Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) stated that some Nigerians who were sent back from Dubai attempted to dodge the UAE’s new visa rules.
She made the remarks on Thursday in response to recent reports that some Nigerians were stranded in Dubai and others were turned back.
On Wednesday, a viral video of Nigerians allegedly stranded at Dubai International Airport surfaced on social media, with a Twitter user, @dunchichi, claiming that at least 20 Nigerians were stranded and their passports seized.
I'm at Dubai international airport and myself and some tiger Nigerians with valid Visas are being held in a room hours after arriving with no explain and no information on what we can do. Please help me. There's more than 20 of us pic.twitter.com/6LpchsoJU2
— Dinchi. (@dunchichi) August 31, 2022
In a post on her Twitter account on Thursday, Dabiri-Erewa said that despite being warned about the new United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa rules for certain age categories, some Nigerians tried to “circumvent” the regulations.
“Warned on the new UAE visa rules for certain age categories. Many now try to circumvent by applying for ‘family visas’. They get the visas and travel alone. Also 6 months genuine bank statement, accommodation, return ticket must be produced. Another set to be sent back now,” she tweeted.
Warned on the new UAE visa rules for certain age categories Many now try to circumvent by applying for “ family visas”. They get the visas and travel alone.Also 6 months genuine bank statement,accommodation, return ticket must be produced.Another set to be sent back now https://t.co/X0jyWY8KO8
— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) September 1, 2022
According to UAE visa rules, Nigerian passengers “must have a hotel booking or proof of accommodation address for the entire period of intended stay,” but this does not apply to residents.
In addition, the rules state that “deportation on the same flight will follow if the sponsor (or representative) is not present at the time of the passenger’s arrival at the airport.”
Meanwhile, Dabiri-Erewa stated in another video shared by NiDCOM on Thursday but dated August 4 that “bad behavior” by some Nigerians prompted the UAE to tighten visa rules.
“I think a few Nigerians have taken bad behaviour too far and we have to admit and accept that. It is not about profiling or generalisation, it has gone too far,” she said.
“So, what the Dubai authorities have done is they have made their visa processes more stringent. So, if you are below 30, no visa for you if you are male below 30.
“It is very difficult. They have made it so stringent that you are not likely to fulfill it. It doesn’t matter who you are.
“Secondly, if you’re looking to Dubai now, you have to provide a six-month bank account, you have to have your return ticket and you must show proof of accommodation and if you lie, they are going to know and turn you back.
“So, let’s learn to obey laws of other countries and just do the right things because there are too many good Nigerians in Dubai.”