Riyadh: The Indian Consulate in Dubai has offered help to Indians who are stranded in the UAE after the travel restrictions were re-imposed in several countries of the Middle-East region due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan tweeted, “Indian nationals going to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait who are in UAE and need help to return, contact Dubai Consulate or Abu Dhabi Embassy.”
The Indian Consulate in Dubai told Gulf News that free tickets will be offered to those who cannot afford to buy for them using funds from the Indian Community Welfare Fund.
Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi issued an advisory asking Indians to avoid travelling to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait via UAE. It also urged them to consider returning to India and plan their further travel only after the restrictions are lifted.
In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Saudi Arabia has stopped passengers travelling from 20 countries including India from 4 February till March 5, while Kuwait also banned the entry of non-citizens from February 7 till February 28.
Ariba Fatima, an expat travelling to Dubai, speaking to siasat.com over the phone said, “We were undergoing quarantine in Dubai. Returning to India is not an easy option for us but going back is safe in this situation as living in Dubai is expensive. It is a big relief for us that UAE has extended visit visa till March 31.”