Dubai (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates have announced that they will resume issuing visas to any tourist fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from Monday, a month before the start of the World Expo 2020, postponed by a year due to the health crisis.

The new measure comes amid falling infections in the oil-rich Gulf nation, which has recorded fewer than 1,000 cases on consecutive days last week for the first time in months.

The move to reopen the doors to vaccinated tourists from around the world is aimed at "achieving sustainable recovery and economic growth," the state-run WAM news agency reported on Saturday.

To travel to the Emirates, you will need to be fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization, namely AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

"The ruling applies to citizens of all countries, including those from previously banned countries," WAM said.

Any passenger traveling to the Emirates on a tourist visa will be required to take a PCR test at the airport, the agency added.

The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven principalities, including the capital Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where measures against the coronavirus and vaccination rules remain different.

Life has largely returned to normal across the country, but residents must adhere to strict social distancing rules and must wear masks outdoors and in public places.

With the launch in October of the Universal Exhibition, Dubai hopes to fill up with visitors, after a year and a half marked by the health crisis.

With little oil and the Gulf's most diverse economy, Dubai has relied heavily on tourism and entertainment in recent years.

Dubai was one of the first tourist destinations to open its doors to international visitors in July 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic that crippled the travel industry.

Abu Dhabi had done the same at the end of December.

In total, the country has recorded more than 715,000 cases of Covid-19, including more than 2,000 deaths.

© 2021 AFP

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