Covid-19: Expats stuck in India pray UAE flights will resume soon
Indians waiting to return to the Emirates say they are willing to ‘wait and watch’.
A day after the India-UAE travel suspension kicked in, scores of Indian expatriates waiting to return to the Emirates say they are willing to ‘wait and watch’.
While several UAE residents had gone to India for annual vacations, some had gone down to see ailing family members or attend to bank and property work, travel agents said.
However, healthcare workers and parents of children studying in India have also appealed to the UAE government to exempt them from 10-day suspension, which began on Sunday, April 25.
Vikas Chopra, a Dubai resident for 20 years, said his 15-year-old son, Kovid Chopra, a student of a boarding school in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, may get stranded in India. “His session ends on April 27 and his flight to Dubai was confirmed for April 28. All students in his school have gone back to their respective homes, but he’s stuck now.”
Chopra said his extended family lives in Delhi and given the current situation in the capital city, he is not keen on sending his son there.
Since Kodaikanal is not a metro city, the family could not immediately arrange for his return to Dubai in the short window of time either. “For now, after his school closes, he is travelling with a classmate to Bangalore. He has the GDRFA approval that is valid till May 13,” he added.
The family hopes he can fly back to his parents in Dubai soon.
Raheesh Babu, general manager of Musafir.com told Khaleej Times, “A lot of families are stranded back home, especially in Kerala. Since schools were closed for the holidays, they [families] travelled for vacations hoping to return by the end of April. Now, all those stranded are hoping that things would return to normal after ten days.”
Babu said many families were unable to return in the two-day window since the ban announcement.
Dipti Das, a content analyst, told Khaleej Times from India, “I was supposed to fly on April 27 to Dubai from Bangalore and return to work the next day. However, with all flights to the UAE suspended, I had to reschedule my flight to the first week of next month.”
She added, “I’m not sure if the ban will be lifted by then. Thankfully, my office has given me the option to work from home till the situation is back to normal. Despite the terrible situation back home, the only solace I don’t get to lose my salary since I can work from here.
“I only hope things get back to normal at the earliest,” she said.
Several health workers from the UAE who are currently in India for their vacations have also requested the UAE government to exempt them from the suspension.
Susan Koshy, a Sharjah nurse flew home to India with her husband and daughter two weeks ago is in a flux. “This was my first vacation after two years. I came to see my ailing parents and attend to some family matters. I have to return by the second week of May. My husband can work from home, but I can’t,” she said.
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