ICA/GDRFA approval mandatory for UAE residents returning to Dubai, say airlines

Earlier decision to do away with ICA/GDRFA approval stands revoked, say airlines

  
With strict precautionary health measures in place, Dubai Airports prepare to welcome travellers and tourists starting July 7, 2020. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.

With strict precautionary health measures in place, Dubai Airports prepare to welcome travellers and tourists starting July 7, 2020. Image courtesy Dubai Media Office Twitter handle. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Returning UAE residents flying to Dubai will need a pre-approval as the authorities have revoked the earlier decision to do away with return permits, Khaleej Times has learnt.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) had announced early on Wednesday that returning residents don't need a pre-approval to return. That decision stands revoked according to the latest tweet sent out by airlines.

"Dubai authorities have revoked the decision to allow returning residents without ICA/GDRFA approval. Dubai residence visa holders who are flying back to Dubai must have return approval from the GDRFA," Air India Express tweeted on Thursday. The airline is operating the Vande Bharat flights that is carrying stranded UAE residents in India back to the emirates.

The airline said the passengers to Dubai must download a Dubai Smart App and those flying to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah must download Al Hosn Smart App.

Fly Dubai has issued a similar notice to its travel partners saying the decision of not wanting a pre-approval stands revoked.

The Dubai Airports Operations Control Centre also sent out a notification to airlines stating returning residents need pre-approval.

"Please kindly note the decision to allow returning residents without ICA/GDRFA approval has been revoked. The existing process remains whereby all Dubai residents via holders who are flying back to Dubai must have return approval from the GDRA (General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs)," the control said on Wednesday.

An official statement from GDRFA and ICA are awaited.

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© Khaleej Times 2020

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