UAE-based Indians cancel summer holiday plans
Several United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Indian expats have either cancelled or put their summer vacation plans on hold in the fear of getting stuck amid Covid-induced travel curbs, a media report said on Monday.
The Khaleej Times report said the period between June to August are usually peak travel times for Indian expatriates, as they coincide with school summer holidays.
"However, uncertainty over the ongoing suspension on incoming passengers from India, as well as the intensive vaccination campaign for teenagers in the UAE, are primary reasons for the low demand," the report said citing travel agents and expats.
Raheesh Babu, general manager of Musafir.com, an online travel agency, said: "Peak travels to India are closely tied with school holiday seasons. In this case, the UAE has announced a robust vaccination campaign for students aged 12-15. Parents are concerned that, if they travel over the summer, their children might miss their vaccination schedule.
"Due to this, there is a high chance that school students may have to return to campus in September.
"Since the travel situation to India is highly volatile, residents are avoiding the trip because they also fear getting stranded."
Babu added that the agency has already received several cancellations on bookings.
The UAE had first suspensied incoming passenger traffic from India on April 24.
It was later extended on May 4 by the UAE's National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in light of a deadly second wave of Covid-19 currently affecting India.
Flag carrier Emirates Airlines announced an extension on the suspension of passenger flights from India to the UAE until June 30.
Currently, only a certain category of travellers, including golden visa holders, diplomats, and those with special permissions are allowed to travel. - IANS