Coronavirus Pandemic

Dubai residents don't need GDRFA approval to fly back, says Emirates

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on February 17, 2021 | Last updated on February 17, 2021 at 10.34 pm
(AFP file photo)

The airline sent out emails to Dubai residents who had travelled outside the country.

Dubai residents travelling back to the emirate no longer need an approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Emirates Airline has confirmed.

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The airline sent out emails to Dubai residents who had travelled outside the country and had booked their return flights for February 12 or later stating: “Residents travelling back to Dubai will no longer require GDFRA approval.”

A Dubai resident HH, who returned from Mumbai to Dubai on Wednesday said that she received an e-mail on February 11 stating the same and was not required to show GDRFA approval neither at the Mumbai airport nor at the Dubai airport.

When Khaleej Times called up the Emirates call centre, an executive confirmed that the GDRFA approval was no longer needed for Dubai residence visa holders. The only requirement for Dubai residents returning to the city is a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

The new update, the airline confirmed, went into effect from February 12. Previously, all Dubai residents needed a GDRFA approval to fly back to the emirate. The approval was valid for 30 days only so those who were planning to return in less than 30 days could apply for the approval before their departure.

Another Dubai resident, Samir H, whose family has travelled to New Delhi and are due to return in early March, also confirmed that he had received a similar e-mail from the airline. “I had also travelled to India last week and returned to Dubai on February 8. I was required to show my GDRFA approval at New Delhi airport while returning then, however, since my family (Dubai residents) are also booked on Emirates flight to return in March, I received an e-mail on February 16, 2021 from the airline stating residents returning to the emirate are not required to take the approval,” Samir said.

The e-mail, a copy of which Khaleej Times has secured, also states: “Customers travelling to and connecting in Dubai must present specific documents at check-in to board the flight. Passengers must check the travel requirements for Dubai as well as the travel requirements for your final destination and ensure they comply with the entry requirements of their destination country if they have a connecting flight in Dubai…The regulations change frequently so check the requirements regularly before you travel.”

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