Being a center of global economic activity with the world’s busiest airport and seaports, Dubai should have been one of the most heavily impacted cities by halting international travel. But today, Dubai has pioneered an exemplary return to normal as the city continues be open to the world, despite the COVID-19 resurgence in many cities around the world.
The quick decision-making and immediate actions undertaken by the Dubai Government in line with federal directions, enabled Dubai and the UAE as a whole to implement one of the world’s best responses to the pandemic, and shield the city against massive disruptions that shook similar urban centers around the world.
Following the detection of the first COVID-19 case in the UAE in January, Dubai implemented a conservative and staged approach to curb the virus spread in its early stage, placing public health and healthcare system capacity at the utmost priority.
The multifaceted approach, which started with a national disinfection program, later eased into movement restrictions, large adoption of distance learning and working systems, and massive on-going testing campaigns, all of which played a key role to flatten the curve and control the spread of the disease.
Dubai’s readiness, largely fortified by its state-of-the-art digital infrastructure, helped communities maintain contactless and paperless access to digital government services, continue educational endeavors through distance learning, safeguard jobs through working from home arrangements, along with helping e-commerce activities thrive.
The resilient character of Dubai illuminated during COVID-19 shows that this city is able to not only navigate through uncharted territories, but also fully capable of bouncing back as a society and economy.
To help businesses weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Dubai Government was quick to launch a massive five-stage economic stimulus package with an overall value of more than AED 7 billion.
The package, unveiled by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, included stimulus measures such as rent reduction for nurseries, a freeze on market fees levied on all sectors in Dubai until the end of 2020, cancelling of all fines charged for late payment of government service fees, and many more.
As the pandemic is ongoing, safety protocols - such as mask wearing and social distancing- are in place and under constant inspection with hefty fines for violators.
Today, Dubai is one of the world’s few cities that are open to the world with an advanced degree of normalcy, offering a “revised experience” for citizens, residents, and visitors - the best one can get under “the new normal” of a COVID-19 world.
This revised experience is best illustrated through the “one-year virtual working program”, a newly developed working visa aiming to attract remote workers during the pandemic.
Under this program, remote workers and their families are able to work for companies based overseas from their home in Dubai.
To learn more about the "one-year virtual working program", Visit Gulf News.