Indian Consulate in Dubai offers free air tickets to expats stranded in UAE following COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Dubai , Dubai
16 February 2021, 12:00 AM
28 February 2021, 12:00 AM
The Indian Consulate in Dubai has offered to sponsor the repatriation of expatriates stranded in the UAE en route to their work places in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Free tickets would be issued on a ‘means-tested’ basis to those who cannot afford to buy them.
The tickets are sponsored under the Indian Community Welfare Fund (ICWF) which is largely pooled from the Dh8 fee that Indian expats are charged for consular services.
A spokesperson of the consulate said -“We are coordinating with community groups and associations to spread the word and encourage the stranded passengers to return home.”
This follows an advisory issued by the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi last week which urged Indian citizens not to travel via the UAE to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait amidst COVID-19 travel restrictions. The missions had also urged such travellers currently stranded in the UAE to return home.
Meanwhile, Air India Express, the budget carrier of India’s national airline Air India, has also offered “a special all-inclusive fare of Dh330 to stranded Non-Resident Keralites in Dubai and Sharjah who want to return to Kerala due to the recent Saudi Arabia/ Kuwait entry restrictions.”
Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, said 150 tickets would be given out to stranded passengers on three flights from Sharjah to Kochi for a fare of Dh250. “Since there are only limited seats available, we will have to limit the offer to first 50 passengers each wishing to travel on February 18, 20 and 23,” he said.