Mukherjee and his wife
Rana Mukherjee with his wife Tetyana Polunina and baby girl Tara Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A stranded couple who were able to fly out of the UAE following a Gulf News report thanked the newspaper as they welcomed their first child last Thursday.

Tara Sohia Mukerjee was born at a hospital in Bengaluru, India, on May 28 bringing joy to her parents who had nowhere to go until recently.

Indian citizen Rana Mukherjee and his Ukrainian wife Tetyana Polunina, who was then pregnant, were looking to leave the UAE as their residence visas had expired. They had booked flight tickets to the US for March 17.

However, they found themselves in a bind when Polunina was not allowed to board the plane to the US from Abu Dhabi because of her advanced pregnancy. “This left us in a quandary. We couldn’t remain in the UAE as we didn’t have valid visas. India was out of bounds as my wife’s OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) application had not been approved and Ukraine was ruled out as it had closed entry for foreign nationals to contain the spread of coronavirus,” recalled Mukherjee who ran a tech firm in Dubai.

Subsequenty, the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi issued an emergency visa to Polunina allowing her to travel to India under “compelling circumstances” after Gulf News reported the plight of the couple who had to spend a night at the airport.

New dad Mukherjee said both the child and mother are doing fine.

“As we welcome our little bundle of joy, we would like to once again thank Gulf News for highlighting our story and the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi for issuing the emergency visa to my wife. I am also grateful to the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Bengaluru for extending my wife’s visit by six months,” he said.