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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: Travel to the UAE made easy

Filed on August 13, 2020

Immigration authorities should be commended for allowing UAE residents to return to the emirates without approvals. The move makes travel easier for those stranded across the world who wish to come back to the country. Families separated from their loved ones and individuals returning to work can heave a sigh of relief. Travel restrictions imposed in March due to the spread of Covid-19 prevented 200,000 resident visa holders from entering the UAE. Many were caught unawares. A quick trip for leisure or business turned into a long nightmare. Families were split, and work suffered. Technology helped bridge the gap on the work front in many cases, but the strain on relationships was felt with people thousands of miles away from their kin.  

Stranded UAE residents now have to only update essential data including using Emirates ID number and passport details on the government website before hopping on to a flight. The UAE has also permitted visit and tourist visas holders, which should help the student community to return. There are hundreds of students, mostly boys, who do not have residence visas. With the closure of college campuses, many were stuck in their different countries, unable to be with their families in the UAE. With the pandemic under control, resident visa holders were first allowed to return. Wednesday's further easing of visa rules is set to boost tourism, the hospitality sector, and the overall economy.


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