Major travel hub hopes to reopen by July
Dubai wants to start letting tourists back into the United Arab Emirates by July, according to the tourism director general.
The UAE halted all incoming flights on March 24, with thousands left stranded after the date was moved 48 hours earlier at short notice.
Now, tourism could resume within the next few months, The Sun reports.
Helal Al Marri, director general of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, discussed the possibility on Bloomberg TV.
"Many countries remain closed and it's more about the bilateral discussions," he said.
"Is it going to be July when things start slowly opening up? Is it going to be September? We just need to make sure we're ready if things come earlier than expected."
It isn't clear if this means all tourism or just domestic travellers, with many countries only allowing domestic travel initially.
Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways said it now plans to start operating regular passenger flights from June 16, delaying the resumption for a second time this month.
The UAE is approaching 12,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and has recorded 98 deaths.
A nationwide nightly curfew was implemented on March 26 for a disinfection campaign, but on April 4 Dubai expanded it within the Emirates to a 24-hour lockdown for two weeks.
Dubai has begun lifting its lockdown, starting with cafes and restaurants reopening with 30 per cent capacity, while shopping centres are beginning to open partially.
Emirates is the first airline to introduce quick COVID-19 tests, which take just 10 minutes on a flight from Dubai to Tunisia.
The type of testing used reportedly involved drawing blood and was able to provide results within 10 minutes.
Chief operating officer Adel Al Redha said that there were plans to start using these tests on other flights.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Major travel hub hopes to reopen by July