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UAE flights: stranded Indian and Pakistani expats now plan to travel through Qatar-News

UAE flights: stranded Indian and Pakistani expats now plan to travel through Qatar-News

The travel agency said that if the PCR test result is negative, fully vaccinated travelers from India can be exempted from isolation in Qatar

Anxious to return to work and homes in the UAE, foreigners stranded in South Asian countries now see Qatar as a quarantine option because inbound travel to the UAE is still continuing.

Khaleej Times learned that a small number of UAE travel agencies operating in Doha have launched package discounts for residents stranded in India. The travel agency said that it is also planning a similar package for residents of other countries (including Pakistan) facing the UAE’s suspension of inbound travel.

On July 12, Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced the reopening of its borders to fully vaccinated international travelers. The Qatar Tourism Authority stated that passengers must be vaccinated at least 14 days before the travel date.

Visa on arrival for Indians and Pakistanis

Raheesh Babu, Chief Operating Officer of Musafir Travels Group, an online travel agency, explained: “Indian passport holders can now enjoy Qatar’s visa on arrival. Passengers need to download the Qatar Ehteraz app and upload their information, including passports, PCR test results and hotel reservations. Details. After uploading, passengers will receive pre-approval within seven to eight hours.”

Babu said that since Qatar announced the revision of its immigration control list, the demand for stranded passengers has increased sharply. “In addition, we have an office in Qatar, so our operations are relatively easy,” he added. In addition, given Qatar’s proximity to the UAE and similar cultural tendencies, UAE expats prefer to be isolated in Qatar rather than in countries such as Armenia or Uzbekistan.

A senior official of UAE Air India told Khaleej Times: “India’s flights to Doha have performed very well. Doha has been performing strongly and the number of passengers has not declined. Most of the flights are operating at full capacity.”

Musafir has set its price from India to Dubai to AED 5,000 to AED 6,000 through the Doha package, including airfare and hotel accommodation. “We have already landed in Doha with two passengers heading to Dubai,” Babu said. “On-site RT-PCR testing is required at the airport and the price is 300 rials (298.1 dirhams). It needs to be paid by the passengers,” he added.

How does it work?

According to the risk level of each country, Qatar divides the countries into green, yellow and red lists.

Although India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are on the “red” list, fully vaccinated passengers can be exempted from quarantine as long as they have received a vaccine approved by the Ministry of Health.

The recognized vaccines are Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, Covishield and Johnson & Johnson. “Passengers who have been vaccinated with Chinese medicines have conditions to enter the country. Such passengers need to undergo antibody testing when entering, and those with positive antibodies are exempt from quarantine. Otherwise, passengers must undergo corresponding quarantine.” Quarantine is carried out according to the country of departure and Covid is carried out on arrival. -19 PCR testing,” the Ministry of Public Health said on its website.

Minors holding GCC visas need to be isolated for 10 days

It added: “Passengers must book a quarantine hotel when checking in for flights to Doha.” In addition, the Ministry of Health clarified that GCC nationals who have been vaccinated and visa holders who do not have a residence in Qatar, Traveling with unvaccinated minors should be subject to hotel quarantine according to country classification-green for 5 days, yellow for 7 days, and yellow for 10 days. For red-listed countries.

Some travel agencies also stated that the service is currently not available for those who do not have a visa validity period of at least 20 days, those who have been abroad (UAE) for more than six months, and those who do not have GDRFA or ICA. Agree.

‘I would rather wait and watch’

However, due to the complexity of inbound travel rules, many other agencies have not launched travel packages specifically for stranded foreigners. Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, said: “The list of rules and regulations for travel to Qatar is complex and contains some pros and cons.”

“If a passenger is stuck in Qatar for any reason, it becomes our responsibility. I would rather wait for the direct flight to reopen, and I hope this will reopen soon,” he added.

Regulations for passengers from Pakistan

If the following conditions are met, Pakistani citizens can obtain a 30-day visa exemption upon arrival in Qatar:

The passenger’s passport must be valid for at least six months.

Passengers must hold a confirmed return ticket.

Passengers must have a valid debit or credit card.

The visa will be issued free of charge for 30 days and can only be extended for a similar period once after confirming the return ticket.

Passengers should provide confirmed hotel reservations.

Passengers arriving directly from Pakistan should hold a polio vaccination certificate.

(Source: Qatar Airways)


Danusha Gukulan

Dhanusha Gokulan is from India and has been working as a journalist for more than ten years. For Khaleej Times, she reports on NRI affairs, civil aviation and immigration issues. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, economics and English literature from Mangalore University in 2008, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in contemporary media leadership and innovation at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she gets involved in singing/song writing, loves food, and is the mother of an over-enthusiastic Labrador Retriever. On her Twitter @shootsprintrite.

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