Hundreds of Ghanaians in the UAE will return to their home country this week with flights scheduled from Friday.
Two flight dates were announced by the Ghanian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, which listed travel options for June 12 and June 16.
They are the first flights announced by the embassy in Abu Dhabi since Ghana closed its borders on March 22 to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Documents shared with The Nationalshowed that Emirates airline will operate the “two evacuation flights” from Dubai International Airport to Ghana’s capital of Accra.
The ticket cost for each passenger is Dh2,500 for economy and Dh5,000 for business class.
Booking and sale of tickets will go live on Monday via the Emirates website and dedicated offices in the UAE.
Last week, more than 100 Ghanian men and women visited the Consulate General of Ghana in Dubai seeking financial aid to travel home.
Many of them were stuck in the country on visit visas when the UAE’s borders closed on March 19. Others lost their jobs before or during the coronavirus pandemic.
With many claiming they were homeless and some sleeping at a nearby park, Dubai Police intervened and moved them to an accommodation site where they have been staying for almost one week.
To date, more than 450 men and women have registered with the consulate to return home.
On Sunday, an embassy spokesman said any individual wishing to travel would have to pay for the cost of a ticket themselves, but confirmed it was working to identify those that needed financial aid.
“I believe, as Emirates begins the sale of tickets tomorrow, we will be able to better identify the genuine persons [who need help with funds], especially after the first flight leaves on Friday,” he said.
Last week, Dar Al Ber Society, a charity organisation in Dubai, set up a donation drive to help secure air tickets home for as many of the group as possible.
So far, only Dh9,000 has been raised but donations are still open. The charity is hoping to meet with a consulate official on Monday to facilitate more assistance for those that need it.
In the meantime, it has been providing food, water, medical aid and personal hygiene products to those staying in the temporary accommodation.