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How to Get Your Covid-19 Related Questions Answered By the Dubai Government


Dubai. Photo: Unsplash

In an announcement by the Dubai Media Office on August 24, it was announced that a new initiative called #AskDXBOfficial would allow residents of the city to have their Covid-19 related queries quelled directly by a government official. Requiring users to use the hashtag #AskDXBOfficial to address their questions to Dr Abdulla Al Karam, chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the initiative forms part of the Government of Dubai Media Office’s (GDMO) new objective of “creating platforms that allow the community to clarify issues and concerns.”

Noting that responses would be posted on GDMO’s official platforms, the initiative has already gained momentum with the first edition having covered questions regarding immigration and travel procedures. Discussing visas, PCR tests, and permits, questions from the first session were answered by Major General Mohammed Al Marri, the Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). “All residents holding a valid resident visa are allowed to return to Dubai,” he said in response to one of the questions posed. “Once they receive a return permit from GDRFA-Dubai and obtain a negative PCR test result, they can return to Dubai through any UAE airport.”

Since the announcement, users all over the city have flooded the hashtag with questions posted to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. With questions spanning a wide range of topics, one user on Twitter writes “#AskDXBOfficial My employer is reaching out to GDRFA but they kept saying that their system is down, how can my employer help me get a permit?” while another asks, “What’s the grace period for Sharjah Visa holder if outside of the country more then 6 months?”

In a statement referring to the initiative, Senior Manager, Strategic Communications, Government of Dubai Media, Alia Al Theeb said, “#AskDXBOfficial is part of GDMO’s aim of introducing new interactive communication channels  to ensure the Government of Dubai is constantly connected and engaged with citizens and residents.”

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