The GDRFA confirmed a few travellers were denied entry over non-compliance with entry requirements for tourist visa-holders.
Over 50 Indian nationals have been stranded at Dubai International Airport since 9pm Wednesday for non-compliance with entry requirements for tourist visa holders, Khaleej Times has learnt. Sources at the Indian diplomatic mission in Dubai, stranded passengers, and travel companies in Dubai confirmed the reports.
On Wednesday, it was reported that visit visa holders from other countries, including 304 Pakistani nationals were stranded at DXB, also for non-compliance of entry regulations.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai confirmed a few travellers were denied entry at DXB over non-compliance with entry requirements for tourist visa-holders. The UAE Immigration rules mandate that passengers must carry a valid hotel reservation or a relative’s reference, and a return ticket booking.
The authority also said that a vast majority of passengers who comply with visa rules face no delays upon their arrival at DXB. The Pakistan Consulate in Dubai said 304 passengers landed in Dubai on Tuesday on flights operated by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and flydubai.
57 Indian pax stranded
Many of the Indian passengers arrived on GoAir flights from Kannur, and Mumbai International Airports in India said, travel agents.
Neeraj Agarwal, Consul – Press, Information, and Culture at the Consulate General of India in Dubai said at least 57 Indian passengers had been stranded at the airport since last night. “The Consulate was notified of their status through our helpline. Our sources say 14 were allowed entry into Dubai, however, the remaining have been stuck there since last night,” said Agarwal.
The Consulate staff has come forward to extend their support to the stranded passengers, and will provide them with food, water, and other amenities if required, said the Consul.
“We fully respect the local immigration laws, and these rules have been in place for a long time. However, the passengers should’ve ideally been given notification before embarking the flights. To my knowledge, these rules were not strictly enforced,” added the diplomat. He said, “If there is a certain policy change, passengers should have ideally been given a two-day notification,” Agarwal stated.
Sudheesh TP, general manager of Deira Travels, said, “Several passengers from India are travelling to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait via Dubai, especially blue-collared workers. These categories of travellers will not meet these requirements.”
‘We would’ve cancelled our tickets if we knew,’ say pax
Many of the passengers said they had not had any access to food and water since last night. On Thursday morning, airport authorities provided the passengers with food coupons.
Amal Dev, one such stranded passenger who arrived on the GoAir flight from Kannur International Airport at 9 pm, said, “This is my third visit to Dubai. I just completed a merchant navy course, and my cousin found me a job in a yacht as a cadet in Dubai. I was hoping to get here and shift to an employment visa.”
“This is my third visit to Dubai. Immigration authorities asked me if I had Dh 2,000 and a hotel reservation with me, to which I replied no. Along with 27 other Malayalee passengers, my cousin and I were transferred to Terminal 3 where we have been stranded since last night,” Dev added.
The 23-year-old is worried he may be asked to return to India. “My father passed away seven months ago. He used to work here, and I came here seeking a livelihood to support my family.”
Amal and another passenger said, “If we were informed at the airport, before embarking on the flight, we would’ve cancelled our tickets and made different arrangements and come back on a later date as the visa is valid for three months,” he said.
Another passenger who sent a video recording to Khaleej Times said, “We have all the necessary documents, and we underwent the Covid-19 tests which were negative. We want a solution to this issue.”
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