While the UAE isn’t on Trump’s list, the ramifications are already being felt here…
As shockwaves from President Trump’s temporary visa ban continue to be felt around the globe, authorities in the UAE have stopped issuing US visas to people from the affected countries.
The 45th President of the United States made his most controversial ruling yet (in what has been quite the controversial first week in office anyway) when he announced he would be temporarily barring people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. The countries affected are: Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
UAE AIRLINES CLOSELY WATCHING SITUATION
It’s unclear what any further ramifications will be for the GCC, but what we do know is that the region’s airports and airlines are closely watching the situation.
Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, and is a hub for the Middle East and many of the affected countries.
A spokesman for Dubai Airports said that they had been issued a new Immigration Advisory Notice relaying the travel restrictions.
While he wouldn’t talk specifically about the situation, he said they were “monitoring the situation”.
Emirates airline is taking a similar stance. A statement on their website gives updated information for affected travelers, and is offering rebooking and refund options for those booked to fly to or from the US between January 28 and February 28.
The airline told us that it had to quickly change its flight attendant and pilot roster following the sudden visa ban. However, flights are still running to schedule.
On Sunday, the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi posted a statement on their website saying that visas would not be issued to anyone from the affected countries until further notice.
If you already have an appointment scheduled, please DO NOT ATTEND your appointment as we will not be able to proceed with a visa interview
— US Mission to UAE (@USAinUAE) January 29, 2017
“If you are a national, or dual national, of one of these countries, please do not schedule a visa appointment or pay any visa fees at this time,” the statement said.
“If you already have an appointment scheduled, please DO NOT ATTEND your appointment as we will not be able to proceed with your visa interview.”
It’s hard to know how many people living in the UAE are affected by the ban, because there aren’t many official statistics that list the population by nationality, but it’s likely there are around 1.1 million people from these countries living here.
When Trump announced the ruling it was effective immediately, meaning those en route to the States with valid visas were detained on arrival or stopped at international airports.
However, US Judge Ann Donnelly, made an emergency ruling preventing the removal of people already in the US at the time as she deemed there was a risk of “substantial and irreparable injury” to them.
In the mere days since the ban was announced, large-scale riots and protests have erupted all over the US, and leaders the world over have been vocal in their condemnation of it.
In Boston yesterday, protestors against the travel and refugee ban were filmed surrounding Muslims so that they could pray in peace: