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UAE denies placing travel ban on Nigerians


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Thursday denied media reports that it has placed a permanent travel restriction on Nigerians.

UAE Embassy in Abuja in a statement said the information in the media reports were incorrect and against the long-standing relationship with Nigeria.

“In response to recent press and social media reports regarding purported travel restrictions between the UAE and Nigeria, and in an affirmation of the growing bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, the UAE Embassy in Abuja denies the accuracy of the information contained in these reports,” the statement said.

“The UAE Embassy in Abuja calls upon the public to verify the authenticity of such reports and to seek information from the official sources.”

Some media reports at the weekend claimed that the UAE has placed a permanent travel ban on Nigerians due to the recent arrest of two Nigerians – Ramon Abass, known as Huspuppi, and Jacob Ponle, also known as Woodberry, for fraudulent dealings.

The reports stated that UAE nationals had made complaints to their government over the integrity of Nigerians and the genuineness of their businesses.

Dispelling the claims, the UAE Embassy said the current travel restriction is part of the “precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as of March 17, 2020.”

The embassy explained that after entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on My 7, permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures, including by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE. This includes those visiting from Nigeria.

However, the UAE embassy said travel between the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited due to the closure of Nigerian airspace, and that it is working closely with the Nigerian Government to obtain the necessary approvals to facilitate travel between the two countries.

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