Trump’s visa ban is likely to affect many of the people around you (in fact, it’ll affect more than a million people in the UAE)…

In an extraordinary first week as 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump made many controversial rulings, but the order that’s going to affect people in the UAE most immediately is his decision to halt all refugee admissions and temporarily bar people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

What are the banned countries? They are Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen (and even people from these countries who hold dual citizenship with any other country apart from the US will be banned).

An estimated 130 million people will now effectively be unable to enter the US for the next 90 days.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” Trump said over the weekend. His move has caused protests at US airports, with thousands showing support for the refugees and visitors banned from the seven countries.


And while even though the UAE isn’t on the list, many of the people living in the UAE will be affected.

It’s unclear exactly how many people from these seven countries are living in the UAE because not many official statistics that list the population by nationality are released in the UAE, but it’s likely that there are around 1.1 million people from these countries living here. 

It’s estimated that there are around 240,000 Syrians living in the UAE, around 150,000 Iraqis, 500,000 Iranians, 90,000 Yemenis, 80,000 Sudanese50,000 Somalis and a few thousand Libyans. 

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What we do know for sure is that there are currently more than five million Arabic speakers living in the UAE – and only around one million of those are Emirati. So it’s safe to say that the United Arab Emirates’ resident population is a diverse picture of the Arabic-speaking world. 

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. Her ruling will only affect those who landed at US airports Friday evening and Saturday, after Trump signed the order, and have valid visas.


Well, while no GCC countries are on the ‘banned’ list – Donald Trump did say vetting will be “extreme” in all cases.

“It’s not a Muslim ban, but we were totally prepared. It’s working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over,” Trump recently said.

In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, Trump was asked, “Let me ask you about some of the countries that won’t be on the list, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Why are we going to allow people to come into this country.”

To this, Trump replied, “You’re going to see – you’re going to see. We’re going to have extreme vetting in all cases. And I mean extreme. And we’re not letting people in if we think there’s even a little chance of some problem.”

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“For other countries we’re gonna have extreme vetting. It’s going to be very hard to come in. Right now it’s very easy to come in. It’s gonna be very, very hard. I don’t want terror in this country. You look at what happened in San Bernardino. You look at what happened all over. You look at what happened in the World Trade Center. Okay, I mean, take that as an example.”

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Photo: Getty