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    • Criminal Complaint filed against Al Fajer Properties Sheikh Maktoum
      Criminal Complaint filed in Germany against Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Juma Al Maktoum CEO of Dubai Developer Al Fajer Properties The Dubai Sheikh who mislead and extort a German Couple  Germany – Dubai 2011 A German elderly couple , today 80 + 50 years old who have been Dubai Tourists since a decade, bought in 2005 an apartment at Nakheel´s Dubai Residen […]
    • UAE: Human Rights Blogger, Sorbonne Lecturer Charged With ‘Humiliating' Officials
      source Human Rights Watch www.hrw.org (Beirut) - The United Arab Emirates attorney general should immediately drop all charges against five pro-democracy activists to halt their trial, Human Rights Watch said today. The charges of "humiliating" top officials relate solely to the defendants' peaceful use of speech to criticize the UAE governmen […]
    • Nakheel Dubai Sunland Case
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    • Dubai Nakheel CEO decided to leave the company
      Dubai June 7, 2011 Nakheel said on Wednesday that its CEO Chris O'Donnell had left the company "after completing his contract terms". O'Donnell, an Australian who joined the developer in 2006, said he had decided to leave Nakheel following five years spent with the company, the statement added. O'Donnell has overseen a traumatic time […]
    • Owner of Dubai Developer Damac Hussain Sajwani files case against Egypt corruption ruling
      Dubai property developer Damac said on Tuesday it had filed an international arbitration case against Egypt over a land dispute and the conviction of its chairman and owner, Hussain Sajwani.A Cairo court last week sentenced Sajwani in his absence to jail and ordered him to pay a $40.5 million fine in connection with his 2006 purchase of land at Egypt's […]
    • Dubai Palm Jumeriah - Investors plan to take legal action
      Investors in Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s Golden Mile complex will this week serve the developer behind the project with a legal ultimatum to hand over their units or issue them with a refund.Up to ten investors in the luxury complex plan to issue Souq Residences with legal notice in a bid to force a resolution to a dispute that has been ongoing for more than a yea […]
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Dubai Tourist Visa confusion: Don’t trust that stamp in your passport

Posted by 7starsdubai on March 9, 2009


The National

March 09. 2009 12:36AM UAE / March 8. 2009 8:36PM GMT

citytalk-bannerDUBAI // Some visitors to the UAE are facing heavy fines upon leaving the country because of erroneous official stamps in their passports.

Under the rule changes introduced last July, all visit visas are now valid for 30 days instead of 60. Yet a number visitors since then have been given stamps in their passports showing 60-day validity.

“I came in on Dec 28 and was given a visa at the airport that says ‘60 days from date of entry’,” said Anne, a British citizen. “I left 43 days later but was stopped at passport control and told that there were no more 60-day visas. The man said they were all 30 days, and I had to pay an Dh800 (US$218) fine. I wasn’t the only one; the people in front of me were having to pay Dh3,000. It was lucky that I had just enough cash on me or I would have missed my flight.”She said she was offered no explanation about when or why the rules had changed.“I asked how I was supposed to know that what was written in my passport was incorrect and was told that I should have read the newspapers,” she said. “It’s very unclear and seems harsh.”

Even the British Embassy admits to some confusion. A notice on the website of the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office says: “The length of visit visas given to visitors on arrival changed with effect January 1 2009. The Ministry of Immigration has told us verbally, but not confirmed in writing, that British nationals will get a 30-day visa on arrival.”

Nationals of 33 countries, including most of Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, get their initial 30-day visa free, and are also given a 10-day grace period during which they can pay to extend the visa by another 30 days. Citizens of other countries have to pay on arrival and cannot extend their stays.

Jerome, who holds Italian and Swiss passports, was fined at the border when driving to Oman for a day trip.

“The immigration officer said I had overstayed, despite the fact that my visa said 60 days and I was well within that time,” he said. “In order to leave I had to pay Dh1,300. The official just said the rules had changed and that what it said in my passport did not count.”

Jerome said he went to different offices of the Department of Naturalisation and Residency – Dubai (DNRD) trying to get a refund.

“But nobody seemed to know what was going on,” he said. “Eventually I was told to submit a complaint online. I just don’t understand why I was fined. I’m not in this country to break the law; if I had known my visa was only valid for 30 days, I would have left within that time.”

The DNRD said 60-day visa stamps were no longer being used.

“Since July 2008, the system has seen a large-scale change, and some errors were bound to happen,” said Major Gen Mohammed al Marri, the director general of the DNRD.

“If it is a human error by one of our employees, we will do our best to rectify it on a case-by-case basis, and if it is a lack of understanding of the regulations, our call-centre staff would be happy to offer the correct information.”

Gen al Marri urged people with complaints to get in touch with the DNRD either by telephone (800 5111) or by e-mail (amer@dnrd.ae). Complaints can also be made on the internet at www.amer.ae. Information on the various types of visas is at www.dnrd.ae.

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One Response to “Dubai Tourist Visa confusion: Don’t trust that stamp in your passport”

  1. sharon said

    I entered Dubai on Jan 20th 2009 and had 30days stamped in my (British)passport and was told by the immigration officer that I must leave in 59 days, as it’s a 30 day grace period. I renewed my passport at the British Embassy in Dubai and checked with them and they said yes I had 60 days, I also checked on the UAE website and it also confirmed that 30 days will be stamped in the passport and then an extra 30 days is allowed. I left on the 59th day and was fined 2100dhs and ONLY CAN BE PAID IN CASH on the spot, the officer refused to show me where it was published or written or even just a hard copy of the regulations, he simply said ‘pay now or stay and pay more when you leave!!’.
    What holiday maker will carry CASH of nearly 400 pounds stirling at the end of their holiday?
    I have kept the receipts and fully intend to continue questioning this, I beleived that this kind of demand for money when leaving a country only occurred in very corrupt countries where their was official corruption and bribery where a tourist was arrested simply because the immigration ‘just can’ if they choose to, what’s happened to Dubai?

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