(Bloomberg) -- Dubai’s airports chief says the number of international visitors may more than double next year as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions boosts travel through one of the world’s busiest hubs.

“We’re going to see a very sharp up-tick,” Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths said on Bloomberg Television on Tuesday. The lifting of curbs between Dubai and countries such as the U.K., U.S. and Saudi Arabia will have a “massive impact” on the Gulf state, with about 27 million people passing through this year alone, he said.

Dubai is “very confident” that from Oct. 4 the United Arab Emirates will be included among countries not deemed by the U.K. as high-risk for coronavirus infections, Griffiths added. Dubai International Airport, the world’s largest by international traffic, counts London as its leading destination.

The U.K. said on the weekend it would reduce testing requirements for visitors for more countries and recognize coronavirus vaccines administered in 17 nations, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Israel. The UAE wasn’t included in the list but Britain’s Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly, said on Sept. 17 that could change.

“There’s a minor technical issue that’s already been resolved and we’re expecting an announcement very shortly,” Griffiths said.

 

 

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.