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UAE flights: GDRFA approval must for exempted residents returning to Dubai from restricted countries

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on August 4, 2021
KT Photo: Shihab

The countries include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, and Uganda.

Certain categories of residents stranded in six countries can travel to Dubai, the Emirate’s Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed in a notice to airlines.

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They would need to get an approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) before flying.

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In the circular addressed to airlines and private operators, the authority said that the airlines would “ensure and/or verify” that a passenger has met all the requirements prior to boarding the flight. Airlines shall not “accept any passenger who does not fulfil” the conditions.

If the airline carries any passenger who fails to meet the requirements, it will be held responsible to “return such passenger to the point of embarkation and also any other matters that may arise therefrom”.

The countries include India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, and Uganda.

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The following categories of residents will be allowed to fly to the UAE:

>> A holder of a valid UAE resident visa, who has obtained the required Covid-19 vaccination doses in the UAE and completed 14 days after the second dose. He/she must hold a vaccination card issued from a medical institution in the UAE, including a vaccine certificate available in the smart applications of government medical entities in the UAE.

>> Members of the medical force/staff including doctors, nurses and technicians, irrespective of their vaccination status.

>> Staff/employees of the educational sector, including professors and teachers, irrespective of their vaccination status.

>> Students who are currently studying in the UAE, irrespective of their vaccination status.

>> Those who are holding a valid visa, on humanitarian grounds and/or cases (i.e. family reunion), irrespective of their vaccination status.

>> Employees/staff of local and federal government entities, irrespective of their vaccination status.

>> Those who undergo medical treatment in UAE, irrespective of their vaccination status.

Travel procedure

Exempted passengers must:

>> Hold a valid negative Covid-19 test certificate issued within 48 hours from the time of collecting the sample. They must be issued from approved health centres, which use a QR code system.

>> Undergo a rapid test before boarding the aircraft.

>> Undergo a PCR test after arriving in the UAE.

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Travel protocol

>> The passenger shall submit a request through the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, for the necessary approval: https://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae/homepage.aspx

>> A holder of valid UAE resident visa, who has obtained the required vaccination doses in the UAE and completed 14 days after the second dose, shall submit the vaccination certificate/card through the website of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, through https://smart.gdrfad.gov.ae/homepage.aspx

Indian carrier Air India Express has updated its website with these protocols for passengers from India to the UAE.





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