On Friday March 27, the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in the United Arab Emirates facilitated the evacuation of 26 American citizens on a flight organized by the UAE Government and operated by Etihad Airways. Some of the Americans had been stuck at Dubai International Airport and had no options for onward commercial flights and no legal way to enter the UAE. Others were U.S. citizens in the UAE who had requested assistance with repatriation to the United States from the Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General in Dubai. The flight from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC departed at 21:10 UAE and arrived at 02:54 EDT on Saturday, March 28.
Earlier on March 27, Consul General Dubai Philip Frayne organized the exit and transfer of eight stranded U.S. citizens from Dubai International Airport to Abu Dhabi. That same evening, Ambassador John Rakolta Jr and Mrs. Terry Rakolta met with the U.S. citizens at Abu Dhabi International Airport before their departure. Ambassador Rakolta acknowledged the extraordinary efforts of Etihad Airways, which provided the repatriation flight for the travelers. “We are deeply grateful to the government of the United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways for their extraordinary generosity in these challenging circumstances. This is another remarkable example of the depth of our friendship and cooperation with the UAE. Our American diplomats worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dubai International Airport, and Abu Dhabi International Airport to get these Americans home. American diplomats work with local partners in the UAE and around the world to ensure the safety of our citizens whenever they need assistance.”
The U.S. Mission in the UAE strongly encourages all U.S. citizens in the UAE to register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov.