Almost 15,000 people were caught overstaying their visas in Dubai last year, according to a report from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
The 14,893 offenders were caught during 240 inspection campaigns carried out by the authority.
The report also showed that almost 53 million people travelled through the emirate by land, air and sea. The figure represents a 6 per cent increase from 2016 when almost 50 million passengers travelled through Dubai.
Maj Gen Mohammed Al Marri, director-general of the authority, said the increase was an indication of Dubai’s commitment to "providing the highest standards of quality and security through Dubai airports by enacting the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, of transforming Dubai International Airport into a ‘Gateway of Peace’.”
The data showed that the number of smart gate users in departures and arrivals at Dubai airports was about 5.5m on 122 gates, with just over half of the figure making up arrivals.
In the past year, the authority completed more than 18.6 million transactions, including the issuance of entry and residency visas and UAE passports.
The number of residencies, including issuance and renewal, peaked at just under 3.9 million last year with almost 15 million entry permits issued.