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Rich Indians are 'relocating' to Dubai to escape Covid fury

India is currently facing the worst phase of the Pandemic that started in December 2019 in China and hit India in February 2020

Saturday April 24, 2021 3:00 PM, ummid.com News Network

Indians travelling to UAE

New Delhi: India’s rich and those who could afford are rushing to airports to relocate themselves Dubai and other destinations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to escape the fury of the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

India is currently facing the worst phase of the Pandemic that started in December 2019 in China and hit India in February 2020.

The country is adding more than 3 lakh cases since last three days and over 2 lakh cases since April 15.

The fresh wave of the Pandemic has forced many countries, including the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia, to impose restrictions on Indian travellers. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) too has announced to suspend from Sunday onwards all flights to and from India.

This is why a huge number of Indians who could afford the travel cost are planning to “relocate” themselves to Dubai and other cities in UAE before Sunday when the suspension come into force.

"Air-ticket cost skyrocketing"

According to news agency AFP, air-ticket costs are skyrocketing because of the huge rush of Indians willing to travel to the UAE.

Citing price comparison websites, AFP reported that one-way commercial flights from Mumbai to Dubai on Friday and Saturday costing as much as 80,000 rupees ($1,000), around 10 times the usual rate.

Tickets for the New Delhi to Dubai route were going for more than 50,000 rupees, five times the normal level.

"Chartered Planes too in demand"

Some of the richest in India are even booking chartered flights whereas some others who cannot afford them alone are forming groups to travel to UAE at exuberant cost.

For private jets, the amount of interest was "absolutely crazy", a spokesman for charter company Air Charter Service India told AFP.

"We have 12 flights going to Dubai tomorrow and each flight is completely full," the spokesman said.

"I've fielded almost 80 enquiries for flying to Dubai today alone," said a spokesman for Enthral Aviation, another provider.

"We have requested more aircraft from abroad to meet the demand... It costs $38,000 to hire a 13-seater jet from Mumbai to Dubai, and $31,000 to hire a six-seater aircraft," he told AFP.

"People are making groups and arranging to share our jets just to get a seat... We've had some queries for Thailand but mostly the demand is for Dubai."

About 300 commercial flights a week usually operate between the UAE and India, according to local media.

The UAE is home to roughly 3.3 million Indians who make up a third of the population -- most of them in Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the federation.

 

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