The UAE and the Maldives are in the process of creating a travel corridor that will allow vaccinated travellers to move freely between the two countries, Aminath Shabeena, Maldives Ambassador to the UAE, said during a press conference at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on Monday.
As of now, no specific date has been revealed, but Shabeena says the governments of the two countries are in discussion, and hopes that it will be completed in the next two weeks.
The plan will allow any visitors who have received two doses of any World Health Organisation-approved vaccine to travel between the two nations without the need to show PCR test results, according to Shabeena.
See below images from day one of Arabian Travel Market 2021:
During the conference, Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation, also provided further details on the destination's 3V initiative, which will enable tourists to "visit, vaccinate and vacation" in the Indian Ocean archipelago.
The project will begin as soon as the entire population of the Maldives has received two doses of a vaccination, which Mohamed projects could be as early as July.
The Maldives is a popular travel hotspot with global travellers, and the Indian Ocean archipelago was the most-favoured destination for Emiratis to travel to in 2020, according to travel specialists at Rehlaty.
“With a convenient four-hour flight time from Dubai, and no requirement for a PCR test ahead of returning home for UAE nationals [flying into Dubai] it’s no surprise that Maldives' travel packages proved the top choice for travellers," said Rehab Mansoor, general manager at Rehlaty, part of the dnata Travel Group.
Maldives has been a particularly popular destination amid the pandemic as it has a strict one-resort-per-island policy, which allows for greater social distancing. The country also announced plans to offer tourists the Covid-19 vaccine in a greater push for tourism.
It also launched the I'm Vaccinated campaign, in a bid to have the first fully vaccinated tourism workforce.
In April, Maldives immigration authorities reported it noted an average of 3,040 passenger arrivals per day.
If the new travel corridor launches before June, it will become the fifth such initiative to be announced in May.
The UAE has established travel corridors with four countries in May, allowing vaccinated residents to visit Greece, Serbia, Seychelles and Bahrain with no quarantine requirements when they arrive.