It has been 10 years since I have been staying in Abu Dhabi. The UAE has helped us in many ways and we also respect it. It has not only provided us with our daily bread but has also helped us earn a better standard of living compared to our hometown in India.
The most important aspect is the respect, love and care this country has shown women and children. I feel people here understand the bonding within a family. It is with this in mind that I’d like to draw your attention to this concern.
It is Ramadan followed by a long school vacation. All of us wait to meet with our parents and near and dear ones back home every year. While it is okay for the families who can afford the expensive air tickets, please imagine what others go through who are not able to reach their families. Air fares to India are really high, often more than Dh2,000 per ticket. A person earning Dh6,000 or less will not be able to arrange for these tickets for a family of four. We must also be prepared to have some cash in hand to spend during the holiday, let alone purchasing gifts for family.
That is after a few kind travel agents who consider our situation and allow us to pay the airfare in instalments.
All things considered, would it be fair to not be able to go back home and be with our parents and relatives?
I don’t ask travel agencies to not make profits. But arrangements could be made to offer concessions to women and children based on the number of people travelling. Airlines could also offer deals to families travelling together.
The UAE has promoted gold, health insurance and other services in draws and promotions. Why not have a lucky draw for air tickets? Airlines can also promote themselves by issuing a quota of free tickets to low-income workers.
There might be others ways authorities could come up with for people to be able to travel. All I request is that they look at ways to promote family bonding.
— The writer is an executive assistant based in Abu Dhabi