It’s hopeful news…

There has been some promising news for the hundreds of thousands of UK nationals living in the UAE who are anxious to return to the UK. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates said that the UK should be off the UK’s red list ‘very soon’.

Al Maktoum made the comments to CNBC at the Arabian Travel Market 2021 on Monday, May 17. He said, “Our officials are already speaking and taking that very seriously; talking to the government and to the officials there to make sure that we should be very soon off the red list”.

The Emirates’ chairman outlined the fact that there are over 150,000 people from the UK who currently reside in the UAE. The change of restrictions would allow these people to travel home to see their families which they’ve been unable to since January due to the UAE being on the UK’s red travel list.

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According to CNBC Al Maktoum told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble: “I think first of all, you have to prove to the world that we are in the top three vaccinated (countries). That’s nearly 12 million people have been vaccinated so far, and in the UAE you have only nine 9.5 million people who live here. So that really should make the U.K. government think that we should be off the red list.”

Also according to CNBC, ‘Spokespersons for the U.K.’s Foreign Office and Transport Ministry were not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC’.

Currently, those who wish to return to the UK may do so, however they will have to stay in a UK government-approved hotel for 10 days at a personal cost of £1,750 (approx. Dhs8884). Failure to do so means a fine of up to £10,000 (approx. Dhs50,766).

Further to a pre-flight negative PCR test result, travellers who are returning to the UK will have to do two further tests whilst in quarantine: on day two and day eight of the ten days. These must be booked via an online portal.

Currently, the countries on the UK red travel list are as follows:

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Phillipenes
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Image: Getty/Facebook