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ICA, GDRFA approval ‘not needed’ for UAE residents to return

Dhanusha Gokulan and Muzaffar Rizvi
Filed on August 11, 2020 | Last updated on August 11, 2020 at 06.30 am
ICA approval, covid-19, coronavirus, abu dhabi airport, PIA, pakistan international airlines, FAIC

(@AUH via Twitter)

Two airlines confirmed having received this notification and said they were taking bookings from residency visa holders who havenít received their approvals.

UAE residents travelling to Abu Dhabi wonít need an approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), the Capitalís airport has told airlines in an e-mail notification.

Two airlines confirmed having received this notification and said they were taking bookings from residency visa holders who havenít received their approvals.

An Indian diplomat said they were ďgiven to understandĒ that residents donít need approval from the ICA or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to travel to the UAE.

Dubai residents are required to get a GDRFA approval to travel, while ICA approval is needed for Abu Dhabi and other emirates.
Neeraj Agarwal, consul - press, information and culture at the Consulate General of India in Dubai, said all other requirements like a Covid-negative test remain for travelling to the country.

A Pakistan International Airlines spokesperson, Abdullah Khan, said the airline is taking bookings from Pakistani passengers with valid UAE residence visas. "PIA passengers travelling to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain donít require ICA approval anymore," Khan said.

Abbas Raza Dar, country manager of Pakistan's second-largest airline Airblue, also confirmed the email notification. "It is a welcome step and will provide huge relief to expats with a valid residence visa. I expect it will boost inbound traffic in the coming days and ease the troubles of passengers traveling to the UAE capital," Dar told Khaleej Times.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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