5 Causes the UAE Positioned a Visa Ban on Nigeria

5 Causes the UAE Positioned a Visa Ban on Nigeria

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) despatched shockwaves by Nigeria when it imposed a visa ban on Nigerians and a number of other different African international locations in October 2022. This transfer got here shortly after Emirates Airways suspended flights to Nigeria, plunging vacationers into uncertainty. 

Whereas the ban on Nigerian visas has been lifted as of September 11, 2023, the incident has sparked discussions about Nigeria’s world status and its affect on worldwide relations. On this article, we are going to spotlight some key causes behind the UAE’s choice to position a visa ban on Nigeria and the following developments that led to its lifting. Let’s dive in. 

Failure to Repatriate Trapped Funds

One of many main causes behind the UAE’s visa ban on Nigerians was Nigeria’s incapability to repatriate billions of {dollars} in trapped funds. Dubai’s Emirates airline suspended flight operations to Nigeria, citing Abuja’s failure to ship roughly $85 million in income again to the UAE. These funds had been blocked in Nigeria on account of greenback shortages, creating a big monetary dispute between the 2 nations. This monetary difficulty performed an important position in straining diplomatic relations and contributed to the imposition of the visa ban.

Damaging world status

Nigeria’s unfavourable world status has lengthy been a priority, with allegations of fraud and different legal actions tarnishing its picture. Whereas diplomatic tensions had been simmering between Nigeria and the UAE for months earlier than the ban, speculations arose that the UAE’s choice was, partly, a response to the nation’s worldwide status. Experiences of fraudulent actions involving Nigerians overseas, in addition to situations of “unhealthy habits” by some Nigerians within the UAE, might have fueled considerations about nationwide safety, resulting in the visa ban.

Diplomatic disputes on flight operations

Earlier than the visa ban, Nigeria and the UAE had been entangled in a collection of diplomatic disputes. These disputes ranged from points associated to flight operations to disagreements over visa guidelines and monetary issues. The continuing disputes escalated tensions between the 2 nations and certain contributed to the UAE’s choice to impose visa restrictions on Nigerian vacationers.

Cancelled flights and diminished operations

Diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and the UAE escalated in 2021 when the Nigerian authorities diminished the frequency of Emirates Airways’ flight operations in Nigeria from 21 flights per week to only one. Nigeria claimed this was in retaliation for the UAE authorities decreasing the operations of Nigeria’s indigenous provider, Air Peace, from three flights per week to at least one. In response, Emirates ceased all operations in Nigeria for a number of weeks, additional straining their relations.

Incidents of Misbehavior

Experiences of Nigerians behaving badly within the UAE, such because the viral tweet displaying Nigerians held in a room at a Dubai airport, sparked considerations about public order and safety. Whereas the Nigerian authorities said that the affected people had tried to bypass new UAE visa guidelines, movies and stories of Nigerian rival cult teams clashing in Dubai additional exacerbated the state of affairs. These incidents of “unhealthy habits” might have prompted the UAE to tighten visa guidelines and impose restrictions on Nigerian vacationers.

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