Residents who wish to return to the UAE need to thoroughly check requirements before booking their air tickets, the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) said.
Travel requirements listed for returning UAE residents include a negative Covid-19 PCR test result and checking the validity of travel through the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Residents who wish to Return to the UAE
This update comes after some residents reportedly were stranded at Abu Dhabi and Sharjah airports on Monday, August 17, the Khaleej Times reported.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced on August 12 that residents returning to the UAE do not need a pre-travel approval from the ICA to return.
Instead, residents were instructed to verify the validity of their documents on the ICA website. And while most returning residents received a green message asking them to proceed with their travel plans, others received a red one that said:
“We will consider the possibility of rescheduling your travel date after 60 days to preserve your safety. We thank, and appreciate your understanding.”
Those who received the above message from the ICA are the ones who got stranded at the airports.
Commenting on this update, travel agencies clarified that passengers need to follow a step-by-step process before booking their tickets:
Step 1: Passengers traveling to all emirates except Dubai, must check the validity of their travel documents via uaeentry.ica.gov.ae. To check, residents must enter their Emirates ID number, passport number, passport-type, and nationality.
On the other hand, Dubai residents need to get pre-travel approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).
Step 2: Once the ICA has given your pre-travel documents a ‘green’ status, you need to check the rules and regulations provided by the airline you wish to fly with. Also, do note that regulations vary from one airport to another, so you need to check that out, too.
Meanwhile, those who were given a ‘red’ status by the ICA must reconsider their travel plans.
Step 3: Next, check if there are any pre-travel approvals set by your home country.
Step 4: Undergo a COVID-19 test from a center approved by the UAE or local authorities.
Step 5: Once your test result for COVID-19 comes out negative, you can then book your flight ticket. Do take note that these test results only are valid for a period of time to be used for booking a flight.
Step 6: On the date of your travel, you need to sign a health declaration form and download the Al Hosn App on your smartphone for contact tracing purposes while in the UAE.
Step 7: Bring PPE kits, hand sanitizers, and other items for personal protection for your travel.
Important: Visit visa holders must also have insurance covering them against COVID-19.
According to travel agents, the two main categories of incoming residents in the UAE are stranded family members and those looking to rejoin work. They also noted that while there are set guidelines as of now, the situation remains to be very dynamic and sometimes people plan their travel based on information that may be a few days old.
For safe measure, it’s highly recommended that passengers submit their data to agencies and to keep checking their ICA status before their travel to the UAE.