Party city Dubai becomes escape hatch as the world locks down

World

Party city Dubai becomes escape hatch as the world locks down

Footballers, actors and influencers are heading to the UAE as the tourist hotspot opens its doors to the world

Simeon Kerr

Soccer stars, actors and television personalities, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Maya Jama, were among those who enjoyed the holiday period in Dubai, working and playing in the Gulf tourist hotspot as Europe suffers under a strict coronavirus lockdown.

As 2021 began with barely a pop elsewhere, the airport in the United Arab Emirates’s (UAE) trade hub has been crammed, as British, French and Russian tourists flood into what has recently become the world’s most open city, where visitors can enjoy restaurants, bars and even socially distanced raves.

After a tough lockdown, the city started opening up its economy gradually in May. With the UAE rolling out a fast vaccination programme, bookings for the city’s hotels are buoyant and a moribund property market is resurgent...

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