Nigerians have not been banned from visiting the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
This was disclosed by Stella Fubara-Obinwa, Director Africa, International Operations for Dubai Tourism.
Equally important, Fubara-Obinwa made the clarification during a webinar organised by the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) in Lagos. She disclosed that there was never a time, nor was there any publication; which reported that Nigerians had been banned from visiting the UAE.
Indeed, rumours had circulated on social media recently that Nigerians had been barred from the UAE. Many had attributed the development to the much-publicised arrest of alleged fraudster, Hushpuppi; who faces up to 20 years in jail for fraud.
However, Fubara-Obinwa described the reports that Nigerians had been barred as fake news.
“I challenge people to show me any publication from the United Arab Emirates which states that Nigerians had been banned from the country. This is fake news and I’m not happy with the development from the Nigeria travel agents.
“Nigeria is very important to Dubai; Nigerians are highest number of travellers to Dubai, out of the 41 sub-Sahara countries. As a matter of fact, Dubai is ready to accommodate visitors, likewise every hospitality business; while we adhere to the new COVID-19 restrictions,” she said.
Fubara-Obinwa said Dubai had been opened to tourists from July 7; adding that safety measures had been put in place across all hospitality and tourism outfits. She noted that Dubai was recently recognised as a safe destination by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
Also, she revealed that a tourist is expected to have a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test; which can be conducted at any accredited laboratory in their countries 96 hours before embarking on a trip to Dubai. She explained that this would help travellers to ascertain their COVID-19 status, prior to their journey to Dubai to guide against spreading the virus.
“The Dubai Department of Tourism and Conference Marketing has given direction that all large events should be suspended until further notice with exception to meetings, examinations and trainings. Trainings, meetings and examinations are allowed with strict adherence to social distancing and other stringent protocols.
“Live events are suspended till further notice to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic…We have put measures in place to boost tourists’ confidence coming to the UAE; and we are doing more,” she said.
Fubara-Obinwa noted that the UAE had assured every traveller flying with the Emirate Airlines free medical travel insurance; which would cover COVID-19 treatment in the country. She said that travellers with other airlines would have to present their medical travel insurance; covering COVID-19 treatment before being allowed to travel.
“Also, a declaration must be signed to bear all cost of quarantine and treatment if other airlines are used; in the event that they are infected with COVID-19 in UAE. Other travel requirements for the UAE is that travellers must have a negative PCR test result and must disclose any symptom before travelling.