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Tonnes of medical equipment and coronavirus testing kits provided bt the World Health Organisation are pictured at the al-Maktum International airport in Dubai on 2 March, 2020 [KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images]

The United Arab Emirates said today residents who had been fully vaccinated with a shot approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) could return as of 12 September from a list of previously suspended countries.

Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, is due to open the Expo 2020 world fair on 1 October after a year-long delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. The regional business and tourism hub is relying on the fair to give its economy a boost.

Organisers had previously said they expect the remaining UAE flight restrictions imposed to curb covid infections to be lifted in time for Expo 2020.

Countries from which residents can fly into the UAE from Sunday are: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Namibia, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, South Africa, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

Approval must be sought from the UAE government to return, and various PCR tests must be taken, the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said on Twitter.

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