Dubai Airport clarifies current travel rules

Explanation was given by Major General Mohammed Al Marri, director-general of GDRFA

Dubai Airport has provided clarification on its most up-to-date travel rules amid the pandemic. For example, UAE residents who have a valid residency visa are allowed to return through any of the country’s airports, provided they get a permit from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) and a negative COVID-19 test result.

Major General Mohammed Al Marri, director-general of GDRFA answered questions given by the UAE public on social media as part of Dubai’s #AskDXBOfficial drive.

Al Marri added that even those with expired visas can return to the UAE, provided there’s no conflicting movement restrictions between the two nations.

He said: “Those who have valid residency visas but are currently outside the UAE, their return is dependent on which country they are currently in. If there are no flight restrictions between the UAE and the country they are in, there is nothing obstructing them from returning, providing they take a pre-travel Covid-19 test and obtain a return permit through the GDRFA website.”

However, people in the UAE with expired visas planning to leave the country have been advised to renew before they fly out of the country.

“Holders of expired residency visas are not allowed to exit until they renew their residency visas. If they exit and wish to return with an expired visa, it will not be renewed upon their return. So it’s best for them to renew their visas before exiting the country, to enable their return,” he said.

Passengers can choose any carrier operating to and from Dubai Airports to leave or return to the country and can enter through any UAE airport as long as they are in possession of a GDRFA permit and negative COVID-19 test.

“All airlines permitted to operate at Dubai Airports have a right to transport their passengers to the UAE and are obliged to ease residents’ process if returning and obtaining an entry permit. And at immigration, we greet our residents and welcome their return,” he said.

For people who have obtained a return permit to Dubai, but are unable to leave the country they are in due to travel restrictions, Al Marri said: “Those who are granted a return permit to Dubai, but are still unable to travel due to the airport being closed in the country they are in are required to wait until air bridges to the UAE reopen. They must then reapply for the return permit and have it approved.”

For travelling families, he explained: “If head of the family including father or mother gets approval, children are not required to get travel approvals and the whole family can return to the UAE with one approval if they are travelling together,” he said.

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