Amer El-Alawi, the Emirati Ambassador to Ghana has dismissed a report that the United Arab Emirates had imposed a visa ban on Ghanaians and nationals of other African countries seeking entry into Dubai.
It was reported earlier this week in local media that the Gulf State had banned entry for 20 African nationals, the main news outlet cited for the information being DW Africa.
But in an interview with Joy News in Accra, El-Alawi said there was no official statement to that effect and that the status quo remains.
“There is nothing official regarding those rumours or the news. There is no official statement from my government or the other governments so our daily work routine is the same, nothing has changed. Until we find or receive any announcement or official statement, I cannot talk about it.
“UAE, we have adjusted the new visa system which is more flexible with the foreigners which makes the UAE easy to reach but for the ban, I can assure you there is no official statement about it,” he stressed.
A trade representative of the UAE also stated at an event reported by Kofi TV that visas were still being issued and that any rejection will be an immigration and security issue relating to an individual and not all citizens of a particular country.
According to reports, the UAE government instructed its foreign missions to stop issuing visas, including 30-day visit visas, to nationals from the 20 affected African countries.
DW Africa stated in a Facebook post that one of the reasons for the ban was that most nationals from the 20 countries always fail to leave Dubai after their visas have expired.
“One of the reasons given for the ban is many who arrive on visit visas end up overstaying in the country illegally while working without legalizing their stay,” the post read in part.