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Thu 14 Aug 2008 06:44 AM

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Visa runs still valid, says top official

DNRD chief seeks to clarify confusion over new regulations introduced in UAE in July.

The visa run - thought to be a thing of the past following new rules introduced in the UAE in July - is alive and thriving.

A top official at the Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) has clarified confusion over the renewal of visit visas by leaving the UAE for another country.

People who want to renew visit visas or convert these into employment visas can do so by going to any country of their choice, he told UAE daily Gulf News on Thursday.

Brigadier Obaid Bin Surour, acting director general of the DNRD, said that, contrary to previous reports, it is not compulsory that visitors travel to their home country to renew visit visas.

This is contrary to what a senior Interior Ministry official claimed at the launch of UAE's new visa regulations last month.

Tour operators and airlines that do visa runs by ferrying people to neighbouring countries to change their visas, said their businesses are still flourishing as hundreds of people dash to places like Kish Island.

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