A UAE official confirms that visa restrictions for Nigerians remain in place.

A UAE official confirms that visa restrictions for Nigerians remain in place.

 

 

 

Contrary to recent statements made by the Nigerian government, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has contradicted claims that it is set to lift the year-long visa ban on Nigerian travelers.An undisclosed UAE official informed CNN that “There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.” The source, who requested anonymity due to a lack of authorization to speak to the media, provided this clarification.

 

The UAE had previously announced last October that it would cease issuing visas to citizens from Nigeria and 19 other African nations without specifying further details.

This abrupt change resulted in the discontinuation of 30-day tourist visa issuance to Nigerian nationals, and flights between both nations were suspended, with Dubai’s Emirates airline citing revenue concerns.

 

In recent developments, Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, engaged in discussions with UAE leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. A statement released by the Nigerian government claimed that they had “finalized a historic agreement” during this meeting, which would supposedly lead to the lifting of the visa ban and the immediate resumption of flights between both countries.

However, a subsequent statement from the UAE government contradicted these claims. It mentioned that the leaders had explored opportunities for bilateral collaboration and reinforcing ties but did not confirm the lifting of the visa ban or the resumption of flights.

 

Nigeria’s government spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, later stated that both countries needed additional time to finalize agreement details, retracting the previous announcement.

Given the agreement between the two Heads of State, it’s essential to allow cabinet officials from both sides to work out the finer details and cross-sectoral agreements, Ngelale explained.

 

He urged everyone to refrain from speculation and let the process unfold organically.Dubai is a favored destination for numerous Nigerian tourists and a significant hub for real estate investors from Nigeria. Before the pandemic, Nigerians were among Dubai’s largest foreign real estate investors, with investments valued at nearly $2 billion, according to local reports citing the Dubai Land Department. Emirates Airlines also previously operated daily flights from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai.

 

 

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