United Arab Emirates Immigration Problem


Dubai: A total of 135 illegal Asian workers were arrested in Dubai early this week in an operation which lasted less than an hour.

The operation was carried out in the Fareej Al Murr and Al Mutana areas by the Investigation Section of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreigner Affairs (GDRFA).

Major-General Mohammad Ahmad Al Merri, director-general of the GDRFA, said illegal residents were likely to commit crimes and added that “any breach of the law threatens the stability of society.”


He said the 135 Asian men were arrested on charges of illegally staying in the country.

Maj Gen Al Merri encouraged illegal residents to approach the department in order to amend their legal status or leave the country.

He called on the public to cooperate with authorities and report illegal residents.

“The illegal [residents] can turn themselves [over] to the Customer Service [department] at the GDRFA, which in turn will refer them to the Department of Criminal Records to check their records [before being] referred to the Department of Investigation,” which will investigate before deporting offenders, he said.

Maj Gen Al Merri said the officers and staff of the Investigation Section at the Foreigners and Illegal Residents Follow-up Department were working hard to curb the numbers of illegal residents.

He added that the country’s Federal laws — including the law governing the entry and residence of foreigners — were designed for the safety and security of society.

Lieutenant-Colonel Khalaf Ahmad Al Gaith, Assistant Director-General for Investigation and Illegals’ Follow-up at the GDRFA, said a member of the public had tipped off the police as to the presence of the illegal residents.

He added that the 135 men were taken to the Al Aweer Deportation Centre and said their case would be transferred to the Public Prosecutor for further investigation.

Lt Col Al Gaith said his team would continue working round the clock in tracking all those flouting the country’s residency law. He added that all offenders would face illegal action.

He warned of social security risks arising from the presence illegal residents and said authorities would carry out a series of random inspection campaigns in different areas of Dubai.


Abu Dhabi: A two month amnesty is granted to illegal residents to leave the country without penalties or regularise their visas, Major General Nasser Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalization, Residency and Ports Affairs has announced.

Illegal residents can visit residency departments across the UAE to obtain outpasses and leave the country without penalties, or regularise their visas, after payment of fines between December 4 and February 3.

By: Bassma Al Jandaly and Samir Salama, Gulf News