COVID-19: UAE residents from other emirates allowed to fly to Dubai with entry permission via ICA site

Stock Dubai airport passengers
Passengers arriving at Dubai International Airport. Airlines have posted a travel update, mentioning the requirement of entry permission from the ICA.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE residents from other emirates were again allowed to fly to Dubai from Thursday with entry permission from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) after hundreds of them faced a delay in the arrival process on Wednesday.

As reported by Gulf News, Dubai Airports had attributed the delay at Dubai International Airport to an update in travel regulations in line with the directives of the UAE authorities and stated: “According to new travel requirements, travellers holding residence visa issued in other emirates need approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to return to the country. Holders of residence visas issued in Dubai continue to require the approval of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to return to the UAE.”

Subsequently, on Thursday the airlines posted the travel update mentioning the requirement of entry permission from the ICA website for UAE entry.

In the update for UAE visa holders from other emirates on its website, Emirates airline stated: “If you hold a visa from any other emirate outside of Dubai, you must obtain entry permission from the Federal Authority.” Earlier, the airline’s site had mentioned that passengers with residence visas from another emirate did not need ICA or GDRFA approval to travel to Dubai.

Meanwhile, flydubai stated on its website on Thursday: “If you hold a residence visa issued by any other emirate, you will need to confirm your entry/re-entry to the UAE [from the ICA] before booking your flight. If you do not confirm your entry/re-entry to the UAE, you will not be accepted for travel.”

“We accept passengers if they meet the requirements for travel,” flydubai added in a statement to Gulf News.

The airlines also clarified that Dubai residence visa holders flying back to Dubai must have return approval through the GDRFA portal for return permit service.

Boarding issue

Before the clarification issued by the airlines, several passengers flying to Dubai with Abu Dhabi residence visa were not allowed to board their flights on Thursday morning from different airports, sources said. “I know of a case in which an Indian family could not fly from the Cochin International Airport because the wife has an employment visa with Abu Dhabi while the husband and their newborn child had Dubai visit visas. Since the wife was denied boarding earlier today, the husband and baby also did not travel,” said a travel industry source. With the airlines clarifying the updated travel procedure, he hoped that the family could catch their next flight soon.

Several of the passengers stranded in Dubai on Wednesday were from India, according to the Indian Consulate in Dubai. Dubai authorities and airlines had later arranged buses to transport them to Abu Dhabi.

Neeraj Agrawal, consul for Press, Information and Culture at the Indian consulate in Dubai, urged Indian passengers to ensure that they keep themselves updated about the travel protocols. He also urged them to secure the necessary entry permissions and follow the federal and local travel protocols depending on the emirate to which they are flying and from where their visas have been issued.

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