Dubai residents from India still need GDRFA approval to fly back to UAE
If you have a Dubai residence visa and are flying back to Dubai from India, you must have a return permit from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA), the Indian budget airline Air India Express has clarified.
However, residents returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are permitted entry without approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), it said, adding that ICA has recommended resident permit holders returning to the UAE to upload their data on uaeentry.ica.gov.ae so the authenticity of travel documents is verified.
The clarification seeks to clear any confusion that travellers may have following earlier tweets by the airline. On Friday, Air India Express issued a tweet saying that as per the UAE authorities, residence visa holders returning to the UAE are now permitted entry without approval from ICA or GDRFA. As it turns out, this applies only to those returning to Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
“We understand the changes may have created confusion and inconvenience for many,” it had said in the tweet, adding, “We will keep you updated.”
In an earlier tweet on Thursday, the airline had told Dubai-bound passengers, “Authorities in Dubai have revoked the decision to allow returning residents without an approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).”
It had said, “Dubai residence visa holders who are flying back to Dubai must have return approval from the GDRFA.”