The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has refuted claims that the country has placed a permanent travel restrictions on Nigerian visitors, saying it was not denying issuance of visa to citizens of African most populous country as being speculated.
It explained that the viral nature of the reports on social media and some news medium, and response it had generated from Nigerians owing to UAE being a tourist destination of choice had necessitated the clarification, adding that such decision from the country would had been announced on all official channels of communication, social media handles and pages.
The UAE Embassy in Abuja said that contrary to reports, the country suspended issuance of visa for travelers from all countries including Nigerians to mitigate spread of coronavirus.
The Embassy, through a statement released to newsmen on Thursday, urged Nigerians to disregard the reports, stressing that the purported travel restrictions between UAE and Nigeria were false and that bilateral relations between both countries was growing.
“At the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’s spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities of March 17, 2020.
“After entering the recovery phase of the pandemic, the UAE eased some measures on July 7 permitting visitors from various countries to adhere to the necessary precautionary measures including showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE, this includes those visiting from Nigeria.
“However, travel between the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited to the closure of Nigerian airspace and the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited due to the closure of the Nigerian airspace and the UAE Embassy in Abuja continues to work closely with the Nigerian Government to obtain the necessary approvals to facilitate travel between two countries.
“The UAE Embassy in Abuja calls upon the public to verify the authenticity of such reports and to seek information from the sources,” the embassy said in the statement.