Dubai allows foreign tourists to enter from July 7

A woman wearing a face mask due to the coronavirus pandemic watches kayak racers take off from the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Friday, June 19, 2020. (AP)
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Updated 21 June 2020

Dubai allows foreign tourists to enter from July 7

  • Those entering would have to present certificates to show they had recently tested negative for the coronavirus
  • Citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from Tuesday June 23

DUBAI: Dubai, whose economy is reliant on tourism and retail, said it will allow foreign visitors to enter from July 7, while those with residency visas will be able to enter from Monday in a further easing of its coronavirus lockdown.
Those entering would have to present certificates to show they had recently tested negative for the coronavirus or would undergo tests on arrival at Dubai airports, the Dubai government media office said in a statement on Sunday.
Citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from Tuesday June 23, it added.
"The new announcement will allow thousands of people affected by the worldwide restrictions in passenger air traffic since the start of the pandemic to resume their travel plans," the Dubai media office said in the statement.
It also said that international health insurance, COVID-19 tests and a completed health declaration form were mandatory for tourists visiting Dubai.
The announcement comes more than two months since the United Arab Emirates introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
The UAE halted all passenger flights in March and banned foreign citizens from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who required UAE government approval before returning.
In recent weeks, many of those restrictions have been eased, allowing the resumption of a few flights, while domestic restrictions such as the closure of shopping centres have been lifted and private businesses have reopened.
Last week, the UAE allowed citizens and residents to travel to countries deemed low-risk for catching the coronavirus.
 


Iraq’s foreign minister makes first visit to Iran

Updated 26 September 2020

Iraq’s foreign minister makes first visit to Iran

  • Iran sees neighboring Iraq as a possible route to bypass US sanctions that President Donald Trump re-imposed in 2018

TEHRAN: Iraq’s foreign minister arrived Saturday in Tehran for bilateral talks with senior Iranian officials, according to the state-run news agency.
IRNA reported that Fuad Hussein planned to meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and President Hassan Rouhani, in what marked his first visit to the Iranian capital.
Zarif visited Baghdad in mid-July, when he met with Hussein and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi. It was Zarif’s first visit to Iraq since a US airstrike in January killed a top Iranian general, Qassim Soleimani, outside Baghdad’s international airport. The strike catapulted Iraq to the brink of a US-Iran proxy war that could have destabilized the Middle East.
After Zarif’s trip, the Iraqi premier visited Iran in July.
The report did not elaborate on the main reasons behind the top Iraqi diplomat’s two-day trip to Tehran.
Iran sees neighboring Iraq as a possible route to bypass US sanctions that President Donald Trump re-imposed in 2018 after pulling the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Last year, Iran’s exports to Iraq amounted to nearly $9 billion, the official IRNA news agency reported on Tuesday. It said the two nations will discuss increasing the amount to $20 billion.
Before the current global pandemic, some 5 million Iranian pilgrims annually brought in nearly $5 billion visiting Iraq’s Shiite holy sites.
Iran has seen the worst outbreak in the region, with more than 443,000 thousand confirmed cases and at least 25,300 deaths.
A news website affiliated with Iranian state TV, yjc.ir, reported that Iran canceled all its flights to Iraqi cities until the religious holiday of Arbaeen, due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The holiday marks the end of the forty days of mourning that follow annually on the death anniversary of the seventh-century Muslim leader Hussein, who was killed at the Battle of Karbala during the tumultuous first century of Islam’s history.
Iran fought an eight-year war with Iraq that killed nearly 1 million people on both sides, after former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded in the early 1980s.