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Issues with issuing Visas

Issues with issuing Visas

It’s not just the Canadians with issues: Moving the goalposts for visa entry to the UAE is not in anybody’s interest, least of all the country.

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November 11, 2010 5:23 by



So now we have the new visa demands. For their part, Canadian residents have expressed their distress at the news to the local media. One such Canadian residency holder complained to Emirates 24-7: “…Family bonds are maintained by people like me with frequent visits to each other…my family members, who already have Canadian passports, can come and visit me any time in Sharjah as they could get a visa on arrival. But now things have changed… My son has decided to work during the Christmas break and was planning to take his leave in January to come and visit me. He can still do that. But now (there is)… spending time and money and hassle that earlier was not required.”

Kipp has to make a point here. Money and hassle? Forgive us if we don’t have too much sympathy – the trouble of bureaucracy in the UAE is not particular to Canadians alone.

But that aside, Kipp doesn’t think very highly of the UAE’s strategy to problem-solve in the democratic arena: let’s just hit back by revoking their visas.

The UAE is acquiring a bit of a contentious track record with its dealings with visas. This year Gulf News reports of the sudden change in the issuance and renewal of investors visas: what happened to them, you ask? They are obsolete. What this means is people who did buy property in the UAE with the express ambition of securing their future by in the country are left standing with their mouths hanging open, with no official reasons given to them. Consider the case of Dr. Horst Hoeller, a retired Austrian, who bought his three-bedroom flat in Jumeirah Beach Residence in 2003 and just found out this October that his investor’s visa is no longer valid.

It’s not front page news, we know. But this is spur of the moment in visa regulation. These almost knee-jerk reactions do little for the UAE’s reputation abroad nor its appeal for visitors and workers.

Maintaining its image as the business hub in the Middle East not to mention a popular tourism destination requires a certain amount of stability that is betrayed by impromptu tantrums as with Canada, or moving the goalposts for wealthy investors.



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3 Comments

  1. Ronald on November 18, 2010 11:16 am

    I understand Kipp’s concerns, but i do not agree with the fact that dealing with the west as the west deals with the mid east is a wrong turn.

    I’m a middle easterner that frequently visits the UAE, and every time i visit i need to aquire a visa… it’s annoying to say the least and a boon for close proximity short term stays, but it’s at least easier than going to Canada or other places west where my whole life is to be dissected before the agree to give me a visa. that goes to almost all people holding Mid-East passports.

    now my opinion on how and for how long visas are given does not pertain much to the subject, but i don’t think it’s the end of the world if a Canadian need to send some papers to the UAE embassy to get a visa before he travels. the majority of the world’s population does just that before they have to travel, sometimes with very dissapointing results, so i believe the UAE, though seeming Bullish are doing the right thing and standing up for a fair trade/relationship… i just wish all mid-east nations had the clout to do just that…

     
  2. Ofiroz on December 1, 2010 10:38 am

    Pleasure to see UAE is flexing little muscles towards the west! As Mr.Ronald said above, majority of the people are travelling to any country other than their own require visa, and there is a procedure to obtain that; we have taken it as a normal routine, I can’t understand one thing though why Kipp is crying for Canadians? Do they have extra horn?
    They got what they deserved. If I have to travel to Canada I got to go through heck of a lot pain than to UAE or any countries in Middle East in that matter. And I am from Asia!

     
  3. Rowena Alderson on December 30, 2010 6:47 am

    Kipp is right to raise this an overall visa issue, as it does pose a mid-long term blight over the property industry in Dubai which is nearly on it’s knees. The promise of a residential visa when you purchase property was the only carrot for many people to buy. People need security; they will not invest here if they know the rug can be pulled out from them at any moment. This constant twist and turnabout re visa issue (unless you are under an employment visa) causes people to vote with their feet and have no confidence to invest here if they can only get a tourist visa for 30 days at a time. The old UAE adage of ‘We will build and the people will come’ cannot be sustained if ‘people’ cant stay in their own properties for more than 30 days at a time. How do they expect the property market to get back on it’s feet without any longer term living prospects? I wish the UAE would make up it’s mind about whether they want expat investors here or not. Mixed messages will never stabilise the investor market.

     

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