Dubai airport Eid rush: nearly two million travellers expected over next 11 days

Dubai is gearing up for a busy travel period as Ramadan ends and the Eid Al Fitr holiday begins.

More than 1.9 million passengers are expected to fly to or from Dubai International Airport between April 28 and May 9.

The busiest day for travel will be May 7, when more than 200,000 people will transit the airport. Daily traffic will exceed 177,000 over the entire holiday period, said Dubai Airports.

Emirates airline is also getting set for an influx with more than 700,000 people booked to fly via Terminal 3 of Dubai International over the Eid holidays.

The Dubai airline says its busiest period will be the weekend before Eid.

Popular destinations for UAE travellers flying with Emirates include London, Istanbul, Manila, Cairo, Paris, Casablanca, New York and Los Angeles. An additional 23 flights to seven cities across the GCC and Middle East have also been added to the airline’s network for the holidays.

The airline expects Terminal 3 to be busy with travellers until May 9 and reminded all passengers to get to the airport at least three hours ahead of their flight departure time to allow for check-in, health document checks and immigration formalities.

Any passengers trying to check in less than 60 minutes before their departure will not be accepted for travel, said Emirates.

And low-cost airline flydubai is also expecting the next few weeks to be busy. The airline plans to operate more than 2,200 flights between April 30 and May 8 to accommodate a surge in demand.

The budget airline has increased capacity on some of its most popular routes for the break, including to Baku, Tbilisi, the Maldives and Sarajevo, and expects capacity to be between 80 and 100 per cent on flights to Almaty, Budapest, Colombo, Kathmandu, Naples and Yerevan.

How to beat the Eid rush at Dubai International Airport

Dubai Airports and Emirates have issued tips for travellers flying over Eid to help people beat the rush.

Passengers should check the latest travel regulations for their destination with their airline, said airport authorities. These can change regularly so its important to find out before leaving for the airport.

Travellers should also plan for extra time to get to the airport over the holiday, with the roads around Dubai International expected to get congested during peak times.

Emirates offers early check-in options, with most travellers able to drop bags off for flights as early as 24 hours before take-off time. Using this option could mean having one less thing to worry about on departure day. US passengers flying Emirates can check in 12 hours before departure.

To cut down on crowds, passengers flying from Terminal 1 at Dubai International should arrive at the airport no earlier than three hours before departure time.

Passengers should also make use of online check-in services whenever airlines offer the facility to help cut-down on queue times.

Once at the airport, registered travellers over the age of 12 can use the Smart Gates to help speed up passport control procedures.

Source: The National News

Dubai ranked third-best city in the world for digital nomads

Dubai has been ranked the third-best city in the world for digital nomads to live in, according to new research by real estate consultancy Savills.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, topped the table and Miami was ranked second in the Savills Executive Nomad Index, which lists the top 15 cities for long-term remote workers, based on internet speed, quality of life, climate, air connectivity and prime rents, Savills said in a statement on Wednesday.

Portugal’s popular Algarve region, in the south of the country, was ranked fourth, followed by Barbados in the Caribbean.

Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Saint Lucia, Malta and Antigua & Barbuda round out the top 10. No cities in Asia featured in the index.

“Remote working enabled business owners from abroad to make Dubai their main hub,” said Helen Tatham, head of residential community sales and leasing at Savills Dubai.

“UK nationals have long favoured Dubai for holiday and work, but the market also benefited from new demand from French, German, Swedish and Swiss buyers.”

The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the remote-working trend, with the adoption of new technologies encouraging more workers to move away from the cities or countries where their employers are based.

In response, some countries, including the UAE, enacted legislation designed to attract foreign-employed workers.

The UAE unveiled a one-year residency permit for remote workers in March last year to attract more talent to the region and boost business opportunities. The visa permits foreign remote professionals to live in the Emirates while continuing to serve employers in their home countries.

Dubai topped the Savills index for air connectivity, with the emirate’s airlines reaching more than 100 countries, Savills said.

All cities that featured in the Savills index either have a digital nomad visa programme, or equivalent, or, in the case of US and European countries, are already part of a large economic bloc that allows free movement of people for living or work, the consultancy said.

They offer favourable climates year-round, a high quality of life and have established prime residential markets, Savills said.

“The modern executive nomad – a distant cousin of the freelance creative working from a cafe in Bali or Costa Rica – owns a villa in the Algarve or a condo in Miami, attends Zoom calls from an airy home office and hops on a flight back to London, New York or Geneva for the quarterly board meeting,” said Paul Tostevin, head of Savills World Research.

“Provided travel connections are good and high-speed internet is reliable, individuals and families are motivated to relocate and are placing a greater emphasis on health, wellness and overall lifestyle.”

Lisbon topped the index on the back of its high quality of life, low pollution, favourable climate and good air connectivity.

“Tech executives and entrepreneurs are drawn by Lisbon’s burgeoning status as a tech hub,” said Ricardo Garcia, head of residential at Savills Portugal.

“Real estate costs are low and there is a strong local talent pool. Companies are moving their headquarters to Portugal.”

Miami has grown in appeal as a remote working destination in the US owing to its warm climate and beaches, Savills said.

The city also offers good air connectivity and digital infrastructure, as well as a strong prime rental market and a comparatively good quality of life,.

Barbados, which has the fastest internet in the Caribbean, is popular with digital nomads thanks to its climate and good air connectivity.

Barcelona, which placed sixth, also has fast internet and a strong global connectivity through its air and rail systems, Savills said.

“As the workplace has evolved to a new, more flexible model, executive nomads are turning what were previously holiday home markets into year-round ones,” Mr Tostevin said.

“Certain locations in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, as well as cities such as Lisbon, Miami and Dubai, offer them connectivity, favourable climates and a high quality of life.”

Source: The National News

What is Afrozons Dubai Soundoff? Dubai’s new Black diaspora festival

Dubai Tourism recently teamed up with Afrozons Radio and host Sheila O. to create Afrozons Dubai Soundoff, a travel experience dedicated to the Black diaspora.

Afrozons Dubai Soundoff is a premier travel experience put on by the Dubai Tourism Board in partnership with Afrozons Radio and host Sheila O. to promote the coming together of the Black diaspora in Dubai. But this one-of-a-kind voyage is not limited to people living in the United Arab Emirates. Afrozons Dubai Soundoff is intended to encourage the merger of Black nations and people of Black descent from all over the world.

When you think of Dubai, you might think of skyscrapers, modern architecture, and the most luxurious city and nightlife scenes. But if there’s one thing you might not directly correlate to the glossy emirate, it’s a festival solely dedicated to unifying the Black diaspora. That’s where Afrozons come in.

At this festival, you can expect to indulge in a variety of activities, including a welcome reception, an Afrobeat concert, dune camel rides, safari excursions, dinners, parties, and panels featuring heavy-hitting celebrities from 14 countries, including the United States, Ghana, Kenya, the United Kingdom, and more. The festival’s mission is to fully inaugurate Dubai as a top destination for the Black diaspora to enjoy.

Sheila O., whose full name is Sheila Okonji-Ashinze, is a well-known music and entertainment personality and mogul who made history in 2017 as the first international female media personality to bring an Afrobeat radio show, Afrozons, to major U.S radio stations. For the last five years, Afrozons Radio has been broadening the American musical ear with the delightful sounds of Afrobeat on Power 92.3 in Chicago, and is also syndicated on channel 141, SiriusXM HURVoices. The two-hour show demonstrates the diversity of the Black diaspora’s music, playing hip-hop, urban, and R&B but as its title suggests, Afrozons’ main focus has been to integrate Afrobeat into America, which it has successfully achieved since 2017.

Afrozons Dubai Soundoff was imagined by Sheila O., who rallied the support of Dubai’s Department for Economy and Tourism. Together, they successfully brought over 500 people to Dubai in March 2022 to experience Black culture in a new city. Celebrities and radio personalities like Big Tigger, Loni Love, and Dj Bay Bay joined the event while several personalities from the U.K. and Africa including Angola, Tanzania, Zambia, and Nigeria pulled up to the fun, too.

Sam Selolwane from RCA Records credited Afrozons for bringing greater awareness of Afrobeats to the U.S., telling Black Enterprise that “Afrozons has been ahead of the curve introducing Afrobeats to this side of the world for quite some time.

“Sheila’s dedication to the artists and genre has helped catapult these artists and helped turn them into the household names we know today,” she added.

Having seen her vision come to fruition, Sheila O. described working with the Dubai Tourism Board to bring Black travelers to Dubai as a fantasy. “I’m a girl born in Lagos, Nigeria. I grew up in London. Yes, I live in Chicago, but Dubai is a dream come true,” she said.

Based on the success of the event, Dubai plans on welcoming Black travelers to the City of Gold annually through Afrozons Dubai Soundoff, with a sweepstakes to win a trip to the venture likely to start around the fourth quarter of the year. Issam Kazim, marketing CEO for the Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce, told Black Enterprise. “It’s a proud moment to have Afrozons here in Dubai, celebrating here with us in a city that [has] over 200 different nationalities that call Dubai home.”

Source: Yahoo News

Competition heats up in Uganda with startups lining up

Competition in the Ugandan air service sector is set to receive a shot in the arm with the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) having received four new applications for air services licenses (ASLs) after having greenlighted startup Bar Aviation (Kajjansi) earlier this year, according to local media reports.

New Vision newspaper reports that Ugandan engineering and construction company Dott Services Limited, Safari Air International Limited, freight company Panafrica Aviation Limited, and Aberdair Aviation Uganda Limited – the Ugandan affiliate of Kenya’s Aberdair Aviation Group – will defend their ASL applications before the UCAA on May 5, 2022.

They report the licenses are for the following:

  • Dott Services Limited has applied for an ASL to operate a Cessna 510;
  • Safari Air International Limited has applied for an ASL to operate Cessna Aircraft Company 421C Golden Eagle, Beech (twin piston) Baron G58, and the Fuji FA-200 Aero Subaru single-piston-powered monoplane;
  • Panafric Aviation Limited has applied for an ASL using Piper (twin turboprop) PA-34 Seneca; and
  • Aberdair Aviation Uganda Limited has applied for an ASL using DHC-8-300E110, and Airbus H125 helicopter.

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) was not immediately available for comment.

As reported, Bar Aviation launched domestic schedules from Entebbe/Kampala to four national parks in the country in an interline partnership with Uganda Airlines (UR, Entebbe/Kampala) on February 1, 2022, with a Cessna (single turboprop)208B Grand Caravan.

Uganda currently has only four scheduled active airlines, including national carrier Uganda Airlines, which holds about 46% market share (in terms of weekly aircraft seat capacity) at Entebbe/Kampala; AirKenya subsidiary AeroLink Uganda (A8, Entebbe/Kampala) has a 45% market share, and Eagle Air (EGU, Entebbe/Kampala), which provides domestic and charter flights to East and Central Africa.

Source: Ch-aviation

Dubai leads the world in business travel recovery

Dubai has outpaced London to become the top destination for global business travel this year, as the United Arab Emirates has seen the strongest travel recovery of any country, according to data from travel technology firm Travelport.

Travelport’s figures show bookings to Dubai in 2022 are outpacing its 2019 performance by 14 per cent, with the UK providing the most visitors to the destination.

The emirate ranks fifth in the world in terms of recovery for individual destinations, with leisure-focused destinations such as the Dominican Republic, Montego Bay in Jamaica and the Mexican resort of Cancun topping the list.

Travelport reported that corporate travel has made up nearly one-third (29 per cent) of Dubai’s total bookings this year, putting the emirate at the top of the list of global business travel destinations so far in 2022. London had been the top corporate destination in 2019 before the Covid-19 crisis.

Dubai’s high vaccination rate as well as hosting major events including Expo 2020 Dubai and the Dubai World Cup horse race have contributed to the recovery, said Travelport.

The Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh has recovered at an even faster rate than Dubai this year with bookings 15 per cent ahead of 2019 levels. 

Bookings across the entire UAE are currently up 10 per cent from 2019 levels, higher than any other country in the world, added Travelport.

On a global scale, bookings have recovered to about two-thirds (67 per cent) of pre-pandemic levels.

Source: BTN

DET to elevate Dubai’s position as a year-round global gastronomy hub

Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) hosted an industry briefing with restaurateurs and key stakeholders from the food and beverage sector, as part of continuous efforts to elevate Dubai’s position as a year-round global gastronomy hub in line with the visionary leadership’s goal to make it the world’s best city to live in, work and visit.

During the inaugural DET gastronomy briefing event, which was attended by Dubai’s restaurateurs, F&B stakeholders and industry partners, DET briefed attendees on the city’s year-round programme of key restaurant events, gourmet showcases and culinary platforms. In addition, DET’s gastronomy leaders shared an overview of strategic plans which will further raise Dubai’s profile on the world stage as a leading gourmet destination and a magnet for discerning foodies, epicurean travellers and culinary aficionados.

During the briefing event for stakeholders, which will now take place quarterly, DET provided an overview of its ‘Gastronomy Always on Campaign’ (GAON) that aims to support the F&B industry and also presented the city’s calendar of culinary events. It was announced at the event that the ninth edition of the much-awaited Dubai Food Festival (DFF) will take place from May 2 – 15, 2022, including the ever popular Dubai Restaurant Week returning to delight foodies across the city. Ongoing culinary platforms such as Foodie Experiences, Made in Dubai and Hidden Gems which celebrate the city’s delicious and diverse dining scene will continue throughout the year, peaking through the season during key culinary moments.

Dubai is home to around 12,000 diverse restaurants and cafés – from homegrown eateries to gourmet institutions and fine dining restaurants, right through to relaxed food halls and neighbourhood cafes, which together represent Dubai’s internationally recognised F&B scene. With diverse cuisines drawn from the cultures of more than 200 different nationalities represented in the city, combined with a presence from the world’s award winning chefs, restaurant groups and one-off culinary experiences, Dubai is the gastronomy capital of the region and a globally renowned epicurean destination.

Over the years, Dubai has grown to become one of the world’s most sought after destinations, and its food scene has matured and evolved alongside this. While welcoming more than 7.28 million international overnight visitors during 2021, the city was also recognised as the No.1 global destination and the fourth leading destination for ‘Food Lovers’ in the Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2022, testament to the gastronomic heritage, diversity of flavours and depth of the food scene in Dubai.

In addition, the city’s restaurants and chefs were recently recognised in the inaugural edition of Middle East & North Africa’s 50 Best Restaurants, which took place in February 2022 and celebrated culinary excellence across the region. Independently owned casual dining restaurant 3Fils located in Dubai Fishing Harbour topped the list of the region’s 50 best dining institutions, with an impressive total of six out of the top 10 restaurants in Mena being helmed in Dubai, with 16 restaurants across Dubai being included in the full list. Celebrated figures within Dubai’s diverse foodie scene were also recognised within the awards, with the city’s chefs, culinary innovators and restaurateurs garnering five of the seven specialty awards including Art of Hospitality Award, Chef’s Choice Award and the Best Pastry Chef Award.

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment commented: “From humble homegrown gems to street food offerings in a vibrant setting to Michelin-star chef helmed restaurants, Dubai has long been a leader in culinary excellence. Visitors to the city can delve into a world of flavours influenced by a melting pot of more than 200 nationalities drawn from all four corners of the world.”

Source: Gulf Today

Dubai Expo: Chance for change in Middle East and North Africa

As Dubai’s Expo 2020 draws to a close in March, many national pavilions are starting to ponder the impact of the world fair beyond its six-month run.

This is the first time a world fair has been held in the Middle East and North Africa, and with similar events having heralded great shifts in technological advancement, improved international relations, and increased trade, culture and tourism, many hope the current exhibit will also positively impact the MENA region.

Expo 2020 – which was delayed because of COVID-19 and opened in October 2021 – gathers 192 participating countries, each with their own custom-built pavilion showcasing their innovations, cultures and aims for the future, in a sprawling complex designed to fascinate visitors. For MENA participants, it is a golden opportunity to drum up interest in their countries.

“This event is a major catalyst for Dubai and the UAE. It has come at the right moment to set the tone for economic recovery and create a positive environment for businesses to thrive,” the senior vice president of political affairs at Expo 2020, Maha Al Gargawi, told Al Jazeera.

“Expo 2020 has put a special emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises, fully understanding that they are key to future growth and job creation in the UAE. To that end, we have committed 20 percent of direct and indirect spending to SMEs.”

Expo 2020 is “constantly spotlighting breakthrough ideas, innovations and technologies that are shaping the future of our planet, helping to spark the next generation of technology”, she added.

“From harnessing volcanic energy to conserving marine life with the help of a robotic baby penguin, or paving the way to a plastic-free world, there’s a lot to learn and discover from some unexpected places.”

At the UAE Pavilion – a three-story marvel built in the shape of a falcon’s wings – visitors are guided through the emirate’s past, present and its aspirations for the future.

Much of the experience is focused on putting forward their traditions and culture to inform visitors, but the final section – The Dreamers Who Do – is aimed at attracting people to move to or work with the UAE.

By hosting co-creation opportunities with Expo and pavilion stakeholders, they seek to encourage local and global stakeholders to collaborate on social, diplomatic and philanthropic initiatives.

“The UAE Pavilion is really about the human capacity for innovation and personal achievements of all these people who came together and built this country from the ground up,” UAE Pavilion protocol relations manager Nasser al-Shukaili told Al Jazeera.

“The UAE is not just the Emirati people, but the [8.84 million] foreigners who now call the UAE their home. We’re putting forward the UAE’s openness and readiness to welcome new people, from all races, religions and cultures, and what opportunities are available for them to come find success here.

“We have leadership, space, resources and the ability to create everything and anything, but are waiting for new ‘dreamers’ to come and partner with us,” he added.

“The UAE has a lot of capabilities, but we need the ideas and innovators; the people to come and realise them, so we’re showing visitors how people around the world are living in the UAE and what they could achieve if they came, too.”

With more than 80 percent of the UAE’s population not Emirati, they rely on foreigners immigrating there. As their ambitions grow, more people will be needed to realise large-scale projects, and Expo could be the catalyst for many to make the move.

For Qatar, Expo is a chance to boost tourism to business possibilities, in line with Doha’s National Vision 2030 plan. The pavilion, shaped like a dhow sailboat, promotes its aim of sustainable development and providing a high standard of living for its population.

“Qatar’s participation reflects the country’s aim to foster the development of a future where people, society, and environment are nurtured to achieve their potential,” Qatar Pavilion’s general commissioner Nasser bin Mohammed Almuhannadi said.

“Expo offers Qatar a platform through which the country can strengthen commercial, industrial, and investment cooperation relations with the various participating countries. In turn, this will contribute to supporting the industry, trade, and tourism sectors for further economic development.”

With 800,000 visitors entering the Qatar Pavilion so far and the World Cup set for December, there are many prospective clients for Qatari businesses.

Unlike most pavilions, the Lebanon Pavilion is not nationally funded or run, and was put together in two months after the UAE donated the structure, in solidarity with the crisis-stricken country.

Their participation at Expo offers direct contact with potential tourists, investors and Lebanese in diaspora wishing to support their homeland, bringing in foreign currency – a scarce resource after the devaluation of the Lebanese pound.

“Our goal is to promote everything, and anything made in Lebanon,” Lebanon Pavilion assistant director Khouloud Ezzeddine told Al Jazeera.

“[We] show the beauty of Lebanon to support tourism, from landscapes scenery from the mountains to our beaches, to our amazing food or luxury fashion like from Elie Saab.

“Our concept store features 47 Lebanese brands, which we’re putting forward for the Expo audience, firstly for their brand recognition and secondly to get the word out to support them financially,” she added.

“Then, there’s the business and innovation centre, so we can promote Lebanese intellects and minds, or fresh grads looking for work, to connect them to companies outside of Lebanon.”

Ezzeddine shared that they were able to help sign a number of contracts between Lebanese companies and partners or investors in Asia. For Lebanese startups or businesses fallen on hard times because of the economic crisis, such deals could be a lifeline.

According to an independent economic study requested by Dubai authorities, Ernst & Young expects Expo to have generated 905,200 jobs in the region and boosted the UAE economy overall by $33.4bn by 2031.

When Expo closes next month, an estimated 25 million people will have visited and participated in its programmes – all of whom will have exchanged knowledge, culture and business in some form – and contributed to the region’s future development.

Source: Al Jazeera

Dubai woos highly skilled Kenyans with 10-year visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is wooing highly trained Kenyans among them doctors and scientists with a 10-year visa to support the development of its economy.

Through a plan developed in late 2021 that also targets foreigners globally, the Arab nation has set off an ambitious plan that may result in a fresh round of brain drain.

The long-term residence visa targets individuals in science and knowledge, such as doctors and inventors, nurses and healthcare officials and creatives in the fields of culture and art or those in real estate.

For investors, they must have a fund inside the UAE valued at Sh61.9 million (2 million dirhams) or more.

Entrepreneurs can build a company with capital or partner in an existing firm by giving a contribution of not less than the same amount.

The visas will allow foreigners, their family members and two of their business partners to settle in UAE and enjoy the benefits of a permanent resident.

The plan to attract top brains by the Middle- East comes as Kenya continues to export workforce into the country especially in the sectors of health care, hospitality and tourism.

The country will also be giving UAE passports under the same requirements.

Trade and Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Betty Maina said that Kenyans who will benefit must satisfy immigration conditions and undertake medical tests in UAE.

“They are willing to facilitate visas for business people. They have a framework for a golden visa which is a 10-year multiple entry visa and several Kenyans have benefited from these arrangements and more could benefit,” Ms Maina said on the sidelines High-Level Business Forum in UAE held by Kenya on Tuesday.

Currently, the country issues a work visa for two years which is renewable and mostly paid for by the employer.

A survey by the Central Bank of Kenya shows that UAE is the third-largest source of remittances into the country after the US and UK.

In July, UAE announced that Kenyan small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) setting up in Dubai will get a two-year rent-free workspace in is part of a new support programme ahead of the Expo 2020 Dubai.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has also revived the discussion on the possibility of A free trade agreement (FTA) between the countries to deal away with bottlenecks around logistics and tariffs.

“We are keen on the establishment of an arrangement to simply trade between UAE and Kenya and Gulf countries,” President Uhuru said during the forum.

“I guess the simple way is an FTA and I hope it is something the countries will agree on.”

Uhuru also called for increased business partnerships in the financial service and healthcare sector.

Source: Business Daily

Rwanda the 6th safest country for solo travellers, new survey finds

Rwanda has been named as the sixth safest country in the world and safest country in Africa for solo travellers.

Switzerland topped the ranking, with Japan coming in third, the only other country not in Europe to list in the top 10 safest countries.

Usebounce, a luggage storage app, created the ranking by combining a crime index and a safety index to evaluate where solo travellers would feel safest. These indexes were made using data from Numbeo.

The rest of the top 10 includes Slovenia, Georgia, Iceland, Croatia, Czechia, Austria and Denmark.

For many people, Rwanda is still associated with the brutal genocide in 1994. But the country has become widely recognised as one of the safest in Africa for some time.

“Rwanda has invested much effort in its national security, by building competent and professional security organs,” the survey noted.

In the capital city Kigali, low levels of crime mean tourists don’t have to worry. In a 2018 Global Law and Order study by Gallup, 88 per cent of Rwandans said they felt safe to walk alone at night, the same figure as in Finland, Slovenia and Tajikistan.

The only places where more people said they felt safe were Singapore, Norway and Hong Kong.

Travel advice for Rwanda

With Rwanda recognised as one of the safest countries in Africa for solo travellers, it’s still worth noting some things to be considerate of while there.

Rwanda’s direct neighbours have experienced a lot of instability that sometimes spills over the borders. UK travel advice reminds potential travellers to be aware that conflicts on the borders with neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi can flare up without notice.

Buses are a great way to travel around, but make sure to buy tickets direct from the company you are travelling with as touts are known to try and prey on unsuspecting tourists. Similarly, cabs are a safe and reliable way to travel around the city of Kigali.

Homosexuality is legal in Rwanda and there are a number of queer-friendly spots, but there is still not country-wide acceptance and LGBTQ+ people should be conscious of remaining taboos.

And a big no-no is taking pictures of anything related to the government or military such as post offices, banks or border crossings.

When you are there

One of the most exciting things to do in Rwanda is to see the gorillas. To do this you can go on gorilla treks. The Rwandan government has worked to make guided tours safe for both tourists and the animals so it’s important to book one of these if you want to see any of the protected animals.

In a move to help the environment, Rwanda also banned plastic non-biodegradable bags in 2008. Make sure you don’t bring any into the country as you could face a heavy fine. And you wouldn’t want to be that tourist getting into trouble with officials because you had to bring a plastic bag into Rwanda.

Currently due to the pandemic, COVID restrictions are still in place for travellers entering and exiting Rwanda. To curb the spread of the virus, the country has an active curfew between the hours of 10pm and 4am. Tourists must also take a PCR test 72 hours before visiting any of the country’s national parks.

Source: Euronews Travel

Expo 2020 Dubai legacy site to become UAE’s first ’15-minute city’

The Expo 2020 Dubai legacy site will transform into a residential community once the world’s fair is over — with cycling the main method of transport.

District 2020 will become the country’s first “15-minute city”, meaning it will be possible to walk or cycle from end to end without the need for a car.

David Gourlay, director of architecture for District 2020, the name of the legacy site, took visitors on a cycling tour of the site on Wednesday. There is already a major focus on its future use, he said, with only 56 days to go until its grand finale.

“With Expo 2020 Dubai ending on March 31, we hosted this tour to highlight how the site will evolve into a fully integrated community, and a 15-minute city that offers workers, residents and visitors everything they need in close proximity,” he said.

“A big part of District 2020’s infrastructure is centred around health and well-being with the aim of promoting an active and balanced lifestyle.

“The site will feature smart mobility solutions that encourage sustainable and flexible means of movement, allowing people to travel safely and conveniently between their office and home.

“This includes a range of mobility options that link the site, such as a dedicated autonomous vehicle route, a 10-kilometre cycling track, interconnected, wide pedestrianised pathways and a 5km jogging track.”

Mr Gourley spoke after an event at Expo’s Health and Wellness week. Examples from the International Well Building Institute (IWBI), Copenhagenize Design — an index providing a ranking of bicycle-friendly cities — and the Swedish Public Health Agency were also featured.

The Expo 2020 Dubai site forms of large part of Dubai’s 2040 Urban Plan.

Much of the city’s physical expansion to accommodate a projected population of 5.8 million is focused in the southern part, with expanded suburbs around Expo and Silicon Oasis.

Once the world’s fair draws to close on March 31, work will begin on transforming the $8 billion site into a residential and commercial community. It is estimated that about 80 per cent of the structures will remain in some form.

The UK has already said it will open a hydrogen innovation centre with the UAE on the legacy site. Italy’s government said it will run a “renaissance” legacy project at the site to preserve archaeological artefacts and art recovered from war zones.

Speaking to The National shortly before the world’s fair began, chief experience officer Marjan Faraidooni said some of the largest buildings on site, such as the Mobility pavilion, were built with the future in mind.

“When we thought about the buildings, we automatically thought about what these buildings would be doing after the event is over. For this particular one — Mobility — the legacy is very flexible,” Ms Faraidooni said.

“We have worked closely with the architects on a design that allows us to shift and repurpose it as a commercial office building.”

Source: The National News