A total of 678 Pakistani citizens have been denied entry into the UAE for the non-compliance.
A confirmed return ticket is mandatory for visit and tourist visa holders to enter the UAE, leading airlines and travel agents have said.
The rules are being strictly enforced and a large group of passengers from India and Pakistan were left stranded at Dubai International Airport recently for not having confirmed return tickets. According to the Consulate-General of Pakistan in Dubai, a total of 678 Pakistani citizens have been denied entry into the UAE for the non-compliance.
Over 140 Indian passengers were also asked to return to their home countries on Thursday.
Airlines warn passengers
India’s national carrier Air India and Indigo airlines have issued notices to passengers and travel agents stating the rules.
“We have been informed by the authority concerned in Dubai that passengers with visit and tourism visas arriving in the emirate without a return ticket will not be permitted entry,” read an official circular issued by Air India.
“It is a must for all passengers travelling from India to Dubai on a visit or tourist visa to hold a valid return ticket.
“In absence of the same, we would be constrained to offload the passenger at the check-in point or boarding point in India or refuse entry in Dubai by deporting the passenger at their own cost and expense,” added the circular.
Indigo airline also warned passengers that those travelling without a valid return ticket will be denied entry into Dubai.
“They shall be deported at their own cost and expenses,” said the circular from Indigo.
Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) updated its website saying: “Visitors travelling to the UAE on a visit visa must have at least Dh2,000 as show-money, return ticket and hotel booking/residential address, otherwise they will not be allowed to enter the UAE.”
Meanwhile, Dubai Airports told airlines that they would have to cough up the cost of repatriating tourists who would arrive in the UAE without a confirmed return ticket, according to a circular issued on Thursday.
Rule only for some?
Some media reports have suggested that the rules have been strictly enforced only for visitors from five countries – India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal – based on an unverified circular, citing ICA, doing rounds on social media. However, Khaleej Times has not been able to verify the authenticity of the document.
Sudheesh TP, general manager of Deira Tours and Travels, suggested the rule may have been strictly reinforced to deter blue-collared workers from coming to the UAE on a visit visa and getting stranded here. “These measures have always been in place. However, they are being more strictly enforced now. As per the UAE laws, blue-collared workers, like others, are not supposed to come on a visit visa for job-seeking purposes. Many of the low income category end up getting stranded here,” he said.