„As hard as Dubai was hit by the pandemic the Emirate is now opening up a bit more to foreigners – whether with a new visa option or with more liberal laws.” Kai Böcking
Dubai looks back on a lockdown that lasted for months. No tourists, empty hotels, desperate expats who were often stuck, and the Expo has been postponed until 2021. Back in the 1970s, no one really believed that you could turn a dry piece of desert into a world metropolis with Burj Al Arab, The Palm, Emirates Palace & Co.
Easy (entry) travel
This summer, Emirates was one of the first airlines to rapidly reactivate its route network. Anyone entering the country needs a valid Covid19 test (not older than 96 hours) and valid health insurance. When leaving the country – just to be on the safe side – they also need a test, which can be done mobile in the hotel if desired. The Hotel Atlantis Dubai, for example, offers guests a free test if they book for at least five days.
New one-year visa
For visitors who want to stay longer to work remotely online in Dubai, the clever desert town now offers temporary visas under the new “business trip motto”: “If you could work anywhere, why work anywhere else?
So why not move to Dubai for a year to work from there? Anyone who can prove that they have earned at least $5,000 in the last few months can apply. Promised are health insurance, access to schools and all the advantages of a visa holder (telecommunication, bank etc.), several co-working offers are also advertised. A clever move, considering how expensive a work and residence visa in Dubai has been so far.
More liberal laws
But that’s not all: Dubai is officially saying goodbye to many laws and prohibitions that have even deterred many a traveler from traveling to the second largest emirate in the UAE. The image of Dubai will change massively as a result of these measures. Away from the – officially – strictly Islamic state to a, shall we say, more modern mega city. Multiculturalism will now also have a legal framework.
Expats who want to divorce in Dubai can now do so according to the laws of their home country.
Stricter laws now apply to assaults on family members, stalking, sexual harassment. And a big Ah goes through the large community of expatriates from all over the world: From now on it is legal to live together in one apartment, even if you are not married or living in a mixed flat-sharing community. Although this was never really punished or controlled before – but now it is legal.
And alcohol is officially no longer prohibited in Dubai. Until now, it was only “tolerated” – for example in hotels or for all those who had applied for a private alcohol license to drink beer at home. So it is to be expected that in future restaurants and cafés outside the hotels will also be allowed to serve alcohol.The limit for consumption is to remain at 21 years.
Kai Böcking …
is very surprised and taken aback by the way Dubai is opening up to foreigners as a business-leisure-leisure destination for several months as part of Corona. In September he was there himself for a shoot, and in November he will travel to Dubai again. We report on his experiences in the new print magazine, which will be published on December 18, 2020, and in detail here at www.bleisuretraveller.com.
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