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UAE tightens visa rules for Nigerians

THE United Arab Emirates (UAE) has released stiffer visa regulations for Nigerians.

The new regulations followed recent public disturbance by some Africans in Dubai.

A video had emerged last week, in which some African youths, believed to be Nigerian nationals, were seen fighting in a Dubai community and destroying public properties.

The Dubai police said it established criminal cases against some suspects arrested by its operatives during the incident, adding that they will be referred to the public prosecution for further action.

The Police warned against such unacceptable behaviour and urged the community members to report such behaviour through ‘Police Eye Service’ on Dubai Police app or by calling the emergency hotline 999.

The Force also warned the public of publishing or forwarding clips to avoid legal accountability according to article 52 of the UAE Federal Law No. 34 of 2021 on countering Rumours and Cybercrimes.

The Nigerian Community in Dubai under the umbrella of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), United Arab Emirates (UAE) chapter, swiftly condemned the incident while particularly commending the swift intervention of the Dubai Police.

In a statement, the NIDO UAE Group, clarified that the illicit act does not represent what the country stands for.

“We the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) United Arab Emirates group, which represents the interest of law abiding Nigerians in the UAE, wish to express our profound gratitude and appreciation to the Dubai Police for their swift action in clamping down on the perpetrators of the disturbing video in the last 96 hours.

“We commend the Authority and we wish to state categorically that such illicit acts do not in any way define or represent us. We are good ambassadors, law abiding citizens and therefore, we distance ourselves from those miscreants. We assure the security agencies of our full support and cooperation if the need arises.”

Not satisfied with the clarification of the Nigerian community and as a further belt tightening measure to screen those coming into the country, Dubai has updated its visa requirements by including three new conditions.

The three updated requirements are Hotel reservation/place of stay in UAE, six-month Bank Statement and return flight ticket.

While the UAE did not state any reason for the new requirement, it is believed the decision was taken to control the influx of individuals with criminal intent into the country.

These requirements are to be scanned and uploaded in the visa portal as provided to enable the applicant complete and submit visa application online.

Reacting to the development, the Director of Research and Strategy, Zenith Travels, Olumide Ohunayo, said the UAE as a country, can impose any requirement it deems necessary in the interest of her country and the citizens.

His words: “Every country has the right to introduce some consular requirements to protect their country and ensure that eligible tourists, visitors or businessmen are those who come into their country.

“The UAE has been very relaxed with their visa. It is the most relaxed of the Middle East countries. Unfortunately, we have not behaved well. We have abused it. At a time, they stopped single ladies from coming except you are 40 and above.

“I have no objection to it. It is their country. They need to do what they need to do to safeguard other tourists apart from Nigerians and ensure that their country is protected.”

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Naija Times