Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Air corridor: why India is not on the Abu Dhabi green list

On Sunday, Abu Dhabi extended its green list of countries from where travellers can travel without quarantine.

Authorities added 13 new countries to the list, which now runs to 95 destinations, almost half of all the countries in the world.

India – a country of more than one billion people – remains notably absent from this ever-evolving list, but does that mean people cannot travel between India and the UAE?

Not quite. That's because the UAE and India have an air bubble partnership in place that means travel is allowed between the two countries, with no quarantine for vaccinated travellers flying to or from India.

However, there are some additional restrictions in place.

India and the UAE have an air bubble agreement that allows airlines to operate flights to and from both countries.

Travel to India via this scheme is restricted to specific categories of passengers. Nationals from India, Bhutan or Nepal, and Overseas Citizen of India and Person of Indian Origin cardholders with foreign passports can fly to India. Emiratis and foreigners from other countries in Africa or South America can also fly to India, but must have a valid visa.

At the moment, tourist visas are not accepted in India, but this is set to change on Monday, November 15, when any tourist visa or e-visa issued on or after October 6 will be valid for travel.

From India to the UAE, only Emiratis, ICA and GDRFA-approved UAE residents, and nationals from India, Bhutan or Nepal holding a valid visa can travel via the air corridor agreement.

Vaccinated travellers flying to Abu Dhabi from India do not need to quarantine on arrival, but will undergo a PCR test on arrival.

Travellers also need to stay up to date on the latest requirements for flying to Abu Dhabi from India. Currently, these include registering via the ICA Smart Travel Service, taking a PCR test no more than 48 hours before travel and having a rapid PCR test within six hours of boarding at the departure airport.

08/11/21 Hayley Skirka/National

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