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Qatar Airways Bans Brits Trying to Get Home from Dubai Leaving Passengers With Few Options

Qatar Airways Bans Brits Trying to Get Home from Dubai Leaving Passengers With Few Options

Brits who have found themselves stranded in Dubai following the UK’s surprise decision to ban direct flights from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had one less travel option to get home on Friday night after Qatar Airways said it wouldn’t accept new bookings from Dubai or Abu Dhabi for many foreign passengers.

The Doha-based airline recently resumed direct flights from both Abu Dhabi and Dubai following a three and a half year blockade and is still allowed to fly to the United Kingdom. Following the British government’s decision to ban flights from the UAE, Brits currently in the country were told to find their own way home via a third country and at their own expense.

Photo Credit: Emirates

Qatar Airways was a logical booking option because border restrictions across much of Europe and elsewhere mean Brits are effectively banned from flying through many other countries. Now, they find themselves rejected by Qatar Airways as well.

In a Tweet on Friday evening, the airline said it had “temporarily suspended acceptance of new bookings from UAE for the next 7 days due to UK government concerns.”

For the time being, flights between Doha and the UAE will continue to operate but only residents of Gulf Cooperation Council countries will be allowed to board. Qatar Airways did not say whether it would honour existing bookings from Brits and other foreigners who were due to fly from the UAE to Doha and beyond in the coming days.

Only days after boasting that it had become “the leading global carrier connecting Africa”, Qatar Airways also announced that it would temporarily suspend flights to South Africa and Rwanda following the emergence of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus that is highly transmissible and partially resistant to existing vaccines.

Qatar Airways had planned to increase services to Cape Town to five per week from February 1, while services to Johannesburg would have jumped to 18 flights per week from January 26. Services to Durban were also set to increase to three weekly flights from February 14.

Plans to increase services to South Africa and other points across Africa came despite a growing list of countries banning all travel from the region because of the 501.V2 variant.

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