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The UAE state news agency WAM reported that Shafiq had left the country en route to Egypt, while his family stayed behind.

Ahmed Shafiq, a career air force officer who served as the last prime minister under ousted ruler Hosni Mubarak, flew to Cairo from the Emirates on Saturday, ending almost five years of exile in the Gulf Arab nation.

On Wednesday, Shafik said in an exclusive video message to Al Jazeera that he had been blocked from leaving the UAE, hours after announcing plans to run in Egypt's 2018 election against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

UAE authorities had arrested and deported him to Cairo after he claimed that authorities there banned him from returning to Egypt to context next year's presidential election.

They say former government minister and air forces commander Ahmed Shafiq landed in Cairo on Saturday amid tightened security.

Cairo airport officials say an Egyptian presidential hopeful living in the United Arab Emirates has arrived in Egypt from Abu Dhabi.

The family and lawyer said they planned to file complaints with the prosecutor's office around Shafiq's whereabouts.

She said all lines of communication with him have been cut.

One Egyptian judicial source said on Saturday Shafiq did not face any criminal cases in Egypt.

Shafik narrowly lost to Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's 2012 election before fleeing overseas.

Charges were laid down against him, but he was acquitted of some, while the others were dropped.

The former army general was forced to leave the Gulf country, where he had been living in exile since 2012, after he announced his candidacy for presidential elections next year, lawyer Dina Adly said in a statement on her Facebook page. She did not specify who gave the assurances.

The UAE's Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash later responded in a series of tweets, saying there was "no obstacle" to Shafik's departure from the UAE.

Sissi, a former army chief, was elected president in 2014, a year after leading the military's ouster of Morsi from power. In 2011, Mubarak tasked him with forming a new government.

But his government is struggling to crush the insurgency in the North Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms over the past year to revive the economy which critics say have eroded his popularity.