Dubai visit visas: Five nationalities must carry Dh2,000 and a return ticket to enter emirate

At least 1,200 Pakistani passengers were held at Dubai International Airport for failing to meet new requirements

Pakistani passengers queue for free meals after being told they could not leave Dubai International Airport. Consulate General of Pakistan in Dubai 
Powered by automated translation

Tourists and jobseekers from five countries in South Asia must meet certain requirements to fly into the emirate, airlines and travel agencies said on Monday.

Pakistanis, Indians, Nepalis, Bangladeshis and Afghans arriving on visit visas must carry at least Dh2,000 ($545) and have a return ticket.

Proof of a hotel stay or the details of a relative's address are also required.

Pakistan International Airlines and several travel agencies shared official documents from Dubai's General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs immigration service that set out the requirements.

I think the rule is being enforced heavily now to prevent these workers from being scammed from people who say they will give them a job, if they come on a visit visa first

More than 1,200 Pakistanis and up to 200 Indians have been denied entry into Dubai since last Tuesday, after failing to meet these requirements.

"We've been receiving notifications from airlines and immigration authorities about this," Alan Orong, from Dubai's South Travel and Tourism, told The National.

“There are five nationalities who are involved in this – Pakistanis, Nepalis, Bangladeshis, Indians and Afghans.

"They need to a have valid round-trip ticket from their city of departure and sufficient funds. They need to be able to show they have Dh2,000 in hand.”

Mr Orong said Sharjah immigration officials sent the notifications.

Of the 1,225 Pakistani passengers, mostly blue-collar workers on visit visas, more than 1,000 have already been sent home, the General Consulate of Pakistan in Dubai said.

About 200 are waiting for repatriation at Dubai International Airport.

Ibrahim Elshamy, from Dubai travel agency Reds Travel and Tourism, said it had begun to notify its clients about the rules.

He said that for many years passengers were required to produce a return ticket and show they had enough money to live off.

“I think the rule is being enforced heavily now to prevent these workers from being scammed by people who say they will give them a job, if they come on a visit visa first,” said Mr Elshamy.

"This rule has always been there in Egypt. At departure, immigration asks Egyptians to show at least $1,000 and other supporting documents."

Last week, embassy officials told The National they were concerned that some residents, who were in the country illegally, had shunned a visa amnesty that ended on October 11.

The officials believe some stayed on in the hope of finding a job as the economy recovers.

Staying in the country on an expired residency visa would lead to a daily fine of Dh25, with a further daily Dh20 penalty for failing to renew an Emirates ID, costing a total of Dh315 per week.

There is a separate system for those on expired tourist or visit visas who are hit with Dh200 for the first day, and Dh100 a day after that.

Last week, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs confirmed that travellers from Pakistan were denied entry at Dubai International Airport “due to non-compliance with entry requirements for tourist visas”.

"GDRFA clarified that these travellers did not have a valid hotel reservation or a relative's reference, nor did they have a return ticket booking, as required by UAE immigration rules," it said.

"GDRFA also said that the vast majority of passengers that are compliant with the visa rules and arrive at Dubai International Airport face no delays upon entry."

List of documents required:

- Passport with six months' validity from the date of entry into UAE

- Valid visit / tourist visa

- Return airline ticket

- Negative PCR test result, as issued by a recognised lab

- Sufficient funds to stay in the UAE

- A hotel booking or proof of address of a sponsor or relative

India and Pakistan repatriation flights - in pictures