UAE says has 'overcome' Covid crisis

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The UAE, which says it has "overcome" the Covid crisis, is counting on the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai -- which opened on October 1 after a one-year delay -- to attract millions of visitors and boost its pandemic-hit economy (AFP/Karim SAHIB)

The United Arab Emirates declared Wednesday that it has overcome the Covid crisis, recording its lowest number of infections this month since summer last year.

"I wanted to assure you all that our lives must go back to normal," said Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed in footage published by the official WAM new agency.

"There are some changes in how we work, in our families' studies or our personal lives... but we thank God for everything," said the de facto UAE ruler.

"We also thank God that we have overcome this crisis... safely, in good health and with an experience, for which we paid the price, but we learnt a lot."

The seven emirates of the UAE recorded fewer than 200 new cases of Covid this month -- the lowest figure since August last year.

While life in the UAE has largely returned to normal, it retains strict rules on wearing masks and social distancing.

Dubai is counting on the six-month Expo 2020 Dubai -- which opened on October 1 after a one-year delay -- to attract millions of visitors and boost its pandemic-hit economy.

Heavily reliant on tourism, the emirate was one of the first destinations to reopen its doors to travellers, accepting tourists in July last year, just a few months after the pandemic took hold.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi has been more cautious, leaving it until December to reopen to visitors.

The UAE has so far recorded more than 737,000 cases of Covid-19, including 2,104 deaths.

dm/kir

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