General Industry

Dubai Airport CEO Sees More Countries Dropping COVID Travel Testing Rules Soon

By Dave Simpson
Dubai Airport CEO Sees More Countries Dropping COVID Travel Testing Rules Soon

The head of Dubai International Airport, one of the world's busiest, has said that he expects more countries to soon start ending rules for vaccinated passengers to be tested for COVID-19.

The United Kingdom does not currently require vaccinated passengers to take a COVID test and will drop all of its remaining COVID-19-related international travel restrictions from 4am on Friday 18 March, while Gulf state Bahrain last month said that those arriving would no longer needed to be tested.

Statements By Griffiths

"I do expect across the world, the testing regime for travel will start to disappear pretty quickly and we're hopeful that there will be an announcement over the next few weeks from many different places," chief executive Paul Griffiths said. "The whole idea of having to have tests for travel will give way to vaccination certificates."

Griffiths did not say when Dubai would ease its own testing requirements.

Passenger Traffic Forecast

Dubai Airport is forecasting passenger traffic to more than double this year to 57 million from 29.1 million in 2021.


That is still far below the 86.4 million passengers the airport handled in 2019, the year before the pandemic struck.

Additional Statements By Griffiths

Griffiths said that bookings for the next three months were among the strongest the airport had ever seen and that the 57 million target for this year could end up proving conservative.

"The outlook for the future now is particularly good."

Dubai will also reopen its second airport, Al Maktoum International, in May to scheduled, commercial passenger flights for the first time since the pandemic began, Griffiths said.

Refurbishment Works

Al Maktoum will handle some passenger flights that typically operate from Dubai International during refurbishment works at the main hub that will close one of its two runways for 45 days.


Further Statement By Griffiths

Airlines that operated out of the second airport before the pandemic will continue to operate flights there after the 45 days, Griffiths said.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.