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Saudi border rules take UAE by ‘surprise’

An official at the UAE Ministry of Interior on Saturday said the Emirates was…


August 23, 2009 12:01 by

An official at the UAE Ministry of Interior on Saturday said the Emirates was “taken [...] by surprise” after Saudi Arabia announced that Saudis and UAE nationals need to use their passports when traveling between the two Gulf States, reports Gulf News.

Saudi’s General Directorate of Passports said on Thursday that identity cards will not suffice, and citizens of both countries will need their passports in order to cross the border. The announcement came at a time when the UAE was establishing a comprehensive ID card, which will also be used as a travel document.

The Interior Ministry official told Gulf News: “They told the UAE about these procedures less than two days before announcing the decision to the public”.

According to the ministry source, the new rule will be in place for 90 days, during which time both sides will reach a permanent solution.

Media reports suggest Saudi’s announcement was instigated by a border dispute dating back decades. The row was over a 50 square kilometer area between Ghuwaifat in the UAE and Batha’a in Saudi Arabia. According to reports, the UAE ID cards sport a map of the Emirates that does not correspond to the borders agreed by both nations in 1974.


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