Abdulmajid Koutrach is reunited with his family at the Abu Dhabi International Airport.


Family split by lockdown reunites in Abu Dhabi, dad meets son for first time


ABU DHABI – A husband whose wife, son and baby were left stranded in Canada for four months has been reunited with his family in Abu Dhabi.

Etihad had flown the mother, Farah Oubed, and her son Adam and newborn Ahmad into the UAE capital on May 12.

It was an emotional reunion at the Abu Dhabi International Airport where the father, Abdulmajid Koutrach, saw his newborn son, Ahmad, for the first time.

“I am truly grateful to the UAE government and Etihad Airways for bringing my precious family back to our home in the UAE,” Koutrach said.

“It was very hard to be away from them for so long due to the coronavirus crisis and I’m the happiest man alive to see my beautiful wife Farah and our oldest son Adam again, and especially to meet my new son Ahmad for the very first time,” he said.

The family has lived in the UAE for more than 10 years. Farah and her sons were granted approval to return to the UAE and travelled on Etihad flight EY140 from Toronto to Abu Dhabi.

Twajudi service for emergencies

UAE residents who are currently abroad and urgently need to return to the country during the partial closure of airports and borders due to the coronavirus pandemic can register through a new service launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

As of May 13, the online service had been moved under the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website. Click here

Residents stranded abroad when flights were grounded in March have received permission to return to the UAE through the Twajudi service. On May 9, Etihad has started limited flights to Abu Dhabi for those who received permission to return to the country. Emirates also announced that it has opened flight bookings for similar flights back to Dubai.

Emirates, Etihad open flights to allow expats to return to UAE

Those with exceptional cases have been flown into the UAE since the coronavirus pandemic disrupted travel around the world, as in the case of a couple who were stranded in South Africa when borders closed. Dubai-based expats Mark and Chiara Hill arrived in the emirate on a special flight arranged by the UAE government so they can be reunited with their daughter. ICA/Expat Media

Expats stranded outside UAE: How to register to return to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other emirates

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