Actually no, BA have flights operating to many of the UK’s major airports including Manchester, Bradford, Aberdeen, Isle of Man, Belfast, Dublin, Glasgow, Edinburgh & Newcastle. Choosing a mid east carrier over BA does very little especially if your end destination is not in the UAE or neighboring state/country.
If you are talking about long haul global connectivity, it works best at a major international hub. The other way it works is where the airport is served as a spoke from somebody else’s major international hub. That is what you are seeing with Dubai. However the important thing people are forgetting here is the environment because essentially people could be travelling further and their flights longer. BA started flying from Heathrow to Seoul in South Korea. If you look at the distance, which is the shortest route between two points, flying from Heathrow direct to Seoul is about 37% shorter than if you fly Heathrow-Dubai-Seoul. In fact the geographic location of Dubai does not really benefit anybody in terms of distance and environmental issues, travelling from the UK other than to places like India, because it is not well located geographically.
What BA are seeing today is that people from Manchester are flying to Dubai to connect to India. They are flying significantly longer distances than if they were flying Manchester to Heathrow. If you are concerned with the environmental argument, frankly, we are actually pushing people into less environmentally sustainable-friendly ways of travelling because the government is forcing them to transfer over other hub airports outside the UK because of the lack of hub capacity in the UK.