MANGALURU: Hundreds of Indians are stranded in Dubai following Saudi Arabia’s temporary ban on the entry of people from 20 foreign countries, including India, in order to contain the surge in Covid-19 cases.Saudi-bound Indians who had already left their home country and those who were eager to finish their 14-day quarantine in Dubai in order to enter Saudi are now hit by uncertainty.Indians who had reached Dubai as foreigners bound to Saudi Arabia cannot enter the kingdom unless they undergo a 14-day quarantine in any one of the bordering countries such as UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait.
PA Hameed, an advocate and social worker in Riyadh , said many who completed the 14-day quarantine period in Dubai Wednesday onwards have not able to continue their journey to Saudi owing to the ban. He said a majority of the Indians stranded are blue collar employees who cannot afford an extended stay in Dubai.
“They have already spent a huge amount for 14-day quarantine. Many had flown from India to Dubai with just the money required for the quarantine. Now, they are in deep trouble as they have to shell out a huge amount of money for hotel stay. Dubai is a very expensive place and most of them cannot bear this burden,” said Hameed.
He has also written a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar seeking his intervention in order to bail out the Indians from the crisis. The letter says those stranded include families, children and pregnant women. Indian government has been requested to immediately take appropriate steps to secure the entry of stranded Indians into Saudi on humanitarian grounds by effecting diplomatic discussions with the Saudi Arabian government.
Sufiyan, who hails from Mangaluru and works as a labourer in Saudi Arabia, said he had travelled to Dubai after taking a loan from his relatives. “Now, I am stuck in Dubai and I do not have enough money for this extended stay,” he said.