Covid-19: Indian expat travels to Dubai via Istanbul before Turkey crackdown on South Asian travelers – News


Turkey is also not on the wish list, as the country bans passengers from the Asian subcontinent.

Asim Sheikh (name changed on request), an Indian expat who flew from Mumbai to Dubai via Istanbul, Turkey last week amid the travel ban since April 24 due to a spike in Covid cases -19 at home due to chill and death second wave shared his travel experience with ‘Khaleej Times’.

With direct flights from South Asia except India suspended since May 13, Turkey has become a hotspot for quarantine centers for travelers from a multitude of countries. Asian.

However, over the past two weeks, Turkey has banned passengers from many South Asian countries due to the raging viral epidemic.

The Indians, who are residents of the United Arab Emirates and are stranded at home due to the travel ban, are trying to explore various routes to reach their home away from home in order to protect their jobs, businesses and their career prospects.

Authorities in the UAE have cleared several countries as a base for a mandatory 14-day quarantine period before they return to the emirates.

For example, Aasim, who is a medical professional working at a hospital in Chennai and holding a UAE resident visa, urgently needed to travel to Dubai to meet his parents.

He became desperate and found Turkey as a viable option to get to Dubai.

“I was in contact with many travel agents to reach Dubai. A few of them suggested Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and neighboring Central Asian countries as viable options due to the reasonable cost of living, but I thought Turkey was a better option, ”added Aasim.

Chennai to Istanbul

Many flights depart from Indian cities to Turkey via Doha, Qatar.

Aasim flew from Chennai to Istanbul via Doha on Qatar Airways for Dh 1,730. There were many co-passengers with him to other destinations in Europe and North America.

A negative PCR test report, one-way ticket and visa to Turkey must be produced at Chennai Airport to board the flight.

A 30-day Turkish e-visa for an Indian national costs around 250 Dh.

Passengers must produce a round trip air ticket, negative PCR report and valid visa at Istanbul Airport.

Aasim and his co-passengers were taken by bus to a government-run quarantine facility. “The facility was clean and hygienic. A government-run institution has been turned into a quarantine facility for transit passengers as well as Turkish nationals. It was absolutely free, thanks to the social assistance programs of the Turkish government, ”he said.

A mobile SIM card can be brought to Istanbul Airport, but Aasim said the quarantine facility is equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity.

Travelers are free to visit tourist sites in Turkey at the end of their 14-day quarantine period. “I was allowed to spend a few more days in the country, but left for Dubai as I waited to meet my mother after two years,” he added.

Istanbul to Dubai / Abu Dhabi

Documents to be produced at the airport on the way to Dubai or Abu Dhabi include an air ticket, negative PCR test report and approval from the General Directorate of Residence and Foreigners (GDRFA) in Dubai or of the Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority in Abu Dhabi.

Aasim arrived in Dubai through Anadolujet, a subsidiary of Turkish Airlines. “I paid Dh 625 for the one-way ticket to Dubai,” he said.

Aasim, who had left India on June 10, underwent a PCR test at Dubai International Airport (DXB) upon his arrival on June 26 and a mandatory 24-hour quarantine at his residence in the emirate.

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