Ross Horwitz and Kimberly Roos.


Please help us return to our UAE home, say Dubai expats stuck in South Africa


DUBAI – They flew to South Africa for the “perfect” wedding that coronavirus ruined. Now, all that expatriates Ross Horwitz and Kimberly Roos are hoping for is to return to the UAE in order to restart their life.

The South African couple reached out to for help after they could not return to the UAE, a country, they say, they have called their home in the last five years.

“We are currently stuck outside of UAE in South Africa. My wife is chronically ill and we only have medical aid back in UAE. I have also been put on unpaid leave. I hope you would be able to help us get our story out there,” Horwitz, a restaurant operation manager in Abu Dhabi, told

The couple said they have waited months to get approval from the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) in order to return to the UAE. It’s not an easy feat, with thousands of expats reportedly on the waitlist for the mandatory approval in order to be allowed entry to the UAE.

Dubai expats’ perfect wedding scrapped

The couple, who own a property in Dubai’s JVC, had flown to South Africa for the “perfect” wedding in March that they had been planning since 2018.

“Due to Covid-19, our wedding ended up being cancelled and on that very day, the UAE closed its borders and we did everything we could to get home, but it was too late – there was not enough time to fly back and enter the country,” Horwitz said.

“Now we are in a desperate situation, as Kimberly has a severe chronic illness, Lyme disease. She requires regular medical check ups and treatments and she is not covered properly for medical aid in South Africa where we are both stuck,” Horwitz said.

Without a home in South Africa, what was supposed to be a short vacation has turned into an expensive stay for the couple.

They are worried that their funds will run out while bills continue to pile up for their home in the UAE and the accommodation they are renting in Cape Town.

Hundreds of expatriates like Horwitz are stranded in the Philippines, India, Pakistan and elsewhere due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many have sent distress messages to Expat Media and its Facebook page to report that their ICA application was either rejected or still pending after months.

“Our only plea is to get home back to the UAE before it’s too late for Kimberly with her illness. Please help us return to our home,” Horwitz said. ICA/Expat Media

Where to register for ICA approval to return to UAE

1. Go to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship website or click here


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