​Image of United Arab Emirates Plane

Image of United Arab Emirates Plane

Photo by: NurPhoto

UAE Bans Travelers From 20 African Countries

The Middle Eastern country announced the development earlier this month.

The United Arab Emirates Authorities recently announced a visa ban on 20 African countries. The specific visa category banned is the 30-day visa, and the authorities stressed this in a public notice.

"This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today, October 18, 2022," the notice reported. According to the the BBC, the list of banned countries includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, and Uganda.

A notice sent out by UAE authorities stated that trade partners and travel agents ordered all applications from the 20 banned African countries to be rejected.

"All Dubai applications submitted are now rejected. It is general for Nigerians, and approvals are on hold at the moment. Kindly advise your clients to resubmit C2=A0 applications when the issue is resolved between both governments," the notice read.

Although reports have been swirling online about the UAE's visa ban on the 20 African countries, Uganda's Ambassador to the UAE, H.E Kibedi Zaake recently appeared on national television to refute the claims and alluded to the idea that the UAE'S visa system was being reassessed.

"It is not true that UAE has halted the issuance of visit visas to Uganda. I don't know the source of this misinformation, but it's not true," said Kibedi. "The UAE visa system is just being revamped and now, it takes up to five days to get the visa and not two days like before."

He also warned people against taking social media news outbreaks seriously.

"Ugandans have not been banned from getting visas to UAE. We should avoid following social media. What I am telling you are facts."

The UAE's relationship with many African countries has been loaded with controversy in the recent past. Last year reports surfaced stating that Middle Eastern immigration authorities banned Nigerians from applying for visas and work permits. In December 2021, Emirates Airlines also announced that eight African countries were barred from traveling through Dubai until further notice due to the spread of Covid 19.

Although Dubai has been an attractive vacation destination for many Africans, the history between several African countries and the UAE has been shaky at best. Earlier this year, a viral video leaked online that showed hundreds of Nigerians stranded at the Dubai International Airport. At the time, there were reports that the Nigerian government did not do much to advocate for its citizens. Although the UAE has not given an exact reason for the recent ban, their recent statement seems to allude to the idea that there is a rift between the Nigerian government and the government of the UAE.

Here are some social media reactions to the ban