UAE Residents who have stayed outside the country for over 180 days can now return by March 31, 2021
UAE: Until the end of March, holders of UAE visas who have been stranded and overstaying overseas due to pandemic lockdowns will be allowed entry into the country without having to secure a new entry permit, according to the latest advisory from budget carrier Flydubai.
Since the global lockdown in March last year, several residents in the country have been unable to return to the UAE for months.
Under the general rule, residence visas of expatriates who opt to live outside the country for more than six months continuously will be automatically nullified. Those who wish to return after the six-month grace period will be required to secure a new entry permit to travel to UAE again.
But this may not be the case for now. “If you hold a UAE resident visa and have stayed outside of the country for more than 180 days, you will be allowed to enter the UAE until 31 March 2021,” the airline said on its website.
The carrier also advised that UAE residents whose visas expired after March 2, 2020 and was extended until December 31, 2020 will not be allowed to enter the UAE. They are required to apply for a new visa.
Countries around the world have implemented different rules and regulations with regards to the entry of international passengers, in a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus infections.
Dubai re-opened its borders to international tourists in the middle of last year, while Abu Dhabi did the same only last month. Different entry requirements, however, apply to different passengers, depending on the country of origin.
For passengers with a valid Dubai-issued residence visa, an approval from Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) is required before they can book their flight.
“Without approval to return to Dubai, you will not be accepted for travel,” Flydubai said.
Those holding a visa issued by other emirates will need to confirm their entry to the UAE at uaeentry.ica.gov.ae before buying their tickets. Without the confirmation, they won’t be able to board the aircraft.
At least two COVID-19 PCR tests, the first taken no more than 96 hours prior to the departure and the second on arrival in Dubai, will be required from travellers from certain countries in Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Inbound travellers from other countries are required to take the coronavirus test prior to departure only once.
The global travel and tourism industry suffered a huge setback last year after international passenger traffic plunged due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the worst-hit, airlines are forecast to continue experiencing deep losses this year, despite an expected improvement in performance.
Carriers could incur a combined net loss of $38.7 billion in 2021, deeper than the $15.8 billion forecast in June, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).