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UAE excludes Nigeria from 5-year tourist visa

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By Abraham Adekunle

Diplomatic complexities between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.

In a recent announcement by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a groundbreaking five-year multiple-entry tourist visa has been introduced, eliciting excitement among travellers worldwide. However, Nigeria finds itself excluded from accessing this visa due to its current diplomatic status with the UAE. This development sheds light on the intricate relationship between the two nations and the implications it holds for Nigerian travellers. The UAE’s decision to introduce the five-year multiple-entry tourist visa marks a significant milestone in its efforts to bolster tourism and business within the country. This visa allows holders to enter and exit the UAE multiple times over a five-year period, provided they spend at least 90 days in the country during each visit, with a maximum duration of 180 days per year.

The roots of Nigeria’s exclusion from this visa lie in a notice issued by the UAE in 2022, wherein it declared a halt to visa issuance for citizens from Nigeria and 19 other African nations. This abrupt decision came as a shock to many Nigerian travellers who had previously enjoyed relatively easy access to tourist visas for the UAE. The strain in diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the UAE was further exacerbated in 2022 when Dubai’s Emirates Airline suspended its operations in Nigeria, citing issues related to trapped revenues. Consequently, flights between the two countries came to a halt, disrupting travel plans for thousands of passengers.

Visa policies, and Nigeria’s exclusion amid diplomatic tensions.

Historically, UAE’s visa policies towards Nigeria underscores a broader context of diplomatic tensions and economic considerations. While the UAE has not provided detailed explanations for its visa restrictions on Nigerian nationals, it is believed to be linked to issues such as security concerns, immigration challenges, and economic disputes. Despite Nigeria’s exclusion from the five-year multiple-entry tourist visa, the UAE remains a popular destination for Nigerian travellers, particularly for business and leisure purposes. Many Nigerians have family members, friends, or business associates residing in the UAE, making frequent travel between the two countries a necessity.

To apply for the new five-year tourist visa, individuals can utilize online platforms such as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) website, the Federal Authorities for Citizenship, Customs, Identity, and Ports Security (ICP) portal, or the GDRFA-Dubai Smart Application. Applicants are required to submit various documents, including a six-month bank statement demonstrating a minimum balance of $4,000, proof of UAE health insurance, a passport-sized photo with a white background, and copies of flight tickets, hotel bookings, or lease agreements. Additionally, applicants may need to provide proof of residence in the UAE, such as an invitation letter from family or friends residing in the country. The stringent documentation requirements reflect the UAE’s commitment to maintaining security and regulating tourism effectively.

Efforts address Nigeria’s exclusion from UAE’s 5-year visa.

While Nigeria’s exclusion from the five-year tourist visa is undoubtedly disappointing for many travellers, efforts are underway to address the underlying issues and improve diplomatic relations between the two countries. Both Nigerian and UAE authorities are engaged in ongoing discussions to resolve existing challenges and foster greater cooperation in various sectors, including tourism, trade, and investment. The introduction of the UAE’s five-year multiple-entry tourist visa signals a significant advancement in its tourism and hospitality sector. However, Nigeria’s exclusion from this visa underscores the complexities of diplomatic relations and the need for constructive dialogue to overcome existing barriers. As both nations navigate these challenges, it is hoped that efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation will pave the way for greater opportunities and mutual benefits in the future.

As Nigeria grapples with its exclusion from the UAE’s five-year multiple-entry tourist visa, the ramifications extend beyond individual travellers to encompass broader economic and diplomatic implications. The inability of Nigerian nationals to access this visa could potentially hinder bilateral trade and investment between Nigeria and the UAE, limiting opportunities for economic growth and collaboration. Furthermore, the strained relations between the two countries highlight the importance of diplomatic engagement and conflict resolution mechanisms to address underlying issues and promote mutual understanding.

Related Article: Saudi Arabia cancels visa of Nigerians

UAE’s decision to implement visa restrictions on Nigerian nationals reflects broader concerns about security and immigration challenges facing the region. While the UAE has taken steps to strengthen its visa policies in response to these concerns, it is essential to consider the impact on individuals and communities affected by these measures. Efforts to address security and immigration issues should be balanced with considerations of human rights and the principles of fairness and non-discrimination. In light of the ongoing challenges facing Nigeria-UAE relations, there is a need for sustained dialogue and cooperation between the two countries to overcome existing barriers and build stronger ties.

Related Link

Embassy of Nigeria (UAE): Website

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