Dubai: More residents expected to live and work in city after Expo 2020 – ZAWYA

Dubai expects to witness a rise in residents and visitors after Expo 2020, confirmed the head of Dubai's General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
Speaking at a session during the first day of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Lieutenant General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of Dubai's GDRFA, said Expo 2020 has witnessed a flood of visitors from all over the world, with a daily record of 100,000 passengers passing through Dubai Airports until February 2.
"Although the number of passengers is 50 per cent of the visitors we had during peak times before the pandemic, we expect a steep rise of tourists and residents in the coming months."
He noted that Expo 2020 is a major factor why more people will visit, live and work in Dubai.
"Dubai will always be attractive to investors, especially after Expo 2020," stressed Al Marri, who noted that the mega event reflects the emirate's diligence in dealing with Covid-19.
As part of the measures implemented for Expo 2020, GDRFA has also established a dedicated office at the mega event's premises to process applications of those eligible for the Golden Visas without turning back to the administration.
"The office answers all kinds of inquiries and offers an array of services including invitations to visitors' relatives and families to Dubai and visa extension for Expo 2020 employees," said Al Marri.
"Our presence in Expo 2020 is important to ensure a rich experience to visitors coming from all over the world."
Al Marri noted that the GDRFA has achieved 80 per cent automation in transactions, reflected in the visas and permits issued and extended for pavilion organizers, employees and visitors of Expo 2020 without human intervention after following strict security measures.
"Achieving this has been a challenge, but the efficient teams at the airport have made it possible. Our duty is to facilitate the advanced tools and skills they need to achieve the success we witness today," said Al Marri.
He pointed to the department's advanced smart systems in detecting fake passports, which, he noted, increase with the turmoil witnessed in countries across the world.
Speaking of the challenges faced during the preparations for Expo 2020 amid the pandemic, Al Marri noted that the modern technologies and precautionary measures implemented at Dubai Airports helped enrich the passengers' experience.
"People from all over the world come to Dubai with peace of mind that Covid-19 precautionary measures are being followed. Glass shields, sanitizers and PCR testing centers have been installed at Dubai Airports, with smart travel technologies assisted by face recognition, iris scanners and automated gates provided a seamless travel experience," he added.
Al Marri noted that UAE's proactive approach helped achieve a quick recovery of tourism.
"We live in a country that does not look to the future but lives in the future. This, in itself, is a blessing," he said.
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