When will UAE flights resume? Emirates and Etihad on standby to return stranded residents

Airlines schedule flights from Thursday as thousands apply for permission to return home

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Latest: Dubai residents stuck abroad need GDRFA and ICA approval to return

The UAE's two main airlines are preparing to resume passenger flights from six countries on Thursday after a coronavirus-imposed travel ban was eased.

Emirates and Etihad said they were working on schedules for services from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda, but were awaiting clarification from the authorities.

"We will publish details of the latest protocols and requirements on our travel requirements page, as soon as these are available," Emirates said.

Emirates had several flights from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to Dubai on its website on Thursday. Most one-way ticket prices started from about Dh1,000.

These included two flights from Chennai, leaving at 4am and 9.50am, and three flights from Mumbai to DXB at 4.30am, 10.10am and 7.20pm. Two flights from Delhi were listed as departing at 11am and 4.15pm on Thursday.

Other Emirates flights from Pakistan are available from Karachi and Peshawar to Dubai on Thursday. One flight leaves Karachi at 3.25am and another at 12.20pm, while a flight from Peshawar is available from 9am, landing in Dubai at 11.20am.

Flights from Sri Lanka are also available with Emirates. Those looking to return to Dubai can book on the 10.05am flight from Colombo on Thursday, or the 3.15am flight on Friday, August 6 arriving at 6am.

Etihad said: "As some restrictions will ease from August 5, we are working to resume flights as soon as possible for eligible guests to travel to the UAE and for transit."

On Tuesday, the government said fully vaccinated UAE residents from those countries can return – as long as they were vaccinated in the Emirates.

In addition, unvaccinated people stuck abroad who are in key job categories, can also apply to return.

Officials referred to an application for permission from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website.

The ICA permission to return link can be found here. Passengers are required to upload a picture of their residency visa and Emirates ID, along with a recent PCR test and vaccination certificate.

Vaccination certificates can be downloaded from the Seha and Dubai Health Authority applications.

Indian expats travel far and wide to quarantine in green list countries - in pictures

Emirates reiterated that eligible customers will only be allowed to transit through UAE from the countries below:




South Africa



Unvaccinated people in certain job categories can also return

There are further exemptions that cover people who are not vaccinated. They include medical workers, teachers at schools and universities in the Emirates, students, residents with extenuating circumstances, patients undergoing medical treatment in the UAE and employees who work for federal or local government agencies.

Updated: August 04, 2021, 1:03 PM