UAE businessman pledges Rs10 million for repatriation of stranded Pakistanis 

Suhail Galadari poses for a photograph with the prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, during a meeting in Dubai on Saturday, July 25, 2020. (Photo courtesy: Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis)
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Updated 28 July 2020

UAE businessman pledges Rs10 million for repatriation of stranded Pakistanis 

  • Suhail Galadari also announced Galadari Brothers group’s plans to invest in Pakistan’s tourism sector
  • He made the commitment during a meeting with the Pakistani prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis 

ISLAMABAD: Emirati businessman Suhail Galadari pledged to donate Rs10 million ($60,000) to help repatriate Pakistani nationals stranded in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) amid coronavirus shutdowns, the prime minister’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis confirmed to Arab News on Sunday. 
Galadari is a co-chairman of Galadari Brothers, an Emirati conglomerate with a portfolio including stakes in the sectors of construction, hospitality and media. The group owns UAE’s English-language newspaper the Khaleej Times. 

“I have the utmost gratitude for him (Galadari) to donate Rs10 million to help those people that will be repatriated back to Pakistan,” the prime minister’s aide, Sayed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari, told Arab News. 
Galadari made the commitment during a meeting with Bukhari in Dubai on Saturday. He also announced plans to invest in Pakistan’s tourism sector. 
“It’s wonderful news for us that the Galadari family who are pioneers in Dubai and the UAE in five-star hotels are looking to venture into Pakistan,” Bukhari said, “We hope to welcome them with open arms and hope that the Pakistani government and Galadari family can work closely together so that we can use their expertise and investment to promote five-star tourism in Pakistan as it has some of the most beautiful diverse landscapes in the world.” 
Bukhari was on an official visit to the UAE to discuss with Emirati officials the situation of Pakistani workers in the Gulf state’s post-COVID-19 labor market. 
On Thursday, he met with Human Resources and Emiratization Minister Nasser bin Thani Al-Hamli to discuss issues related to Pakistanis residing in the Emirates. 
“We also discussed the availability of jobs for Pakistanis in UAE,” Bukhari said in a press conference after the meeting, adding that since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, around 36,000 Pakistanis in the UAE had been laid off and were returning home. 


Pakistanis in Dubai help release over 150 inmates from UAE prisons amid pandemic

Updated 13 min 21 sec ago

Pakistanis in Dubai help release over 150 inmates from UAE prisons amid pandemic

  • A majority of those who received Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) assistance were Pakistanis, but it also helped a number of people of other nationalities
  • Prime minister’s special assistant for overseas Pakistanis says PAD is the main organization helping repatriate nationals from UAE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) has helped amid the coronavirus pandemic release and repatriate more than 150 people from prisons in the United Arab Emirates.
In the past three months, PAD helped 154 inmates at prisons in Ajman and Dubai by buying their air tickets to return home and paid the fines required for their release orders to be issued. A majority of those who received PAD assistance were Pakistanis, but the association also helped a number of people of other nationalities.
“We arranged release and repatriation of 71 inmates from Ajman central prison this month. The initiative was not the first for PAD. We had also helped in release of 83 prisoners three months back from Dubai,” Rizwan Fancy, community welfare director at PAD, told Arab News over the phone from Dubai on Saturday.
The association has been working closely with UAE authorities.
“We were in process with Ajman government since the start of this month and completed the repartition this week after fulfilling all legal and medical requirements like COVID-19 testing,” Fancy said.
Those who received the assistance had been sentenced for petty crimes such as bounced cheques or overstaying. The have completed their sentences but were unable to pay release fines.
“We usually contact authorities and they share the list of such prisoners who can be released by paying small fines,” Fancy said. “We then arrange these things for the prisoners and subsequently their release takes place. We not only arranged for the release of Pakistani prisoners but managed to help in the release of 37 prisoners from other nationalities as well.”
The foreigners included citizens of Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, Iran, Nigeria, Somalia, Iraq and Cameroon.
Every year, the association repatriates fellow nationals as well as other people who reach out for help, Fancy said.
“We take immense pride in serving the forgotten members of the community. We went out of our way and ensured support for all those deserving help.”
One of the repatriated Pakistanis, a resident of Chakwal who requested not to be named, said he is grateful to PAD. “They have arranged my repatriation from UAE. They have provided me with tickets and also fulfilled other requirements. My family is also very happy,” he told Arab News.
The prime minister’s special assistant for overseas Pakistanis, Sayed Zulifqar Bukhari, said that in PAD has been the main organization helping repatriate Pakistanis from the UAE.
“None of it would have been possible if we didn’t have the support and contributions of organizations like PAD and other individuals,” Bukhari said.
“It’s due to them why Pakistan has such a strong diaspora in UAE.”