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Tue 18 Sep 2012 10:54 AM

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UAE travel agents in the dark over new visa rules

Low paid expats will no longer be granted tourism and conference visas

UAE travel agents in the dark over new visa rules
Sunil DSouza, Kanoo Travel

UAE travel agents are still in the dark regarding the federal government’s decision to tighten up on the issuing of tourism and conference visas to low paid workers, but believed the move would have little impact on their business.

This week it was announced that expatriates from certain countries, mainly in Asia, would be banned from getting tourist, visit or conference visas.

The policy is designed to curb the number of low paid workers entering the country and partaking in begging and other activities which authorities want to clamp down on.

However, travel agents Arabian Business spoke to said they had not been informed of the policy change. “We have not heard anything officially from them as of now,” said Sunil D'souza, regional travel director for the UAE, Oman and Qatar at Kanoo Travel.

Basel Abu Alrub, managing partner at the Dubai-based Utravel agency said the company had also not received any “official communiqué,” but believed it would not have any major negative impact on business.

“As a rule of thumb, our agency carefully analyses each applicant before approving their application for submission to the immigration department in order to avoid risks such as misbehaviour during the tourists’ stay or overstaying which results in heavy financial charges on the issuing agent,” he said.

“If an applicant is felt to possess ulterior intentions besides tourism then we do not engage them in issuing a tourist visa for them. In some other cases, agents are advised to request a financial security deposit which is to be refunded after the tourist leaves the country with no issues,” he added.

MUHAMMAD 7 years ago

Certain Touirsm companies in Dubai are flouting the Immigration Rules & bringing labour on the Tourist visas & also playing with the security of the country by making them overstay, resulting thereby creating problems for those even who are doing legal business. UAE Government should take strict action against these tourism companies so to creat the deterrent effect. One of the leaders of this illegal business in Dubai is QUBEC Travel & Tourism who are also taking the visas from TRAVCO Travel Dubai should be brought to the net, so that the companies who are making suffer the rest should be stopped, resulting the smooth business for the rest of the community.