Hundreds of Indians nationals are stranded in Dubai after Saudi Arabia’s announced the ban on entry of people from 20 foreign countries including India to contain the surge in Covid-19 cases.
The suspension will be enforced on non-citizens, diplomats, health practitioners, and their families coming from 20 countries namely Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Portugal, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UAE, UK, and the USA.
To enter into the kingdom via UAE, Saudi-bound Indian nationals who are in between their 14-day quarantine in Dubai are now hit by uncertainty due to the sudden ban.
They had reached Dubai as foreigners bound for Saudi Arabia can’t enter until they undergo a 14-day quarantine in any of the neighboring countries like UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, etc. Most opted for Dubai because it’s very close to Saudi Arabia.
PA Hameed, an advocate and social worker in Riyadh, said many who completed the 14-day quarantine period in Dubai are not able to continue their journey to Saudi Arabia due to the ban. He said a majority of Indians who are stranded are blue-collar employees who can’t afford an extended stay in Dubai.
“Already they have spent a lot of money for 14 days of quarantine. Many had flown from India to Dubai with just the money required for the quarantine. Now, they are in deep trouble as they have to shell out a huge amount for the hotel stay. Dubai is very expensive and most of them just cannot bear the unnecessary burden,” said Hameed.
The Indian government has been urged to immediately take appropriate steps to secure the entry of stranded Indians into Saudi Arabia on humanitarian grounds by effecting diplomatic discussions with the Saudi government.
Earlier, the ministry on Jan 08 announced that it will lift the temporary travel ban and resume all international flights From 31st March 2021 But, last week the country has also postponed the plan to reopening its land, sea, and air borders for travel till May 17.