UAE clarifies: no change in visa policy for Nigerian visitors
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Abuja said the country’s visa policy has not changed, debunking reports in the media that it has suspended issuing three-month visa to Nigerian visitors.
An embassy source clarified that the 90-day or 60-day visa is not meant for tourists, but it is issued only to those going to the country for business.
Tourists, the official said, are entitled to 14-day visa.
The Embassy on Thursday on its Twitter handle @UAEEmbassyNGR said; “In the light of the press report published on (Thursday 4/4/2019) alleging that the United Arab Emirates has suspended issuing tourist Visa to Nigerian nationals, the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Abuja would like to announce these news are inaccurate and stresses the importance of sourcing news from its official channel”.
A tourist and travel company, Afric Holidays had triggered the misinformation, that went viral that the UAE had rejected requests by Nigerian passport holders for 90-day and 60-day visa.
“Nigerian Passport holders are no longer eligible to three months UAE Tourist Visa.
“Nigerian Passport holders are now restricted to one month, 96 hours and 48 hours UAE Tourist Visas till further notice,” the firm said.
The company made the claim in an Instagram post, coinciding with another report of five Nigerians arrested for robbing a Bureau de Change in Sharjai Dubai.
But the embassy official said there was no truth in the story.
On Friday, Afric Holidays did a recant of some sort:
“We will like to thank the UAE Embassy in Abuja for re-affirming and wading into the recent Nigerian Passport and UAE Visa Application Rejections from Authorised parties both on and offline. With this new public information, we will be able to assist all our Dubai Family Summer groups and urge them to send in their 90 and 60 days Dubai Summer visa requests”.
The travel company further advised visa applicants to screenshot the UAE embassy clarification and attach to their requests.
Some Nigerians in Twitter posts had claimed they also encountered difficulties while trying to apply for UAE visa, online and blamed the arrested Nigerians for their ordeal.
Dubai police this week announced the arrest of five Nigerians for robbing a Bureau de Change operator of Dh 2.3 million (N225.4 million) in Sharjai, Dubai.
The suspects were identified as Chimuanya Emmanuel Ozoh, Benjamin Nwachukwu Ajah, Kingsley Ikenna Ngoka, Tochukwu Leonard Alisi and Chile Micah Ndunagu.
Khaleej Times reporting the heist said the five Nigerians barged into the BDC on March 20 and smashed the glass barrier between the customers and the staff, stole the money in multiple currencies and fled.
Two employees at the exchange were injured as they resisted the robbers. One of them managed to notify the police. The Sharjah Police coordinated with forces from Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman to nab the suspects from four emirates within 48 hours after the robbery was committed.
The incident was reported at Al Ansari Exchange in Al Tawoon area. A top police official said the suspects came to the UAE on visit visas on March 18.
For two days, they studied the exchange office before deciding to commit the robbery around midnight – just before the shop was to close. On March 20, four suspects stormed into the exchange office, while one waited in a car outside. After the four suspects rushed out with the money, they fled in a car.
Major-General Saif Al Zeri Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, said the whole amount has been recovered.
“The police team reached the site within seven minutes after the robbery was reported. The injured staff members were rushed to the hospital, where they were discharged the next day,” the officer said.
The police lifted forensic evidence from the site and formed a team to crack the case. “Arrest warrants for the suspects were circulated at all ports of the country to prevent them from leaving.”
The police retrieved the number plate of the car in which the suspects fled.
Following this lead, they arrested one of the suspects in Sharjah. This suspect led the police to the others – two in Ajman, one in Abu Dhabi and one in Ras Al Khaimah.
The suspects, who confessed to the crime, have been referred to the public prosecution.