Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New UAE visa regulation for Kenyans

A new visa regulation set by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) requires citizens from Kenya to have at least a bachelor's degree to travel into the Arab country. 

According to the new regulation, even Kenyan transit passengers will be detained at UAE airports if they fail to prove that they have at least a bachelor's degree. 

"It is unfair for the Dubai government to punish all Kenyans over this misunderstanding," the chairman of Parliament's departmental committee on Foreign Relations and Defense, Aden Keynan, said on Tuesday.

"Mr Wetang'ula and his team must be proactive in their dealings with such crucial trade partners so that such hitches do not occur,” he added. 

The UAE's new visa regulation took effect just four days after the UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah al-Nahayan met with Kenya's high-ranking officials, including the Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and the country's Foreign Minister Moses Wetang'ula. 

The exact reasons for the new move are still unknown. However, Mr. Keynan said it was in response to the deportation of UAE nationals touring Kenya. 

About 36,000 Kenyans are currently in Dubai for work and business purposes while others use the Arab state as a transit route to other Middle East countries.