My cousin who had gone on annual vacation to India gave a sigh of relief when I informed her of the UAE decision to allow expats to return (“UAE residents with valid visas can return from today,” May 30, Gulf Today).
There must be thousands of people, like my cousin, holding valid UAE residence visas, stuck in their home countries unable to return because of the lockdown measures and air travel restrictions. I am sure the announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (MoFAIC) and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) will end their anxiety and frustration.
I know of a relative of my colleague who left for India on emergency leave to visit his ailing mother in the hospital. His wife and children who are living in Sharjah were expecting him back in two days. But the very same day he landed in India, Prime Minister Modi announced a lockdown.
His mother is out of hospital, but he is stuck in Mumbai since then. His family, here, are suffering, both emotionally and financially. This will be a ray of hope for them. Hope the Indian government also relaxes air travel restrictions and permits stranded expats to return to their country of employment.