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Wed 15 Apr 2020 04:46 PM

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Covid-19: Most US expats would prefer to remain in UAE, says ambassador

Ambassador John Rakolta Jr. is encouraging Americans who wish to return home to take advantage of limited opportunities that remain to fly

Covid-19: Most US expats would prefer to remain in UAE, says ambassador

A large portion of the 75,000 US citizens living in the UAE would prefer to remain here among the global coronavirus pandemic, according to US ambassador John Rakolta Jr.

In an interview with the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency, Rakolta said that the embassy estimates that only several hundred US citizens in the country wish to return home.

“I think it [the UAE] is one of the safest places to be at this point of time,” he said. “The UAE government has done a superb job in containing the spread of the virus.”

“They are doing many good things,” he added.

While he said he is not encouraging that US citizens return home, he said that those who wish to should take advantage of the limited number of Emirates and Etihad flights that are taking place to destinations in the US through April 21.

“We want to encourage them if they want to go home,” he said. “This is the time to take advantage of it.”

Americans who wish to travel on these flights need to get in touch with the airlines as the embassy is not playing a part in arranging the voyages.

“After April 21 there are no scheduled flights,” Rakolta added. “This is the best time if they plan to go home in [the next] couple of months.”

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