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Syrian Airlines adds more flights to Dubai

The United Arab Emirates and Syria continue to improve their relationship after years of Gulf states shunning the Assad government.
A Syrian airline plane is pictured on the tarmac at the Damascus International Airport in the Syrian capital on Oct. 1, 2020.

Syria’s flagship airline added more flights to Dubai today. 

Syrian Airlines said that it will conduct six additional flights to the United Arab Emirates’ largest city between today and Dec. 31. The airline added more flights due to increasing demand, Syria’s official news outlet SANA reported, citing an airline representative.  

Syrian Airlines already offers daily flights to Dubai except on Sunday. These additional flights mean there will be two Damascus to Dubai flights on some days, according to the outlet. 

The move was the latest sign that relations between the UAE and Syria are getting back to normal. The UAE closed its embassy in Damascus in 2012, joining other Arab states in shunning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his government's war against opposition groups. The UAE later recalculated its Syria strategy as Russian intervention tipped the scales toward Assad and reopened its embassy in 2018.

In November, UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with Assad in Damascus. Syria sent a new consul-general to Dubai the same month. 

Airline travel is an important part of Syria-UAE normalization. Syrian Airlines resumed flights to Dubai in June. Dubai is a major international transit hub in addition to being a tourist destination in its own right.