The Pakistani Consul General in Dubai said on Wednesday that around 10,000 Pakistanis have been rendered jobless in the United Arab Emirates due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In total, around 35,000 Pakistanis have registered with the consulate in Dubai in a bid to return to their homeland, Consul General Ahmed Amjad Ali said.
The official said preparations are underway to bring back the stranded Pakistanis.
“Tourists, unemployed and the elderly will be given preference,” he said while describing the criteria for evacuation.
Ali said screening measures have also been completed for returning tourists at the Dubai airport.
He added that bringing Pakistanis back in such large numbers is a huge challenge.
Meanwhile, Dubai authorities have stated that they are ready to operate flights for Pakistanis who wish to return home and are waiting for permission from Pakistani authorities in this regard.
Dubai’s Gulf News earlier reported that hundreds of Pakistanis had gathered outside the consulate on Sunday register to return home despite the emirate-wide lockdown.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan is a big labour supplier to the UAE, with more than a million Pakistanis living and working in the country, according to Pakistani diplomats.
Since March, Dubai has been under lockdown as the UAE has ramped up measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In March, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Division Moeed W. Yusuf had assured the nation that the government was in touch with the authorities of those countries where Pakistani passengers are stuck in transit.