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UAE flights from restricted countries: How exempted passengers can travel

UAE flights from restricted countries: How exempted passengers can travel

DUBAI: Eight categories of travellers are allowed to enter the UAE from countries where passenger entry is suspended. However, there are certain Covid safety rules and protocols in place to facilitate their entry.

For instance, UAE Golden (10-year) and Silver Visa (5-year) holders cannot just book a ticket online and fly. They have to produce relevant documents like their passport and visa page to the airline office concerned.

If all the documents meet the eligibility criteria, they are then vetted by the relevant UAE authorities and approvals are sought. Only after that can they board a plane and fly.

The same goes for businessmen/businesswomen who, apart from providing the relevant documents like passport and visa page, have to provide their trade licence too. They can travel, provided they hold an approval from the General Authority for the Security of Ports, Borders and Free Zones, and heads of higher committees of the emergency, crisis and disaster management teams of the Emirate concerned.

One of the new categories that was recently added to the exempted list was Expo 2020 Dubai international participants and exhibitors; and personnel sponsored by its organiser.

Travel agents in the UAE told Khaleej Times that they are waiting for a bit more clarity on how this will be facilitated.

“We will have to wait until the first working day after Eid Al Adha on Sunday or over the next couple of days to get more clarity on it,” Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, said.

“The relevant authorities will convey the process involved, to the airlines. The airlines will then inform us on the way forward,” he added.

Golden/Silver Visa holders

Regarding the Golden and Silver visa category holders, Ahmed said: “They have to approach the airline and then the airline takes approval from the department of civil aviation. Once every document is in order, the ticket is issued. They cannot directly book a ticket from the website. They will have to go through the airline office or a travel agent, who will guide the passenger and coordinate with the airline.”

Shishir Nair, corporate travel consultant with Bin Moosa Travel, said: “The passenger has to produce the visa copy and the passport copy as well as the document which shows their profession. These documents should be produced at the airline office, who will confirm whether they are eligible to travel or not. If eligible to travel, they will process the documents and get the necessary approvals. The charges, too, will differ from a normal priced ticket.”

Businessmen/businesswomen

Nair said businessmen and businesswomen must follow the aforementioned process, in addition to producing their trade licence. KT