Stranded Indian expats in UAE to get free stay

Abu Dhabi: Indian expats from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, who are currently stranded in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic-induced travel restrictions, are set to get free accommodation, a media report said on Friday.

The expats, around 300 of them and mostly from Kerala, took an indirect route of flying via the UAE to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait since there were no direct flights from India, said the Gulf News report.

According to the report, they were caught off guard with the news about flight suspensions in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, after completing a 14-day mandatory quarantine in the UAE.

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Dubai Markaz Centre’s volunteers’ wing Indian Cultural Foundation (ICF) tied up with construction firm Aasa Group to arrange the free accommodation and food.

Reacting to the development, Mohammed Musthafa, one of the stranded expats, said: “We are four people working in the same restaurant. We spent around Rs 70,000 for the ‘quarantine package’ in the UAE which includes everything for our 14-day quarantine here before flying to Kuwait.”

Another expat Sreejith. K, who works in the same establishment as Musthafa, said: “We did the Covid-19 test on December 21 and the travel agency sent a vehicle to transport us from the Ajman hotel to the airport on December 22. That is when the news broke that flights have been suspended.”

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