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The revised travel rules come into effect from August 11. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Great news for UAE residents who are stranded abroad and waiting to come back to the UAE.

Abu Dhabi International Airport has informed the airlines that UAE residents stranded abroad are not required to get mandatory ICA travel permit if they land in Abu Dhabi. The revised travel rules come into effect from August 11.

“UAE residents with valid visas arriving at the Abu Dhabi International Airport are now not required to get travel permit from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), says a notification sent to airlines on Monday." Sources told Gulf News that an official announcment regarding the travel permit is expected to be released soon.

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Big relief for passengers

When contacted by Gulf News, Mazhar Abbas, Regional Manager of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) in Abu Dhabi, confirmed the new development. “Yes, we have got an email notification that UAE residents travelling from abroad to Abu Dhabi are no longer required to have ICA travel permits.” he said.

Abbas said that this would a huge relief for expatriates stranded outside the UAE waiting for approvals to come to the UAE. “We are now expecting huge rush on inbound flights from Pakistan,” he noted.

The ICA approval was mandatory for UAE residents who are stranded abroad due the COVID-19 precautionary measures. Those holding Dubai resident visa are required to obtain permission from General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDDRFA). UAE residents who have visas from Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah are required to register on the smart channels of ICA to get permit to travel to UAE. Now, they do not require permission if they arrive at the Abu Dhabi Airport.

PCR tests

All other travel requirements including the PCR test for COVID-19 is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Abu Dhabi or any other airport in the UAE.