ICA approval: 300 passengers stuck at Dubai airport reach their homes

A special team comprising officials from GDRFA and the airport was formed to oversee the formalities


The 300 passengers who had been stranded at Dubai International Airport (DXB) on Wednesday afternoon have been allowed to enter the country, authorities announced today.

A special team - comprising officers of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), the airport's passport department, and the Roads and Transport Authority - has been formed to bring the stranded travellers to their residences.

The passengers were left stranded at DXB's arrival terminals because of a policy update. According to the new rule, in-bound passengers arriving at DXB and holding residence visas issued in other emirates must have pre-travel approvals from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA).

In a video posted on the GDRFA's Facebook page, the team was seen assisting residents as they boarded buses late on Wednesday. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director-general of the GDRFA in Dubai, thanked the special task force for their swift action in carrying out the evacuation.

Neeraj Agarwal, Consul for Press, information, and culture at the Consulate-General of India in Dubai, confirmed that nearly 290 flydubai Indian passengers were transported to the safety of their homes late last night.

"Late last night, flydubai arranged seven buses to transport passengers from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. We have also come to learn that passengers from DXB Terminal 3, Emirates Airlines passengers, were also transported to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain," said Agarwal.

Explaining the policy update in a statement sent to Khaleej Times, Dubai Airports said: "According to new travel requirements travellers, holding residence visa issued in other Emirates need approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship to return to the country."

Dubai residence visa-holders are still required to have approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) to return to the UAE. However, airlines operating from DXB, such as Emirates Airlines, flydubai, Air India and Air India Express, are yet to update the change in policy to their passengers.

(With inputs from Dhanusha Gokulan)


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