An aerial view of The Palm Jumeirah is seen in Dubai, August 31, 2012. Tourism grew rapidly in the UAE, especially in the glitzy emirate of Dubai, where the number of tourists increased to 9.3 million in 2011, up 10 per cent from the previous year. —Reuters Photo

DUBAI: Tourists from South Asian countries that export labour to the UAE will require a university degree to get a visa as the rich Gulf state fights an illegal influx, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors and cleaners from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are now banned from obtaining a tourist visa, Gulf News daily said citing a senior immigration official.

The new measure sets a university degree as a prerequisite to obtain a visa, the official said.

“The Federal Residency Department... has decided to adopt stricter regimes for tourist, visit and conference visas to curb the influx of blue-collar workers from many labour exporting countries,” said the official.

“This would help significantly reduce the risk that individuals engaged in organised crime or the trafficking of persons could gain entry to the country,” he said.

Tourist visas are usually arranged through hotels or airlines and travel agents.

Tourism grew rapidly in the UAE, especially in the glitzy emirate of Dubai, where the number of tourists increased to 9.3 million in 2011, up 10 per cent from the previous year.

The UAE has millions of foreign workers, mostly from South Asian countries.

The expat-dominated population is estimated to have grown to around 8.2 million by the end of 2010, with UAE nationals making up only 11.47 per cent.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (41)

September 19, 2012 12:57 am
It means that half the labor population automatically qualify for higher wages and visas, (wishful thinking) my main concern is their welfare It's a pitty to see so many educated people accept menial jobs.
September 18, 2012 11:23 pm
This is a shame for a Muslim country to treat their poor neighbors like that. Sheikhs are already exploiting our people (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh) giving them very low wages and providing them with inhuman living conditions. My understanding is no body can live in these countries illegally because one has to be sponsored by someone who has a steady job in one of these states and sooner or later they will get the illegal person out. A true Muslim will/must share his wealth with his poor neighbors.
Shahrukh Khan
September 18, 2012 11:12 pm
Imagine if Pakistan has the law to be a president of Pakistan you need to have a degree? nah even then you I am sure you know how to do muq mukkka with opposition parties lolzzzzzzzz
September 18, 2012 12:20 pm
As if it would be a problem to get fake degrees in this country. Even some ministers got fake degrees to hold office in Pakistan. These Gulf countries come up with the weirdest laws one can think of and makes you wonder if their ministers have university degrees themselves.
September 18, 2012 8:32 pm
Yes, you can if you obtain degree from Monticello University that award PhD to Babar Awan after payment of US$500.
September 18, 2012 10:18 am
Yea, this is because they recently found numerous illegal people working here on such visas; making life difficult for the legal tourists/ visitors
M Haroon Jamshed
September 18, 2012 12:33 pm
Makes absolutely no sense. Yes, Dubai has illegal immigrant problem but does that mean an uneducated person cannot visit Dubai with family! There are many businessmen and businesswomen in South Asia who are very rich and can afford a leisure trip to Dubai but do not have a university degree.
Akhter Husain
September 18, 2012 7:00 pm
Illegal immigrants are encouraged in many countries because the employers get not only the cheap labours but they can easily be made to work like slaves at low wages.Is it really the fear of increased organised crime or there is some other reason such as locals are skilled enough now and available to handle these jobs. What ever the reason ,the Pakistanis will find ways and means to enter UAE without much problems if they make up their mind..I am sure that they are not targeting any community for the ban on skilled labours.Just a piece of advice.The educated people are better equipped to organize crimes.
September 18, 2012 10:47 am
I wonder if the so called western nations start doing it ..there will be violence and a big wave of anti Semitic anti western wave ...please don't justify it..these countries fortunately had some oil due to Western people discovery other wise would have still been herders and shepherd and happy with goats camels...and donkey..:)
September 18, 2012 4:21 pm
UAE law makers will have to take back the law.
September 18, 2012 2:56 pm
dubai should implement this law right away. get the all the workers out of the country and wait for master degree holder labour to apply for work in Dubai. .......hahahahahahahaha
September 18, 2012 4:20 pm
This law is actually been framed to stop Pakistani politicians from entering the UAE.
Cyrus Howell
September 18, 2012 3:17 pm
Not to worry. University degrees will be on sale at the airport and in Nigeria.
Cyrus Howell
September 18, 2012 3:18 pm
If you follow the rules you can't.
Ahmed Khan
September 18, 2012 5:57 pm
I salute your sense of humour, sir!
Asif Ali Zardari
September 18, 2012 2:24 pm
So... that means I can't go then?
Akeel R
September 18, 2012 3:10 pm
Good one.. :)
September 18, 2012 3:11 pm
How about Swiss?
September 18, 2012 5:27 pm
Its so easy to obtain a fake degree. Arabs are really foolish to implement such kind of policy
September 18, 2012 11:43 am
this only means more "side business" for registrar's office at Karachi University! LOL
Rev. Eldrick Lal
September 18, 2012 3:49 pm
It means they only want westerns at this time. they have enough people from south-east asia and far east asia. This is a better way to stop the immigrants from asia.
September 18, 2012 3:44 pm
Excellent point!
Ali Ammar
September 19, 2012 4:01 am
SPot on RIZWAN.... :)
Mustafa Razavi
September 19, 2012 12:12 am
Ajay; Your jealousy is a little off the topic, but Arab countries, even without oil, for instance Jordan, Syria, Lebanon or Tunisia, still have a higher per capita GDP than India.
mc duffy
September 18, 2012 1:17 pm
then im sure they can also afford any european country
Ahmed Rehan
September 18, 2012 5:34 pm
UAE authorities please answer Mr. Asif Ali Zardari's query...!!
Bill Gates
September 18, 2012 3:55 pm
Hey I am a college dropout, I guess i wont be visiting Dubai anytime soon.....I would never go to Dubai, its nothing but ugly desert, I would rather go to Turkey or Syria, Lebanon, Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt, Morrocco etc.
Saad (DXB)
September 18, 2012 3:55 pm
Dude read the news carefully.. The ban is only for Electricians, pipe fitters, masons, farmers, drivers, tailors and cleaners.. The businessmen and women won't fall into this category
K Khan
September 18, 2012 5:04 pm
Does adminsitration and immigration officer at airport have university degree too? Very funny?
September 20, 2012 1:29 am
They don't have degrees even here in West.
September 18, 2012 12:57 pm
I agree with this new policy and I appreciate...Cool...
Deep Ranjan
September 19, 2012 7:43 am
Well concluded! Based on what logic and number?
September 19, 2012 7:34 am
You don't have to say anything about that. They are their OWN people and THEy alone will decide about it?
Iqbal khan
September 19, 2012 7:31 am
Dubai ruler is very obsessed with white skin this is yet another way to stop brown people coming to Dubai.
September 19, 2012 7:11 am
September 19, 2012 7:06 am
Not many people live in the middle of a desert my friend.
September 19, 2012 6:43 am
Wanting Educated Immigrants
September 19, 2012 6:40 am
Any type of law, justified or injustified, can developed countries impose because they are rich. If the similar law imposed for the rich countries by the poor or under developing countries then what would be the reactions of rich countries? What UAE imposed is unjustified and completely unacceptable. It will provide the access to the millions of jobless degree holders whereas millions non-degree holders are rich businessmen and businesswomen will be disable to get access for their business.
September 19, 2012 5:01 am
Very an absurd step by UAE Govt.
September 19, 2012 4:47 am
hahahaha u are right.. it will be a very good side business :-)
September 19, 2012 4:26 am
Interesting. 90% or even more of the western expats in uae do not have degrees.
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