UAE - Scores of tourist visa holders — from countries where UAE travel was restricted — started arriving in Dubai early Tuesday morning.

Since the UAE resumed the issuance of tourist visas for travellers from all destinations, those from restricted countries, like India and Pakistan, heaved a sigh of relief. Families and businessmen, who have long been waiting for this chance to travel into the country, book their flights at once.

Abu Dhabi resident Kamlesh Tiwari welcomed his wife Preeti and 21-year-old son Pritesh at Dubai International Airport (DXB) at 6am.

Kamlesh had applied for his wife’s and son’s tourist visas just a few days ago. “They flew into Dubai from Ahmedabad. This is the first time my wife and son are travelling to Dubai.”

Both Preeti and Pritesh are vaccinated, however, Kamlesh didn’t have to show any proof of their jabs when he was arranging their trip.

“They just took the pre-travel RT-PCR test and another rapid test at the airport. A third test was done at DXB after they disembarked the flight.”

When the results were released, the family went on their way to Abu Dhabi.

“We stopped at the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border and provided all our documents including our tenancy contract. The details were updated into the system by border authorities. When we received the permission, which took an hour, we made our way home. My family will be undergoing 10-day home quarantine in Abu Dhabi and will make sure we follow all rules issued by the government,” he said.

Abdul Shameer, a businessman and a resident of Freej Murar in Dubai, was also reunited with his family who reached Dubai at 4.30pm on Tuesday.

Abdul’s wife Nusaiba and daughter Amina Rizwan had been to the UAE last year and returned to their hometown Kozhikode in the south Indian state of Kerala.

“When I heard that the news on visas being issued, with no second thought, I applied for it and it was issued in no time,” said Abdul.

Amina is currently studying in Kozhikode but due to Covid restriction, classes are held virtually. She is planning to enrol in Dubai next academic year.

For other travellers, the eased restrictions meant business.

Since Covid struck, business between the UAE and India has been impacted, but traders and merchants are hoping for good days ahead.

Aboockar Siddik, a businessman, arrived in Dubai from Hyderabad at 1.20pm by Emirates.

“The UAE is a place for opportunities. I have been visiting Dubai for business for the last 15 years. But due to the pandemic, I was not able to travel and my business has taken a hit,” said Siddik.

“I am very positive of Dubai recovering soon from the pandemic and it will emerge stronger and better for businessmen, with Expo 2020 set to begin next month,” Siddik said.

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