Dubai: The Dubai teen who was earlier stranded at Frankfurt Airport in Germany for over 24 hours is now coming home, her parents confirmed to Gulf News on Friday afternoon.
Indian expats and long-time Dubai residents Arshad and Urvi Zaheer said their daughter Miha Zaheer, 18, a first-year student at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, will board the next flight from Frankfurt to Dubai.
Gulf News earlier reported Miha was stranded at Frankfurt Airport after she was not allowed to take the connecting flight to Dubai due to entry restrictions in the UAE.
“We got a call from a UAE-based airlines in Frankfurt that our daughter Miha has been accepted on the flight and they are bringing her to Dubai,” said the parents, adding: “ We sincerely thank the airline, the UAE authorities and the Consulate General of India in Dubai and Frankfurt for patiently hearing us out and helping us in these very helpless and challenging times.”
“The airline gave Miha special care. They took her to the lounge and told her to shower and relax. She was given special treatment. We are so grateful that they are flying our daughter home – in this amazing country that takes care of all its citizens and residents,” the Indian parents added.
“We don’t mind putting her under strict quarantine once she arrives. We trust the health authorities in Dubai and we always feel she is safer here,” they added.
Miha had to travel to Dubai after her university was locked down as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and all students were asked to return to their respective homes.
She traveled from Vancouver to Dubai via a European airline with a four-hour layover in Frankfurt.
Miha’s parents booked her tickets and checked if there were any travel restrictions. There was none and Miha boarded the European airline flight from Vancouver International Airport on Thursday, March 19, at 1.15am (UAE time), an hour before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a temporary suspension of entry for all UAE valid visa holders, as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
After hearing the news, Miha’s parents checked the status of her daughter’s flight with the airline and they were assured it was on schedule. Miha had already been issued the boarding pass to resume her flight to Dubai after a four-hour layover in Frankfurt.
The plane landed in Frankfurt on Thursday at around 11am (UAE time). Miha’s parents told Gulf News they again checked with the airline and also went to the Dubai immigration counter at DXB Terminal 3. “We were assured that people in transit are allowed to travel,” the couple said.
“However, at the last minute, Miha was told she could not go to the plane as the airline has received specific instructions that only Emiratis and diplomatic passport holders are exempted from the travel restrictions,” they shared.
“Our daughter missed the flight and booked on the next flight on another (UAE-based) airline but she was again told she could not board the plane,” they added.
“Miha got stuck at Frankfurt Airport. She cannot go back to Vancouver, as borders have been closed; and she cannot leave the airport as she does not have a Schengen Visa. She was s also not allowed to take a flight to India (we Indian passport holders), because India has been sealed to anyone coming in from Europe since March 18,” the couple said earlier.