’t be the authorities that tell them to put a mask on, it’ll be a passerby, because that’s the way we’ve learned to live within this Covid era.” Because of the sudden surge of cases, Al Marri continues “We shut down when we needed to, and since we’ve opened, we follow the data,” he says. “If we see compliance, we don’t need to tighten. If we don’t see compliance at any part of the economy, we look at this very carefully sector by sector. It’s nothing to do with what anybody else tells us.” Additionally, Al Marri says authorities began to clamp down during January when compliance levels were dropping significantly. Now, beach clubs, hotels, and malls are limited to 70% capacity and 50% capacity for cinemas. Pubs and bars have been ordered to temporarily shut down.
Now, Dubai is more centered around safety measures instead of making money like before.