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Qatar serves as stop-over destination for stranded UAE resident

29 July 2021

Several UAE residents, stranded in their home countries are looking at Qatar and Ethiopia as quarantine stopover destination to return to the UAE. 

So far, several stranded UAE residents in India, and other countries on the red-list have been flying to Balkan countries, Russia and southern Europe, spend 14 days there and then board a flight to the UAE. Ethiopia too, belongs to the list of favorites. 

However, ever-since 12th July, when Qatar announced changes to its travel and quarantine policy, the UAE residents have been considering Doha as a good option. 

Travel agents in India and in the UAE have revealed that queries for bookings of package trips to Dubai through Qatar have increased over the past few weeks. 

Indian nationals with UAE residency can get a 30-day pre-approved visa-on-arrival in Qatar. They have to show proof of a 14-day hotel booking and will have to undergo a PCR test on arrival. 

Qatar is just an hour away from the UAE via flight, and has recently opened its borders to vaccinated tourists. 

As per the new rules, passengers entering the country from red-list countries will have to undergo mandatory 10-day quarantine, and a repeat PCR test on arrival in a hotel, and on the ninth day at the expense of the traveller. The passenger can come out of quarantine if the result is negative. But, a traveller to the UAE, will have to wait for another four days, undergo another PCR test (not less than 48 hours prior to boarding the flight.) 

According to travel portal musafir.com, Qatar scores on two fronts – shorter travel time from India with flight time between 3.5 hours to 4 hours from Delhi and Mumbai to Doha, Qatar, and from thereon, UAE is just an hour-long flight. Moreover, there are cheaper and affordable packages, in comparison to flying to the UAE via Europe. 

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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