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Combating coronavirus: Emirates bringing back UAE residents from select countries

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on May 9, 2020 | Last updated on May 9, 2020 at 06.29 pm
Combating, covid-19, coronavirus, Emirates, opens, flight booking, UAE residents, return

(Reuters)

Only those UAE residents are being brought back to Dubai who have received approval the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Emirates on Saturday, May 9, announced that it is operating limited passenger flights to carry travellers from selected countries to the UAE.

The current destinations for return flights include Frankfurt and London Heathrow and the passengers arriving from other countries on Emirates have to undergo a mandatory Dubai Health Authority Covid-19 test upon their arrival in UAE, observe a 14-day compulsory quarantine and a follow up test before their release.

Only those UAE residents are being brought back to Dubai who have received approval the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).

In addition to Emirates, Etihad on Friday announced that it had opened booking for the UAE residents who are stuck abroad and want to return to the country. It opened booking for UAE residents stranded in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London Heathrow, Manila, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo and Toronto.

The national carrier said residents must obtain approval through Twajudi Resident service and hold a valid residence visa in order to be accepted for travel to the UAE.

Students return home

The Dubai-based carrier has brought back a group of half a dozen students from London who were stranded there following flight cancellations while their parents are living and working here in the UAE.

Parents and students thanked MoFAIC, Emirates airline and all other authorities concerned for their joint efforts to bring back stranded students.

"Travel restrictions into the UAE remain in place. (But) Emirates can only carry passengers into the UAE, who are approved to travel by MoFAIC," an airline spokesperson said in a statement ton Khaleej Times.

"Hearing news about hundreds of people catching the deadly Covid-19 infection daily in England, I was truly scared living by myself for seven weeks, and even getting out for necessities. I am very happy that I am back to Dubai and united with my family. All you need is care and understanding in this situation, which I got abundantly from the Emirates airline and civil aviation staff at the Dubai Airport. The preventive measures such as social distancing arrangements facilitated, and the courteous attitude extended by everyone around was heart winning," said Barakah Moti, a law student at Queen Mary University in London.

Undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine along with other students at a five-star hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road, Moti landed in Dubai on May 4 along with around 8 other students who were stranded abroad. A total of around 20-25 students have been brought back on two UAE flights from London.

5-star quarantine facility

A Dutch national, Barakah said students of other nationalities including Indian and Pakistani were also part of the group brought back to Dubai.

"I was transported to JW Marriott Marquis Hotel via a luxury taxi, staying at an Executive Suite. My meals, laundry and other requirements are all taken care of by the Dubai Government. I am proud that I reside in a country, which takes care of expatriates as much as their own citizens," she added.

"I was sleeplessly worried about my daughter being and staying abroad alone. I sincerely appreciate the authorities making special arrangements for bringing her back home," said Benazir Moti, mother of Barakah.

-waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com 


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