UAE-India flights: Teachers and pupils relieved to be heading home with ICA approval

Passenger flights from India to UAE are set to resume on Thursday, August 5

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Indian expats who travelled back home, many because of family emergencies, said they were relieved that flights would resume soon and allow them to return to their homes and jobs in the UAE.

On Tuesday, the UAE announced it would ease travel restrictions from six countries on its flight ban list to allow some residents, who are stranded abroad, to fly back to the Emirates.

The government said all vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated people in certain job categories, could seek permission to return from August 5.

The decision includes people who are in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda.

People have been here for months. We have nearly 76 teachers and staff members from Delhi Private School Dubai stuck in India
Kanak Raju

Kanak Raju, a senior teacher in secondary school at Delhi Private School Dubai, travelled to Chennai in July. He was concerned about not being able to return to the UAE but had to travel because of a family emergency.

"My brother died last year and I had to return home for some important rituals. I knew it would be difficult to travel back but this was something I could not postpone," Mr Raju said.

The UAE government’s announcement on Tuesday means Mr Raju and his family can return to the Emirates. They are scheduled to fly on August 22.

"People have been stuck here for months,” he said.

"There are some pupils and nearly 76 teachers and staff members from our school stuck in India.”

Mr Raju travelled to Chennai with his wife and daughters, who are 13 and 11.

Many residents travelled to India because they had not seen their parents and family since the beginning of the pandemic.

Saroja Manoheran is looking forward to returning to Dubai from Sri Lanka.

She had flown to Sri Lanka in May as her husband required urgent bypass surgery.

As her husband's health improved, she anxiously awaited news on when flight restrictions would be eased.

"By now 80 days have passed and finally we got the good news that flights to Dubai are back," she said.

"On Thursday I will book my ticket and hopefully will soon be in sunny Dubai."

Sunita Razdan, vice-principal of academics at Delhi Private School Dubai, travelled to Pune in July to see her ill mother-in-law. Ms Razdan’s father-in-law died in February.

"I was worried about not being able to come back to Dubai but my husband wanted us to visit his mother, and he said we would find a way to return to the UAE," she said.

"I am glad the news came at the right time as schools start in a few weeks.

"I haven't applied for the ICA approval. I hope there are no glitches in the system and it comes through."

I am glad the news came at the right time as schools start in a few weeks.
Sunita Razdan

Ms Razdan has received both doses of the Sinopharm vaccine and one booster of Pfizer and will be able to travel back to the Emirates.

Travellers must have valid UAE residency and proof of being fully vaccinated.

Ms Razdan said she is not worried about the high fares because her return ticket was booked a long way in advance.

She hopes to travel back to the Emirates on August 20 before the beginning of the new academic term.

Updated: August 05, 2021, 8:07 AM