UAE says residents, citizens cannot travel abroad for tourism yet

A spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said travel abroad is only allowed currently for study, medical treatment, diplomatic missions, business and residents who want to visit or return to their home countries. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 01 July 2020

UAE says residents, citizens cannot travel abroad for tourism yet

  • Essential travel is permitted but will be assessed on case by case basis, NCEMA said

DUBAI: United Arab Emirates authorities on Wednesday said residents and citizens were not yet allowed to travel abroad for tourism and leisure purposes and all travel abroad needed a permit, as part of restrictions aimed at stemming the spread of the new coronavirus.

A spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said travel abroad is only allowed currently for study, medical treatment, diplomatic missions, business and residents who want to visit or return to their home countries.

“Essential travel is permitted ... but will be assessed on a case by case basis according to risk levels,” Saif Al-Dhaheri told a virtual news conference.

He said these were “indicative” guidelines set at a national level and local authorities would announce additional procedures.

The UAE said two weeks ago that citizens and residents would be permitted to travel abroad from June 23 under conditions that were to be announced.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE federation, has said it will allow foreign visitors to fly in from July 7, but the other emirates have not announced a similar measure.

The UAE halted all passenger flights in March and banned foreign citizens from entering the Gulf Arab state except those holding UAE residency, who required UAE government approval before returning.

Limited outbound repatriation flights have been operating to certain countries.

The UAE has recorded 49,069 cases of the new coronavirus and 316 deaths.


Haftar agrees to lift Libya oil blockade with conditions

Updated 14 min 15 sec ago

Haftar agrees to lift Libya oil blockade with conditions

  • Pro-Haftar groups supported by the Petroleum Facilities Guard blockaded key oilfields and export terminals on January 17

BENGHAZI: Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar announced Friday a conditional lifting of a months-long blockade on oilfields and ports by his forces.
“We have decided to resume oil production and export on condition of a fair distribution of revenues” and guarantee they “will not be used to support terrorism,” he said on television.
Pro-Haftar groups supported by the Petroleum Facilities Guard blockaded key oilfields and export terminals on January 17 to demand what they called a fair share of hydrocarbon revenues.
The blockade, which has resulted in more than $9.8 billion in lost revenue, according to National Petroleum Company (NOC), has exacerbated electricity and fuel shortages in the country.
Dressed in his military uniform, Haftar said the command of his forces had “put aside all military and political considerations” to respond to the “deterioration of living conditions” in Libya, which has Africa’s largest oil reserves.
The announcement comes after hundreds of Libyans protested last week in the eastern city of Benghazi, one of Haftar’s strongholds, and other cities over corruption, power cuts and shortages in petrol and cash.
Protesting peacefully at first, protesters on Sunday set fire to the headquarters of the parallel eastern government in Benghazi and attacked the police station in Al-Marj.
Police officers fired live ammunition to disperse them in Al-Marj, leaving at least one dead and several wounded, according to witnesses and the UN mission in Libya.
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011.
The country’s oil revenues are managed by the NOC and the central bank, both based in Tripoli, which is also the seat of Libya’s internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
Haftar runs a rival administration based in the country’s east.
Haftar— who has the backing of Egypt, the UAE and Russia — launched an offensive against Tripoli in April last year.
After 14 months of fierce fighting, pro-GNA forces backed by Turkey expelled his troops from much of western Libya and pushed them to Sirte, the gateway to Libya’s rich oil fields and export terminals.