Dubai residents from India still need GDRFA approval to fly back to UAE, clarifies Air India Express

Indonesia is reviewing a plan to reopen its tourist areas to foreign visitors amid concerns that such a move could compromise the country’s effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir said.

Thohir, who is overseeing the daily operations of the country’s coronavirus taskforce, was responding to a question if the government will go ahead with a plan to reopen Bali, Indonesia’s most popular tourist spot, on Sept. 11 as scheduled.

“We don’t want that the program to make Indonesia healthy becomes compromised by the plan to allow foreign tourists to come, and it creates possible new clusters,” Thohir said in an online discussion on Saturday. “Therefore, the committee has decided to review this plan to allow foreign tourists to come.”

Foreign holidaymakers, who generate billions of dollars in revenue, remain a critical part of Indonesia’s economy, he said. The world’s fourth-most populous nation remains under the grip of the pandemic with the number of cases quintupling since the end of May.

Dubai: If you have a Dubai residence visa and are flying back to Dubai from India, you must have a return permit from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA), the Indian budget airline Air India Express has clarified.

However, residents returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are permitted entry without approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), it said, adding that ICA has recommended resident permit holders returning to the UAE to upload their data on so the authenticity of travel documents is verified.

The clarification seeks to clear any confusion that travellers may have following earlier tweets by the airline.

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On Friday, Air India Express issued a tweet saying that as per the UAE authorities, residence visa holders returning to the UAE are now permitted entry without approval from ICA or GDRFA. As it turns out, this applies only to those returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

“We understand the changes may have created confusion and inconvenience for many,” it had said in the tweet, adding, “We will keep you updated.”

In an earlier tweet on Thursday, the  airline had told Dubai-bound passengers, “Authorities in Dubai have revoked the decision to allow returning residents without an approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).”

It had said, “Dubai residence visa holders who are flying back to Dubai must have return approval from the GDRFA.”

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