GDRFA Approval MUST For Dubai Residents Returning To UAE: Air India Express

Ras Al Khaimah Airport
by Vaishnavi Venkataraman
by Vaishnavi Venkataraman 2591

There has been a lot of confusion about approvals for Dubai residents returning to the UAE. In a recent post, Air India Express clarified that Dubai residents returning to the UAE require approval from GDRFA. However, those returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are permitted entry without approval from ICA. Travellers must upload their data on uaeentry.ica.gov.ae so the authenticity of travel documents is verified. Meanwhile, Emirates Announces Mandatory Covid Negative Certificate For Travellers From 10 Countries. 

Dubai Residents Returning To UAE MUST Take Approval From GDRFA

The announcement comes after Air India Express issued a tweet on 14 August stating residence visa holders can enter the UAE without approval from ICA or GDRFA. The airline has now clarified that this rule applies only to those returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

In an earlier tweet, the  airline had told Dubai-bound passengers, “Authorities in Dubai have revoked the decision to allow returning residents without an approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).”

Air India announced that Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) approved UAE Residents can travel on the Vande Bharat Mission flights operated by it and AI Express. The journey comes with a host of approvals and protocols. Meanwhile, in case you weren’t aware UAE Airlines Will Now Accept PCR Test Reports From All Approved Labs In Countries Of Departure.

Step-By-Step Guide To Approvals & PCR Test

1. Approvals

There has been a lot of confusion if residents traveling back to the UAE must secure approval from GDRFA or ICA. The UAE government has issued clarification on the same. Residents who are returning to Dubai from India, must get a valid pre-departure approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).

However, residents returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are permitted entry without approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA). On that note, Here’s How Indians In UAE Can Apply For Fine Waiver.

2. Documents To Carry

For Residents Returning To Dubai

  • A valid approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA)
  • A Valid Negative Covid-19 PCR test report from a government-authorized laboratory
  • Download Covid-19 – DXB Smart App
  • Health Declaration and  Quarantine Undertaking forms to be filled and submitted at the Dubai Airport on arrival
  • Passengers will not be permitted to travel if the ICA or GDRFA approval has expired

For Residents Returning To Abu Dhabi & Sharjah 

All documents for residents returning to Abu Dhabi will be the same as for Dubai. However, residents returning to Abu Dhabi must get approval from ICA. Those returning to Sharjah must have valid approval from ICA or GDRFA.

3. Covid-19 PCR Test

Residents travelling back to Sharjah, Dubai or Abu Dhabi must carry a valid negative covid-PCR test report. The test must not be older than 96 hours, prior to departure.

4. On Arrival In UAE

Dubai: Upon arrival in DXB, all passengers must take a PCR test and stay in their residence until the test results are out. Those who test positive must undergo isolation and follow the Dubai Health Authority guidelines.

Abu Dhabi: PCR testing and temperature scanning will be done.

Sharjah: PCR testing will be done on arrival. Also note that a fine of AED 50,000 Will Be Imposed For Violating Quarantine Rules Upon Arrival In Dubai.

5. Can people with a work permit or a visit visa travel?

NO. At the moment, only resident permit holders are allowed to return to the UAE. However, UAE Citizens, Residents Can Travel Abroad For Leisure.

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