Photos: Dubai-based couple ties the knot over video call; unable to meet due to travel restrictions

Photos, Dubai-based, couple, tie knot, video call, travel restrictions

Dubai - The couple is yet to meet as Fizzah is stuck in India and cannot travel to the UAE because of coronavirus travel restrictions.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Tue 28 Jul 2020, 9:30 PM

Last updated: Wed 29 Jul 2020, 10:58 AM

When Dubai-based Pakistani expat Ikram Naseem and Indian national Fizzah Sayyed fell in love and tied the knot over Zoom, little did they expect a global pandemic to play the villain in their marital bliss.
The couple is yet to meet as Fizzah is stuck in India and cannot travel to the UAE because of coronavirus travel restrictions.
Ikram Naseem, a restaurant owner, met former flight attendant Fizzah during one of her work-related trips to the UAE in December 2018.
Over the course of the next couple of months, cupid struck and Fizzah, a Mumbai native, and Naseem, who was born and raised in the UAE, decided to spend the rest of their lives together.
The couple said they had to forego the "wedding of their dreams" scheduled for March 27 and opt for an online ceremony on May 5, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since political disputes between both nations do not allow Fizzah and Naseem to travel to their respective countries, they decided the UAE is going to be the place "where they would get married and settle down".
Even though it has been two months since their Zoom conference wedding, the couple are still yearning to see each other.
"We convinced our families and by October 2019 we were officially engaged. The wedding date was fixed for March 27, and that is when the pandemic struck," Fizzah told Khaleej Times.
"All our plans were derailed. We had booked the venue, distributed wedding cards and booked caterers and my Mehendi make-up artist. Everything was pre-paid for in Dubai. I was supposed to fly down to Dubai on March 17 and that's when India announced the airport closure," said Fizzah.
The couple exchanged vows in the presence of their families and a Maulana via a Zoom conference. "I was in my home in Mumbai and Naseem said his vows from his house in Dubai," said Fizzah.
Though Indian nationals stranded in their home country can travel to the UAE, Fizzah did not qualify for the return as she does not have a valid UAE residence visa. "I was to shift into his visa sponsorship after our wedding ceremony in March. Also, I have to work since I am the sole breadwinner for my family," she explained.
"I'm stuck here in India as the UAE is not issuing new residence visas. Moreover, the Vande Bharat Mission flights are only for the old residence visa holders," said a desperate Fizzah.
The young couple are now appealing to both governments to allow Indian visit visa holders to travel to UAE so they can start a life together.

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