UAE suspends visa-free journey for Ukrainians

The United Arab Emirates has suspended visa-free journey for Ukrainians travelling to the Gulf state, lower than per week after the Russian invasion sparked a large-scale exodus of Ukrainian refugees from the battle zone.

The Ukrainian embassy within the capital Abu Dhabi stated the mutual cancellation of visa necessities had been briefly ended on March 1, in accordance with a discover on its Fb web page. An embassy official later confirmed the information. It doesn’t have an effect on Ukrainian residents residing within the UAE.

The suspension of UAE visa waivers is the traditional process throughout such “unexpected crises”, stated one other official. Ukrainian vacationers trapped within the Gulf state and unable to return house are being supplied with free lodging and meals, the official added.

Ignoring Washington’s pleas, the UAE final week joined India and China in abstaining on a UN Safety Council decision condemning Russia’s actions. The UAE’s neutrality partly displays its need to protect co-operation with Moscow on vitality and geopolitical points

The oil-rich Gulf state, the inhabitants of which is 90 per cent overseas, attracts many migrant labourers and rich tax exiles, particularly from the Center East, Africa and Asia. The UAE can also be a preferred vacation spot for each Ukrainian and Russian vacationers. About 15,000 Ukrainians dwell within the UAE and 250,000 of its nationals visited the regional tourism hub in 2019.

Now, bankers and businesspeople count on an inflow of Ukrainians fleeing battle and Russians looking for to keep away from sanctions and financial turmoil at house. Rich Ukrainians have already been contacting enterprise companions in Dubai, requesting help in securing a house, individuals briefed on these conversations stated.

Emirati officers say the nation will abide by worldwide requirements and shun people and entities positioned beneath sanctions. Abu Dhabi has been working exhausting to enhance monetary compliance in an effort to keep away from being positioned on the Monetary Motion Job Power’s gray checklist of jurisdictions beneath elevated monitoring over their efforts to counter cash laundering and terrorist financing.

The Gulf state has been co-operating extra carefully with Russia on vitality and geopolitical points lately. Abu Dhabi has additionally been involved by what it regards as a lukewarm response by western powers, particularly the US, to Yemeni Houthi missile and drone assaults on the UAE this yr.

The UAE’s de facto chief, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, has careworn the necessity for a political resolution to the Ukraine disaster that ensures the pursuits and nationwide safety of all, saying he would proceed to talk to involved events to seek for a “sustainable political resolution”.

Dubai has historically benefited financially from regional turmoil, experiencing inflows of individuals and money fleeing instability elsewhere. The Arab spring revolts of 2011, for instance, triggered a turnround for the town’s economic system and actual property after dealing with a debt disaster throughout the world monetary turmoil.

The UAE got here beneath criticism for failing to absorb Syrians when the refugee disaster from Syria’s civil battle worsened in 2015. The federal government countered on the time that about 100,000 Syrians had migrated to the nation for the reason that battle started, both becoming a member of relations resident within the UAE or getting into by way of work or investor visas.

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