The General Administration of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai clarifies that the visitors who were refused entry to Dubai International Airport were looking for unqualified work.
Dubai denied on Thursday media reports stating that entry regulations have been tightening for holders of visitor visas from five countries, and indicated that the majority of tourist visa holders who have been denied entry to Dubai since October 13 are unqualified job seekers and hold fake return airline tickets.
A senior official at the General Administration of Residency and Foreign Affairs said they did not have the means to pay for their living expenses.
Brigadier Talal Ahmed Al-Shanqeeti, Director General of Passport Affairs at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, said that the passengers were only denied entry after a thorough investigation was conducted by the immigration authorities in the arrival hall.
"The stranded passengers are not real tourists. They were unqualified job seekers who arrived here without any means to support themselves. They had no money for transportation. Moreover, many people couldn't even read immigration forms," he said.
Al-Shanqeeti confirmed that whoever showed the correct documents was allowed to enter Dubai. “Immigration authorities have interviewed all the passengers in the arrivals hall.
Many claimed to be tourists who came to visit Dubai and visit their relatives. After our investigation, we found that their hotel reservations were either fake or canceled. Our officers called the hotels to verify - the reservations were fake. "
Diplomatic sources revealed that more than 1,300 Pakistanis and nearly 250 Indians have been denied entry to Dubai since October 13 for failing to meet certain requirements before travel.
Al-Shanqeeti denied media reports that entry regulations were tightened only for visitor visa holders from five countries, and explained that no formal plans had been put in place to change pre-departure regulations.
“More than 50 percent of the inbound tourists come from a few South Asian countries and they are all real tourists. Denied passengers make up less than one percent of the total tourist arrivals from these five countries reported by the media.
The official said that the UAE rules apply to all tourists and are not limited to five nationalities. "If we are not convinced that they are real tourists, they will not be able to enter the UAE. These policies are not limited to Dubai; these are international travel practices."
He also said that tourists with relatives living in the UAE were allowed entry as long as they showed sufficient evidence and had visited Dubai before.
He added, "There are also some reports that the problem only occurred in Terminal 3 of Dubai Airport, and this is a mistake. We had some passengers stranded in Terminal 2 as well."