There is no doubt that the face of travel will be changed in a post-pandemic world.
Monumental shifts in the tourist industry have already caused some once-flourishing companies to go under.
While most countries are battling to stay on the line between safety and financial survival, one has the security to enact both – and they have taken it far beyond reason.
The United Arab Emirates has revealed plans to track visitors, foreign workers, and citizens in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Yes, you heard right. They want to use tracking devices on tourists!
We have already seen extreme precautions become mandatory, as Proud American Traveler has previously reported, such as Uber passengers having to sign a form saying they have sanitized their hands, are wearing a mask and will allow the windows to be kept open.
But none of the precautions we have seen thus far come close to UAE’s violation of personal freedoms- but then again it is the Middle East.
“The U.A.E. is hoping to welcome tourists back by July or September at the latest, but it’s unclear if that will include Americans,” according to The Points Guy.
Dubai is part of the UAE and was on track for its goal of welcoming 20 million visitors a year by 2020 prior to the pandemic, with 15.8 million international travelers coming in 2017 to see the elaborate architecture of the wealthy city.
Now with the $13,000 fine for violating strict coronavirus measures the “Tourism Vision Goal 2020” looks like an impossible dream.
Some of the more controversial measures include using tracking “bracelets” and “mandatory tracking apps,” reports The Points Guy.
If you choose to ignore these gross oversteps into your personal welfare, there are steep fines and public shaming to look forward to, where your name and picture will be displayed in local media outlets.
If that isn’t bad enough, those who continually refuse to inform the government of their every move while in the UAE will be prosecuted and possibly imprisoned.
The region has eased up on lockdowns, but tourists are still not welcome and residents have to be in their homes by curfew.
With over 90% of those residing in the UAE being foreigners, nine international flights have been approved, including those between London, Chicago, and Melbourne.
COVID-19 has maintained a low relatively low status in the seven sheikhdoms of the UAE, with just over 33,000 cases and 260 deaths.
The fear of contracting the novel coronavirus has given countries who crave control the opportunity to instill outrageous monitoring measures in the name of safety.
According to The Points Guy, Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief prosecutor of the Emergencies and Disasters Prosecution in the federal public prosecution said:
“Anyone, who does not install or register in the COVID-19 tracing app on purpose and anyone who causes damage to the electronic bracelet or causes its malfunction, shall pay a Dh10,000 (US$2,722) fine with the repair costs.”
In Dubai, they have taken it even a step further (if that is even possible!) and have set up checkpoints to check people’s temperature and are monitoring security cameras to ensure those who still choose to reside in the area despite the draconian rules being forced on them abide by social distancing policies.
Tourists put Dubai near the top of their travel list to see Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, or the Mall of the Emirates, where you can find the largest indoor ski slope in the world.
But do these attractions justify the tracking and monitoring of every choice you make while on vacation?
UAE already has CCTV where facial recognition technology is used in conjunction with their national ID card system, so these pandemic protocols are only giving them cause to further their plans to have complete control.
Be cautious when visiting the UAE and get informed on the recent policies you will have to abide by before you take flight – assuming you will ever be allowed back in.