Officials said 11,000 people applied to a special 'humanitarian committee' that looks at the reasons for breaching immigration rules. Andrew Parsons / The National
Officials said 11,000 people applied to a special 'humanitarian committee' that looks at the reasons for breaching immigration rules. Andrew Parsons / The National

Sharp rise in Dubai visa overstays



Dubai's immigration department said about 25,000 people have overstayed their residency visa so far this year - more than twice the total in 2016 - with many hit by fines running into tens of thousands of dirhams.

Job losses and illnesses were among the common reasons for individuals and families having their visa cancelled but continuing to live in the country.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which released the latest figures on Monday, said that while some people attempt to work illegally in the country, it was sympathetic to those in "harsh situations that are beyond their control". About 12,000 cases were recorded in 2016.

Officials said 11,000 people applied to a special "humanitarian committee" that looks at the reasons for breaches of immigration rules. In 9,000 of those cases, it reduced the fine amount or cancelled it altogether.

"Sometimes, people experience harsh situations that are beyond their control. We have to listen to them and consider these conditions," said Maj Gen Mohammed Al Marri, director general of the GDRFA.

“We give an opportunity for illegal residents to come to the department to apply for a pardon and acquire information about the procedures that they need to follow, to remove the fines against them and renew their residential visas."

The department's humanitarian centre looks at the appeal cases and weighs up the situation that non legal residents are in, including if they are from a country where there is conflict, and financial problems they may have.

Dozens of people were at the centre on Monday, looking to appeal.

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Umm Anees, from Algeria, was among them. She declined to give her full name but said her husband's visa expired in March, meaning the couple and their four children had to leave the UAE.

"My husband was fired from his work, and we suffer from financial problems," she told said.

"I and my four children have been living in the country illegally for seven months. Two of my children are enrolled in school and the other two are studying in university.”

"I applied to the humanitarian case centre in June as I couldn't pay the fines. At that time, I had little money saved but I had to pay my rent."

Captain Khalid Al Hamadi, head of the humanitarian case section, said that the family's case would be looked at, but he could not say whether they would be successful.

Ali Jaber, 36, from Pakistan, was also at the centre. He owes Dh50,000 in fines having been living in the UAE with his wife for about 18 months.

“I've lived in the country for seven years but I lost my job a year and a half ago and couldn’t renew our residency visas. I have financial problems and I am ill. I suffer from epilepsy and my medicine costs Dh700 every month,” said Mr Jaber.

“I recently managed to renewed my residency visa, but couldn’t do the same for my family. Fines of more than Dh50,000 were imposed on my family members."

He said he has seven children aged between 4 and 16.

Dinesh Kumar, first secretary at the Indian embassy, said that such cases are common.

He said the number of Indian nationals approaching the embassy for residency visa issues has increased this year.

“More Indian expats are experiencing issues with residential visas in 2017. Some of their employers have left the country [without cancelling their visa, leaving them stuck] while others lost their jobs for different reasons,” said Mr Kumar.

“We try to help expats who overstay and provide them with as much help as we can."

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

Tour de France Stage 16:

165km run from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-Isère

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Company profile

Date started: January, 2014

Founders: Mike Dawson, Varuna Singh, and Benita Rowe

Based: Dubai

Sector: Education technology

Size: Five employees

Investment: $100,000 from the ExpoLive Innovation Grant programme in 2018 and an initial $30,000 pre-seed investment from the Turn8 Accelerator in 2014. Most of the projects are government funded.

Partners/incubators: Turn8 Accelerator; In5 Innovation Centre; Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme; Dubai Future Accelerators; FHI 360; VSO and Consult and Coach for a Cause (C3)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

65

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

'Falling for Christmas'

Director: Janeen Damian

Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Chord Overstreet, Jack Wagner, Aliana Lohan

Rating: 1/5

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

PRESIDENTS CUP

Draw for Presidents Cup fourball matches on Thursday (Internationals first mention). All times UAE:

02.32am (Thursday): Marc Leishman/Joaquin Niemann v Tiger Woods/Justin Thomas
02.47am (Thursday): Adam Hadwin/Im Sung-jae v Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay
03.02am (Thursday): Adam Scott/An Byeong-hun v Bryson DeChambeau/Tony Finau
03.17am (Thursday): Hideki Matsuyama/CT Pan v Webb Simpson/Patrick Reed
03.32am (Thursday): Abraham Ancer/Louis Oosthuizen v Dustin Johnson/Gary Woodland

The specs

Engine: four-litre V6 and 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo

Transmission: six-speed and 10-speed

Power: 271 and 409 horsepower

Torque: 385 and 650Nm

Price: from Dh229,900 to Dh355,000

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIXTURES

All kick-off times 10.45pm UAE (+4 GMT) unless stated

Tuesday
Sevilla v Maribor
Spartak Moscow v Liverpool
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk
Napoli v Feyenoord
Besiktas v RB Leipzig
Monaco v Porto
Apoel Nicosia v Tottenham Hotspur
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wednesday
Basel v Benfica
CSKA Moscow Manchester United
Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich
Anderlecht v Celtic
Qarabag v Roma (8pm)
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
Juventus v Olympiakos
Sporting Lisbon v Barcelona

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Our legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The specs: 2018 Nissan Patrol Nismo

Price: base / as tested: Dh382,000

Engine: 5.6-litre V8

Gearbox: Seven-speed automatic

Power: 428hp @ 5,800rpm

Torque: 560Nm @ 3,600rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 12.7L / 100km

The biog:

Favourite book: The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma

Pet Peeve: Racism 

Proudest moment: Graduating from Sorbonne 

What puts her off: Dishonesty in all its forms

Happiest period in her life: The beginning of her 30s

Favourite movie: "I have two. The Pursuit of Happiness and Homeless to Harvard"

Role model: Everyone. A child can be my role model 

Slogan: The queen of peace, love and positive energy

Five famous companies founded by teens

There are numerous success stories of teen businesses that were created in college dorm rooms and other modest circumstances. Below are some of the most recognisable names in the industry:

  1. Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg and his friends started Facebook when he was a 19-year-old Harvard undergraduate. 
  2. Dell: When Michael Dell was an undergraduate student at Texas University in 1984, he started upgrading computers for profit. He starting working full-time on his business when he was 19. Eventually, his company became the Dell Computer Corporation and then Dell Inc. 
  3. Subway: Fred DeLuca opened the first Subway restaurant when he was 17. In 1965, Mr DeLuca needed extra money for college, so he decided to open his own business. Peter Buck, a family friend, lent him $1,000 and together, they opened Pete’s Super Submarines. A few years later, the company was rebranded and called Subway. 
  4. Mashable: In 2005, Pete Cashmore created Mashable in Scotland when he was a teenager. The site was then a technology blog. Over the next few decades, Mr Cashmore has turned Mashable into a global media company.
  5. Oculus VR: Palmer Luckey founded Oculus VR in June 2012, when he was 19. In August that year, Oculus launched its Kickstarter campaign and raised more than $1 million in three days. Facebook bought Oculus for $2 billion two years later.
MATCH INFO

Manchester City 2 (Mahrez 04', Ake 84')

Leicester City 5 (Vardy 37' pen, 54', 58' pen, Maddison 77', Tielemans 88' pen)

Man of the match: Jamie Vardy (Leicester City)

Stamp duty timeline

December 2014: Former UK chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne reforms stamp duty land tax (SDLT), replacing the slab system with a blended rate scheme, with the top rate increasing to 12 per cent from 10 per cent:

Up to £125,000 – 0%; £125,000 to £250,000 – 2%; £250,000 to £925,000 – 5%; £925,000 to £1.5m: 10%; More than £1.5m – 12%

April 2016: New 3% surcharge applied to any buy-to-let properties or additional homes purchased.

July 2020: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils SDLT holiday, with no tax to pay on the first £500,000, with buyers saving up to £15,000.

March 2021: Mr Sunak extends the SDLT holiday at his March 3 budget until the end of June.

April 2021: 2% SDLT surcharge added to property transactions made by overseas buyers.

June 2021: SDLT holiday on transactions up to £500,000 expires on June 30.

July 2021: Tax break on transactions between £125,000 to £250,000 starts on July 1 and runs until September 30.

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


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