The United Arab Emirates has urged resumption of normal flight services with India and increase the number of flights, pointing out that such a measure will help in controlling the escalating cost of travel amid the ongoing Dubai Expo 2020 which is expected to have a big footfall from India.
Speaking to a select group of reporters on Wednesday UAE’s envoy to India Ahmed Albanna called for the resumption of normal air services between India and the UAE, noting that the current volume of traffic under the air bubble arrangement is just 30 per cent of the normal passenger load.
“Returning to normal air services will help in bringing down escalating prices of air tickets. Overall, it will address the difficulties being faced by people on both sides,” he said.
Albanna said that his government had requested India to lift the travel restrictions to the UAE in view of the ongoing Dubai Expo, but there was no response to it yet.
As of last night, 384,173 people visited the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai since it was inaugurated on October 1.
Asked about India’s concerns over escalating crude oil prices, he said the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and OPEC-plus countries are responsible for containing the hike in the prices.
Albanna also listed UAE’s achievements in diverse fields in the last five decades and said renewable energy, information technology, education and healthcare will be among key focus areas for the next 50 years. “We are in close cooperation with India in areas of artificial intelligence, IT among others apart from cooperation in traditional areas of oil and gas”.
He said the UAE has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies worldwide and that it has witnessed impressive economic and urban revolutions.
Albanna also informed that the two countries are moving forward to firm up a comprehensive economic partnership agreement in the early half of the next year.
The envoy further pointed out that women in the country today constitute a vital part of its workforce and actively contribute to the country’s growth and development. He said women constitute 60 per cent of the UAE’s workforce and 30 per cent of the ambassadorial positions are being held by women. “The role of women in the UAE is increasing as a major focus has been given on gender equality,” he said.
The envoy informed 44,000 “golden visas” have been issued by the UAE so far.
Albanna, referring to the newly formed grouping of India, the US, the UAE and Israel, said preparations are ongoing to hold a ministerial meeting among the four partner countries. The foreign ministers of the four countries will soon announce the “track” and areas of cooperation of the grouping. “It is an economic block focusing on business and trade,” he emphasised.