Dubai And Emirates Extend Even Warmer Welcome To Visitors As The City Prepares To Ring In 2021

January 6, 2021

Press Release

  • A raft of events, festivals, and seasonal celebrations are planned to allow holidaymakers to ring in the New Year safely and enjoy the best of the destination in 2021 in style  
  • Greater booking flexibility, automatic multi-risk travel insurance coverage with every flight, a waiver of change fees on Emirates tickets and a one month visa extension enable visitors to extend their trip to Dubai 
  • Visitors from across the globe continue to enjoy Dubai’s leading attractions, facilities, and amenities in a safe and protected environment with stringent health and safety protocols

Almost six months on from reopening its borders to international visitors on 7th July 2020, Dubai has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its residents and holidaymakers, whilst preparing to ring in 2021 in style.  

Dubai continues to take effective steps under the guidance of the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai to build on the strategic initiative to reopen the city to tourists and facilitate travel while maintaining stringent health and safety protocols. With the New Year approaching, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) and Emirates have partnered to offer all those who have already travelled to Dubai the opportunity to extend their trip until 31st January 2021 with fees for date changes waived on flights when issued in the same travel class. Emirates is also offering a host of special fares for international travellers for bookings made by 3rd January 2021 and automatic multi-risk travel insurance coverage with every flight including cover for COVID-19 medical and in-trip quarantine costs extended for flights until 31st January 2021. In addition, tourist visas for all nationalities will be extended for one month free of charge. Now is the time for holidaymakers to make the most of their trip and experience even more of Dubai.  


When it comes to New Year’s countdowns, Dubai never falls short of expectations. Burj Khalifa’s breathtaking fireworks and light & laser show will be synchronized to The Dubai Fountain Show, and promises to reflect a true celebration of Dubai. Performances by international artists such as KISS at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai as well as DJ sets promise something for everyone to enjoy.


With January temperatures hovering in the mid-20s, Dubai’s beaches are perfect for those seeking winter sun.  From untouched shorelines ideal for family escapes to active watersports hubs populated by windsurfers, kitesurfers and bodyboarders, Dubai has a beach for everyone.    


Dubai Shopping Festival is now in its 26th year and is held until 30th January 2021. Malls and shopping destinations come alive with family fun and entertainment, live concerts, unique markets, art installations and stage shows. With super sales, unmissable promotions and chances to win life-changing prizes it is the perfect place for those that want to enjoy retail therapy and exciting events all set against a backdrop of stunning light and fireworks shows.  


From comedy events to retail therapy to sporting activities, Dubai offers an exciting calendar of events all held in line with the highest safety standards. During the first quarter of 2021, renowned comedian Jack Whitehall hits the stage at Dubai World Trade Centre on 13th and 14th January, whilst breakout artist Calum Scott performs hits from his debut album ‘Only Human’ at Dubai Opera on 20th January as part of Dubai Shopping Festival.  Art buffs, literary fans and culture connoisseurs are also well catered for with seasonal exhibitions at trendy Alserkal Avenue as well as Emirates Airline Festival of Literature commencing on 29th January 2021.


If 2020 was the year of working from home, then 2021 will be the year of virtual working.  With Dubai having announced the new virtual working programme, now is the time to take the plunge and work from one of the world’s most connected cities.  Entrepreneurs and flexible workers can extend their holiday and experience great quality of life and have access to convenient facilities and resources to help them further their career or grow their business. 

His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), said: “The remarkable vision and leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai has been a huge inspiration to us, leading to the decisive and effective management of the pandemic. With 2021 on the horizon, we look forward to continuing to welcome first time and repeat visitors to Dubai, with stringent health protocols and precautionary measures firmly in place.  We are pleased to continue to work closely with our strategic partners Emirates, as well as our hospitality partners, allowing holidaymakers to experience the vibrant energy of Dubai and all our iconic attractions, fantastic culinary and shopping experiences, and exciting festivals and events with added reassurance and flexibility.”

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “Emirates has worked closely with all Dubai stakeholders to gradually restore our network and signature services, with all bio-safety measures in place. Since Dubai re-opened for international visitors, we’ve been seeing an upward trend in enquiries and bookings which reflects the confidence that travellers have in Dubai and in Emirates.   Today, Emirates is flying to nearly 100 cities across the world, providing easy access to Dubai for international travellers and offering a world class travel experience. Together with our strategic partner Dubai Tourism, we’re extending that experience with even more attractive offers, and the assurance of travel flexibility and care. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to Dubai in 2021.”

Alexander Lee, Jumeirah Group’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “The opening of Dubai in July 2020 to international visitors had an incredibly positive impact on Jumeirah’s bookings from a number of overseas markets, a trend that has continued ever since. We are attributing this to both the breadth of offer we have here in Dubai, particularly our 2km private beachfront with its extensive pool, dining and spa offering, but also the certified health and safety measures in place for guest peace of mind, including Dubai Tourism’s Dubai Assured programme. Six of our hotels in Dubai have furthermore received the prestigious Bureau Veritas Safeguard Label, which we believe has gone a long way in helping to restore confidence for international travelers. As we move into 2021, we are looking forward to welcoming more international guests to experience our renowned hospitality, in particular our culinary experiences, such as French Riviera, our French Mediterranean concept on the beach at Jumeirah Al Qasr, and most recently SAL, a chic new beach concept and striking Southern European dining destination on The Terrace at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.”

Tim Kelly, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Atlantis Dubai said: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s directive to extend tourist visas for one additional month without any government fees, represents a clear reflection of Dubai government’s generous support to help tourists to spend a stress-free new year’s holiday in Dubai.”

“At Atlantis, The Palm we are ending 2020 with a bang with the world’s largest ever live-streamed event by rock legends KISS, together with a record-breaking firework and pyrotechnic display – the likes of which have yet to be seen – while, of course, maintaining stringent health and safety protocols. In line with Emirates’ special January fares, and the events lined up by Dubai Tourism across the emirate, Atlantis is also unlocking a host of exclusive offers for guests staying five nights or more from 2nd January to 30th April 2021 with its January sale. These include an array of adventures for guests to start ticking off their bucketlists for 2021, with international guests also benefitting from complimentary in-resort PCR tests.” 

Mark Willis, Chief Executive Officer, Accor India, Turkey, Middle East & Africa said: “It is clear that 2020 has been a year of challenges for the tourism and hospitality industry, however, as it comes to an end, it is very encouraging to see some positive business levels during the past few months, especially in the Dubai market. With a portfolio of more than 45 hotels in the city, brands ranging from economy, with Ibis and Novotel, to luxury with Raffles and Fairmont, Accor properties in Dubai have seen a positive trend from local tourism with an increase in demand for “staycations”, as well as a positive increase in stays from a number of regional and international visitors. The uptake in both of these markets has been mainly possible due to the vision, planning and quick implementation by the Dubai government, which quickly established Dubai on the map, even more than before, as a safe and secure destination for tourists to visit. 

We are confident that with the ongoing safety precautions, which are being strictly implemented throughout our hotels and the city, alongside the large number of events and attractions that will be taking place in 2021, Dubai will continue to see positive signs in the market, which will also enable us to continue to open more hotels throughout the year, including the Rixos Dubai Hotel & Suites Jewel of the Creek in Deira and the SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences to name a few”.

Going into 2021, Dubai will continue to strengthen its offering for leisure visitors with new attractions and hotels in the pipeline. In addition, Dubai will see the return of world-class events and festivals including Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, and in October 2021, Dubai will play host to the first ever World Expo to be held in this region.   

About Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism)

With the ultimate vision of positioning Dubai as the world’s leading tourism destination and commercial hub, Dubai Tourism’s mission is to increase the awareness of Dubai among global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate. Dubai Tourism is the principal authority for the planning, supervision, development and marketing of Dubai’s tourism sector. It markets and promotes the Emirate’s commerce sector and is responsible for the licensing and classification of all tourism services, including hotels, tour operators and travel agents. Brands and departments within the Dubai Tourism portfolio include Dubai Business Events, Dubai Calendar, and Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment.

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