Thousands of residents were stuck outside the UAE when borders closed to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Authorities set up an online platform, the Twajudi service, to help bring expats home and are working tirelessly during these unprecedented times, bringing emergency cases and people working in the vital sectors back first.
(*Anyone trying to access the Twajudi service will now be redirected to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship – if you’re stuck abroad and need assistance, log your details here).
As airlines increase operations, we’ve seen a number of good news stories, but there are still thousands of residents hoping to come back. Two months in, away from loved ones and unable to work in some cases, understandably, many are eager to return and the tag #bringbackUAEresidents is trending on Twitter today. People are sharing their stories, hoping to increase awareness of their situation.
9 weeks away from family, residents are hoping to come home
We have been stuck away from our homes, jobs, pets, loved ones for more than 9 weeks now! The system automatically rejects our application for entry permit – open the borders for us!#bringbackuaeresidents pic.twitter.com/N43nQ4OM0u
— Lisa (@the_lisa_way) May 18, 2020
Maleha, a Lovin reader who gave birth in Pakistan has been unable to reenter the UAE, she hopes to reunite with her husband soon
“Amidst the pandemic that has hit the entire world, I want to bring your attention to a pressing concern and would like to plead for urgent help. I happen to be a UAE Resident Expat Pakistani. I travelled back home to deliver our first baby and we (me and the new born baby) were supposed to travel back to UAE, our home on March 20th (Day after all flights were suspended). My husband, baby’s father has unfortunately not even been able to see his son. Our family is split across countries since March and it is becoming increasingly difficult to live apart. My husband is missing out so much on his first baby’s journey, and we have only been living on virtual communication since then. I must say, we have not faced such a difficult time before as a family. I urge you to please help us come out of this miserable situation”
Cheryl shared her story, she doesn’t want to be treated as a special case, she would like to know the date when her family can meet again
It’s a difficult time, particularly for those who have lost jobs
#bringbackuaeresidents We desperately want to get back to our home in Dubai. Help us like everyone else get back. I have lost my job and we have pets waiting for us. @MoFAICUAE @DXBMediaOffice @HHShkMohd @HamdanMohammed @uaegov @ICAUAE @UAEEmbassyUK @gulfnews @thenational pic.twitter.com/r1GAtQXdzw
— Chris Sage (@sagec1210) May 18, 2020
Parents are even sharing touching videos of kids, who are eagerly hoping for the return of their Dad
I have been stuck in Singapore since 2 months and awaiting for approval or further steps from UAE to remove or allow aoo residents to enter UAE. Attaching my kids video.#bringbackuaeresidents,@UAEEmbassySGP , @MoFAICUAE @ICAUAE @ICAUAE_help ,@khaleejtimes ,@gulf_news pic.twitter.com/VeswfOeuLM
— CPK (@cpkumar111) May 18, 2020
The ICA is working hard to help residents
A pop-up now appears on the Twajudi site redirecting you to the ICA. If you are seeking assistance, you’ll now be directed here where you can log in your details.