Travelers from major South Asian countries may have to wait until they can get to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), after the Gulf country extended the ban on international flights from India, Bangladesh, from Pakistan and Sri Lanka due to concerns over the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.
Restrictions on travelers from these countries apply to all types of visas, meaning even expats on business visas hoping to return to the UAE should wait.
The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority banned inbound flights between India and Dubai on April 24, when the deadly second wave of the virus literally crippled the country.
It was followed by the United Arab Emirates’ flagship carrier, Etihad Airlines, which has suspended flights from six countries, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, since July 18.
It has, however, exempted UAE nationals, diplomats and “Golden Visa” holders if they produce a negative PCT test report when boarding their flights.
Emirates further said flights from India and Pakistan were subject to “government review” and their resumption would require clearance.
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Moreover, even as Etihad Airways, the UAE’s second flagship carrier, initially planned to resume flight operations to India on July 31, there is no confirmation from the government yet.
After Dubai reopened to international tourists on July 7, 2020, it received 3.7 million visitors over the following 11 months.