The Policy Times Dhaka Bureau (June 3) :
From Thursday (June 3), more than 300 Saudi Arabian-listed local travel agents will be able to book hotels in Saudi Arabia through Saudi Airlines’ financial and software channels. This has removed the problem of institutional quarantine for Bangladeshi nationals living in Saudi Arabia to go to Saudi Arabia from Bangladesh.
Moreover, the Saudi Airlines authorities have agreed to re-issue tickets free of charge to expatriates who have missed flights due to hotel bookings since May 20, 2021. Tickets can be rescheduled from the Saudi Airlines office at Sonargaon Hotel in Karwan Bazar as well as from travel agents.
In addition, from now on, those who come to the country by purchasing Saudi Airlines up-down tickets from Saudi Arabia will be able to re-confirm the ticket or change the date from the listed travel agents located in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, and other cities. This reduced the need to come to the Saudi Airlines office in Dhaka’s Karwan Bazar from remote areas of the country.
Note that travel agents have to pay a maximum of Rs 2,000 for hotel booking and a maximum of Rs 500 for the ticket reissue.
In order to prevent the spread of the epidemic, the Saudi government issued various travel guidelines on May 18, 2021, which came into effect on May 20, 2021. According to him, foreign workers who have not received two doses of the corona vaccine in their home country or one dose of the vaccine while in Saudi Arabia are required to observe formal quarantine in certain hotels in order to travel to Saudi Arabia.
As a result, the Saudi Arabian expatriates who were on holiday in Bangladesh could not book a hotel due to various reasons due to the severe financial crisis as well as institutional quarantine. In particular, most of the expatriate workers could not book a hotel as they did not have an international credit card as had to pay the full amount at the time of hotel booking. Although the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment decided to provide financial assistance of Tk 25,000 to the expatriates to solve this problem, the expatriates could not book a hotel. In this context, the Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment has formed a quick response team to solve all the problems of the expatriates quickly. The team has resolved the issue after holding regular meetings with Saudi Airlines and the Association of Travel Agencies Bangladesh (ATAB)