UAE PLACES VISA BAN ON GAMBIA, 19 OTHERS

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Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced a visa ban on Gambians and people from 18 other African countries seeking to visit Dubai with immediate effect.

A notice released by the UAE authorities widely circulated and reportedly sent to all affected countries reads: “This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today October, 18, 2022.”

Other countries affected by the visa ban include Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Uganda, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros and the Dominican Republic.

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The notice further informed trade partners, including travel agents, that all applications from the listed countries should be rejected.

 “Any applications from the above-mentioned countries will be sent back or cancelled,” the notice said.

No reason was given as to why UAE had taken the decision, but sources said the move was aimed at keeping away African nationalities who had taken advantage of the visit visas to overstay in the UAE.

Over the past few years, many Gambians have been travelling to Dubai for business while others go there for work.

Contacted for comments, the permanent secretary at the Foreign Ministry, Lang Yabou, told The Standard that they have not yet received any official notice.