Dubai: UAE expat children studying abroad have started to return to the emirates on tourist visas much to the delight of their parents.
One delighted father, Kapil Lamba, said his son Pranay’s return from New York on July 7 had been seamless and smooth.
“I called Emirates and arranged his tourist visa through the airlines,” said Kapil.
Pranay is a final year mechanical engineering student at the Florida Institute of Technology in Orlando.
Kapil had recently lost his job and was eagerly awaiting the return of his son.
“He had a return flight booked with Emirates for first week of May. Emirates however asked as per the government rules to book an onward ticket from Dubai to the USA in order to apply for a tourist visa. On July 1 I booked his ticket and my son arrived on July 7 night.”
Dr. Sateesh Rao, a general practitioner for a private clinic in Dubai said he was grateful for the government decision to open airports for visitors.
Sateesh’s son Adithya, who is a medical student at the American University of Antigua, was initially supposed to return to UAE on March 17, but was stranded due to the suspension of UAE flights. He finally made it home to the UAE on July 7 evening from New York. “My wife and I are part of a group of parents who have been trying to get our children back to the UAE. We were extremely worried as they did not have UAE visas. We thought they would be stuck endlessly. All this has come to an end. The group was supportive, helpful and proved to be invaluable,” he said.
Aryan Malik who also made his way home to the emirates, was reunited with his parents on July 7 night. He too flew in from New York. The second year student at UC San Diego studying computer science and maths was happy to be home.
“It was great to come back and see my parents. The whole journey was smooth. There were no issues whatsoever. Regarding COVID-19 tests, students were given the option of doing it 96 hours before departure or take the PCR test on arrival in Dubai. I did both. I am still awaiting my US test results, but the one take in Dubai airport came negative. I had self-quarantined myself on arrival.”
Malik said Emirates followed the social distancing measures really well.
“Each row only had three passengers seated as part of the measures. All in all it was a smooth return,” he said.
All the above students took a COVID-19 test on arrival at Dubai airport. They received their results within 16-19 hours.
Guidelines for tourists into UAE
All tourists must get the appropriate entry permit and also have medical travel insurance before heading to Dubai. Tourists will also be required to register details on the COVID-19 DXB App.
If you are a tourist intending to travel to Dubai, authorities have asked for a PCR test result certificate for test taken up to 4 days (maximum 96 hours) before date of travel. However, authorities added that in case a tourist did not have this result, a PCR test would be administered in Dubai at the airport along with the usual thermal screening and scan for COVID-19 symptoms.