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UAE sees record-high daily virus cases, but New Year’s celebrations still on

For the second consecutive day, the United Arab Emirates has shattered its single-day record of new coronavirus infections, with 1,730 cases recorded ahead of New Year’s Eve celebrations expected to draw tens of thousands of revelers to Dubai from around the world.

The record figures come after the UAE said it detected its first known cases of the new, fast-spreading variant of the virus in people arriving from abroad. With an economy that runs on aviation and hospitality, the UAE has remained open for business and tourism, including from the United Kingdom, where the new variant of the virus was found. The country is home to hundreds of thousands of British expats.

The commercial hub of Dubai will press ahead with New Year’s Eve celebrations, including the annual fireworks show around the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. Police will be out in force to ensure spectators are wearing masks and adhering to other measures.

The UAE has reported a total of 207,822 cases and 669 deaths amid an aggressive testing campaign.

AP

Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel, foreground, and Burj Dubai, the world’s tallest building, in background center, seen from a plane in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
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