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FAKE NEWS ALERT: Nigeria NOT excluded from Dubai’s 5-year multi-entry tourist visa, says official

FAKE NEWS ALERT: Nigeria NOT excluded from Dubai’s 5-year multi-entry tourist visa, says official
March 13
09:58 2024

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), says Nigeria is not excluded from its 5-year multiple-entry tourist visa.

A social media post announcing the city’s visa category stirred claims on the internet.

In a video posted to his Instagram page last week, Rizwan Sajan, Indian businessman and founder of Danube Group, an international building materials company headquartered in Dubai, said the visa covers all countries.

“UAE has announced 5-years multiple tourist entry visa which means you can enter Dubai or UAE any number of times with this single visa,” the businessman said.

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“The best part is this visa is available for all the nationalities.”

However, a social media user said the visa excludes Nigerians. 

Other social media users made the same claim, bemoaning Nigeria’s negative publicity in the UAE, while some accused the government of being the cause.

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A news report said Nigeria was excluded from the multiple-entry tourist visa because of its current status with the UAE.

Another report said 19 other African countries are also excluded from the visa coverage. The countries were not named.

However, Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) reiterated that the visa covers all countries of the world.

The GDRFA spoke to TheCable on Tuesday.

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“The visa is open to all nationalities,” an immigration officer identified as Mohammed said. 

“You can apply for this kind of visa from Nigeria but it will be subject to approval or rejection by immigration like any other nationality.”

The UAE had introduced the five-year multiple-entry tourist visa scheme in 2021.

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said the move was part of plans to turn the Gulf state into a tourism hub and to establish the country as a major tourist destination.

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Part of the requirements needed for the visa application include a personal photo, a passport copy valid for at least six months, six months bank statement, health insurance, and a round-trip ticket.

The bank statement must demonstrate a balance of $4,000 or its equivalent in other currencies over the six months.

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When asked if changes had been made to the visa scheme, which could have triggered fresh conversations around the subject, Mohammed said he was not aware of any development.

He added that any reviews would be communicated by the immigration authority through its official channels. 

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NIGERIA’S VISA ROW WITH THE UAE

Some media reports attributed Nigeria’s “exclusion” from the five-year multiple-entry tourist visa scheme to the seesaw situation with the UAE.

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The fractured relationship between both countries began on December 13, 2021 when the UAE issued a travel restriction on passengers from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, citing a surge in the countries’ COVID-19 cases. 

However, TheCable reported that the travel ban was not unconnected to the diplomatic row between Nigeria and UAE, over Air Peace’s flight schedules to the Arab country.

Air Peace had requested a slot of three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport in UAE, but only one was granted by the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

GCAA said Air Peace should not expect to retain its flight frequency after pulling out of Sharjah Airport. The Nigerian airline, however, denied the claim.

As a reprisal for the treatment meted on Air Peace in the UAE, the federal government reduced Emirate’s slots to Nigeria from 21 to one. Subsequently, the Dubai-based airline suspended all its flights to Nigeria.

The cracks deepened in October 2022 when UAE immigration authorities announced a ban on visa applications from Nigerians.

One month later, Emirates suspended flight operations to Nigeria — for the second time in the year — over its inability to repatriate $85 million of trapped revenue in the country.

In September last year, the federal government said UAE had lifted its visa ban on Nigerian travellers. However, a few days later, an official of the Arab country debunked the statement.



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