UAE flies home hundreds of Emiratis stuck in virus-stricken countries

Thirty-nine flights have brought 1,743 UAE citizens to Emirates

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The UAE has flown more than 1,500 Emiratis home from around the world since the coronavirus broke out, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said on Wednesday.

The ministry organised 39 flights to bring home 1,743 Emiratis and has 25 more planned.

Emiratis still abroad can contact the ministry to arrange a flight home through a dedicated website.

A few weeks ago, 2,000 Emirati students, 150 patients and 150 people accompanying them were brought to the UAE from the UK.

Most Emirati students studying abroad have also since returned to the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said on Wednesday.

Sheikh Mohammed said those who stayed behind due to "exceptional circumstances" are receiving continuous care.

After a meeting to review the country's diplomatic missions with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and ambassadors, he said the UAE's domestic and foreign government teams were "strong".

"Caring for our citizens at home and abroad will remain a subject of great attention," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.

"Our diplomats have risen to the challenge, demonstrating high efficiency in terms of pre-empting and preparing for all scenarios.

"Our nation fully appreciates their efforts."