FACT-CHECK: Claim that Dubai banned Nigerians from entering the city due to alleged criminality is False

BLESSING Ramoba, a South African, in a Twitter message on July 10 made a claim that  Dubai had banned Nigerians from entering the city.

Ramoba, who is the President of Mining Forum of South Africa in the viral tweet that has been tweeted 560 times and liked 1700 times had said that Nigerians were banned from Dubai because of several atrocities similar to what they (Nigerians) are notorious for in South Africa.

“In South Africa when we complain about Nigerians that they are not respecting our laws, peddling drugs, hijacking buildings and turning them into brothels and involved in human trafficking. @Julius_S_Malema accuse us of xenophobia. Today, Dubai has banned them for same criminality,” he wrote on Twitter.

Blessing Ramoba

The tweet has since gone viral. In the tweet, Ramoba, who is the President of Mining Forum of South Africa in the viral tweet that has been tweeted 560 time and 1700 likes had said, in South Africa when we complain about Nigerians that they are not respecting our laws, peddling drugs, hijacking buildings and turning them into brothels and involved in human trafficking. @Julius_S_Malema accuses us of xenophobia. Today, Dubai has banned them for same criminality.

Findings

Ramoba’s tweet claimed Nigerians had been banned from Dubai. But Dubai, a city and an Emirate and the capital of United Arab Emirate (UAE) has no legal authority to place a ban on Nationals of any country.

There are only two authorities in Dubai– the Al Maktoum family, which has ruled since 1833 and the Dubai Municipality which is under the Government of Dubai. None of these two has the legal status to bar foreign nationals from entering Dubai.

The municipal body serves under the control of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the Vice President of UAE with jurisdiction over city services and the upkeep of facilities in the Emirate of Dubai, UAE.

Only the UAE authority has the authority to place a travel ban on foreign nationals.

In disclaiming the statement, the UAE Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria said the government only temporarily suspended the issuance of visas to foreign nationals including Nigerians because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The statement shared via its verified Twitter handle had read, “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.”

“At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UAE took a number of precautionary measures to combat the virus’ spread, including the temporary suspension on issuing UAE visas for all nationalities as 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 by showing negative PCR test results within 92 hours of travelling to the UAE. This includes those visiting from Nigeria.”

The Embassy noted that the travel between the UAE and Nigeria has remained limited due to the closure of Nigerian airspace.

“… the UAE Embassy in Abuja continues to work closely with the Nigerian Government to obtain the necessary approvals to facilitate travel between the two countries,” it stated.

VERDICT

Ramoba’s claim, therefore, is false.  The UAE government under which the Dubai Emirate operates had never issued any regulation stopping Nigerians from Dubai. Also, the claim that Nigerians coming to Dubai were banned had been denied by the UAE embassy in Nigeria.

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