Friday, July 10, 2020

Explained: Why flights to the UAE could restart soon

The United Arab Emirates’ top diplomat to India said Wednesday that the West Asian country was in talks with India’s Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Civil Aviation for soon starting flights to ferry Indian citizens with the UAE’s residency visas or work permits to places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, etc.

Is there demand for flights from India to the UAE?

According to airline officials, thousands of Indian citizens with work permits and residency visas have been wanting to go back to their jobs in Dubai but could not because of the travel restrictions. “We have received thousands of requests from people saying if they do not return back to Dubai in time, they will be sacked from their jobs,” the official said. These people had arrived prior to the lockdown in March and have since been stranded here with no option to fly back. This has created a pent-up demand and the people have been approaching governments of both countries to allow them to fly to the UAE.

What are the requirements for Indian citizens to fly to the UAE?

According to the UAE’s Ambassador to India Ahmed Albanna, the country is allowing residency visa holders and tourists to now enter its borders given that they fulfill two conditions: one, they need approval from the UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, which can be taken online. Two, they need to have a Covid19 PCR test done no more than 96 hours from the date of arrival into the UAE. However, despite many ready to meet these stipulations, there are diplomatic bottlenecks for people to fly back.
10/07/20 Pranav Mukul/Indian Express
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