UAE studying plans to allow transit passengers ‘day out in the city’

Travelers from a number of countries need prior approval for transit visas before they are allowed entry into the UAE. (Reuters)
Updated 16 April 2018
0

UAE studying plans to allow transit passengers ‘day out in the city’

DUBAI: The UAE government is drawing up plans that will allow transit passengers “a day out in the city,” state news agency WAM reported.

The UAE Cabinet has created a working group, led by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, to formulate the new policy.

When implemented, transit passengers will be encouraged to stay in the Emirates longer and have a chance to explore the country’s tourist attractions, and boost the country’s tourism sector.

“The local aviation industry is one of the most successful international models, having achieved world records and topped many international indicators in a relatively short period,” state news agency WAM reported.

“Transit passengers in the UAE made up 70 percent of the total passengers last year, and an enhanced entry-visa system would have a huge potential to benefit local tourism and economy.”

Travelers from a number of countries need prior approval for transit visas before they are allowed entry in the UAE, while those provided a 96-hour transit visas must fulfil certain criteria including a hotel booking for the duration of their stay as well as the time between their arrival and departure from the country is not less than eight hours.

The general policy being worked on would include visa fees and mechanisms to increase the number of visitors.

Related

UAE stops visa to Pakistanis, Afghans

Author: 
By Syed Faisal Ali, Arab News Staff
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2001-10-03 03:00

JEDDAH, 3 October — The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing visas to Pakistani and Afghanistan nationals the world over in the wake of recent terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, said Muhammad Nadeem Khan, head of chancery at the Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai.

Speaking to Arab News by telephone, Khan said that though the consulate has not yet received any official communication in this regard from UAE officials, it has been confirmed from other sources.

The Gulf emirate stopped giving visas to Pakistanis and Afghans for the last 10 days, but there was no official confirmation from any side.

Khan said that a letter was sent by DNATA — the UAE’s civil aviation body — to all airline managers informing them about the government’s decision to stop issuing visas to Pakistanis and Afghans until further notice.

Pakistan International Airlines’ General Manager in Dubai Shahid Latif had forwarded that letter to the consulate, Khan said. “Until today that is the only official communication we have received, and on that basis we have already written to UAE authorities.”

It is also reported that UAE visas of all categories have been stopped for nationals of the two countries. Even transit visas have also been stopped, Khan said. He further said that a lot of Pakistanis are facing hardship due to this decision and have approached them to solve it at the earliest.

Khan said that this precautionary step has been taken by the UAE due to the fear of an impending US attack on Afghanistan, which has refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington, to the US.

If visas were being denied only to tourists and others who can wait until the present crisis is resolved, there would not have been much trouble. But according to reports, a blanket ban has been imposed for all the categories. Even those who had gone on vacation and whose visas expired are being denied re-entry to UAE, which may cause them their jobs.

“We are trying our best with UAE authorities to avoid a blanket ban on all Pakistanis,” said Khan. “Businessmen will suffer greatly if denied entry and others cleared by us should at least be given visas.” Khan was, however, optimistic that “the issue would be resolved favorably within a week.”

Pakistani businessmen in the Kingdom, worried by the development, made a representation to their embassy in Riyadh and urged the officials to raise the issue with the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to resolve the issue immediately.

Old Categories: 
Main category: 

UAE slaps bond requirement for visit visas

Author: 
By a Staff Writer
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2002-05-08 03:00

DUBAI, 8 May — The UAE government yesterday started imposing a 2,000 dirham deposit or bond on sponsors of people who come to the country on a visit visa.

The rules governing this bond requirement, announced by the Ministry of Interior, however, are not clear as yet. It is not stipulated how the deposit is going to be handled or whether it will also cover people who come on transit visas, usually given to select nationalities at the airport, the Gulf News said in a report yesterday.

According to the Immigration and Residency Department at the Ministry of Interior in Abu Dhabi, the 2,000 dirham bond is being imposed to lessen the abuse of visit visas, especially by people who come for extended periods of time looking for jobs. The ministry supervises the immigration and naturalization departments in the seven emirates.

In theory, once the visitor leaves and proof is presented of his or her exit, the money can be refunded.

Sources from the naturalization and residency departments in Ajman, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi said they would impose the "visitor bond" following the ministry directive.

The visitor visa deposit must be deposited in a bank, and the person sponsoring a visitor must present a bank letter or slip bearing evidence of the amount deposited.

Sources from the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department, however, said they have not received any official instructions about the bond yet.

An Interior Ministry source said visit visas are issued to everybody if their sponsors meet certain requirements, including salary limits. Visas are routinely issued to any nationality as long as they are not on a blacklist or have a previous criminal record.

The source explained that the sponsor would be required to pay the deposit 2,000 dirhams for each visa.

"This deposit is to ensure that the visitors will leave the country when their entry permit expires and that they are not staying illegally in the country. It will not be refunded in case they overstay the visa period unless a fine for overstaying is paid," said the source.

Old Categories: 
Main category: 

Brent crude oil rises for a sixth day as supplies tighten amid strong demand

Updated 24 April 2018
0

Brent crude oil rises for a sixth day as supplies tighten amid strong demand

  • US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents
  • The potential of renewed US sanctions against Iran is pushing prices higher

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil rose for sixth day on Tuesday, passing $75 a barrel, on expectations that supplies will tighten because fuel is rising at the same time the US may impose sanctions against Iran and OPEC-led output cuts remain in place.
Brent crude oil futures climbed to as high as $75.20 a barrel in early trading on Tuesday, the highest since Nov. 27, 2014. Brent was still at $75 a barrel at 0311 GMT up 29 cents, or 0.4 percent, from its last close.
Brent’s six-day rising streak is the most since a similar string of gains in December and it is up by more than 20 percent from its 2018 low in February.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $68.98 a barrel, up 34 cents, or 0.5 percent from their last settlement. On Thursday, WTI rose to as high as $69.56, the most since Nov. 28, 2014.
Markets have been lifted by supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) which were introduced in 2017 with the aim of propping up the market.
The potential of renewed US sanctions against Iran is also pushing prices higher.
Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia/Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA said new sanctions against Tehran “could push oil prices up as much as $5 per barrel.”
The US has until May 12 to decide whether it will leave the Iran nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions against OPEC’s third-largest producer, which would further tighten global supplies.
“Crude prices are now sitting at the highest levels in three years, reflecting ongoing concerns around geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which is the source of nearly half of the world’s oil supply,” ANZ bank said.
“Oil strength is coming from Saudi Arabia’s recent commitment to get oil back up to between $70 to $80 per barrel as well as inventory levels that are back in the normal range,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
OPEC’s supply curtailments and the threat of new sanctions are occurring just as demand in Asia, the world’s biggest oil consuming region, has risen to a record as new and expanded refineries start up from China to Vietnam.
One of the few factors that has limited oil prices from surging even more is US production, which has shot up by more than a quarter since mid-2016 to over 10.54 million barrels per day (bpd), taking it past Saudi Arabia’s output of around 10 million bpd.
As a result of its rising output, US crude is increasingly appearing on global markets, from Europe to Asia, undermining OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market.