Over 275,000 Indian citizens have been repatriated from the United Arab Emirates during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a statement released by the Consulate General of India in Dubai.

People who live abroad across the world have been trying to return home during the coronavirus pandemic, with many governments offering repatriation flights for their citizens despite many countries and airliners canceling flights and closing their borders.

In the UAE, over 500,000 Indians had registered to return home, according to the Consulate General of India in Dubai, which said on Sunday that over 275,000 of the requests had been successfully transported home.

There were thought to be around 2.5 million Indian citizens living in the UAE before the outbreak of the pandemic, according to various population statistics.

This means that according to the consulate, almost 1 in 5 Indians in the UAE is seeking or has already left the country for India.

More flights from the UAE to India available

The consulate added that there are currently various flights from the UAE to India available.

“CGI Dubai would like to inform all Indians living in Dubai and Northern Emirates that plenty of seats are still available on Air India and Air India Express flights under Vande Bharat Mission from Dubai/Sharjah to various destinations for which online booking can be made,” said the consulate, adding that there were around 90 flights from the UAE to a variety of Indian cities between August 2 and August 14.

More flights for the last two weeks of August are also set to be announced.

The consulate also pointed out that on top of these special repatriation flights, commercial carriers such as Emirates, FlyDubai, Air Aranbia and Vistara are offering almost 100 flights from Dubai, Sharjah, and Ras al-Khaimah to Indian airports.

Visit visas expired after March 1 need to leave before August 10

Indian citizens whose UAE visit visas expired after March 1, 2020, are required to leave the country before August 10 to avoid penalties or fines, according to the consulate.

The consulate said that anyone unable to get a ticket could contact it for assistance at www.cgidubai.gov.in/helpline.php