The United Arab Emirates has commenced the issuance of visas to Nigerians a week after it imposed outright bans following cult clashes that erupted between rival cult groups Eiye and Aiye in Dubai and Sharjah.
At this time, no official statement has been issued by the Emirati government over the development. But multiple travel agencies and individuals confirmed the development.
The new requirements for Nigerians seeking travel access to the middle eastern city include confirmed hotel reservations, a six-month bank statement showing both cash inflows and outflows and a confirmed return ticket confirmation, according to information circulated by travel agencies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The UAE embassy in Abuja did not return The Gazette’s calls and SMS requesting a comment on the development.
A general ban was imposed on Nigerians following the clashes, with many seeing the latest requirements as even better than outright bans from a country with strong economic ties to Nigeria.
The police, in a statement on July 21, said the suspects were of African origin and warned residents against engaging in violence.
“The Dubai Police has arrested a group of people, who were engaged in a heated argument in their residence at late hours) The group of African people appeared in a viral video on social media platforms while fighting in a public place and damaging properties,” the statement said.
The police also said a criminal case had been registered against the suspects, and they would be referred to the public prosecution for further action.
Prior to the recent cult clashes, Emirati authorities have targeted Nigerians over a string of issues, including alleged rampant racketeering. Last year, hundreds of Nigerians working in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were forced to return home after the UAE immigration authorities declined to renew their residency permits.
No official reasons were given for the denials.