The United Arab Emirates began issuing visas to Nigerians a week after imposing outright bans following sectarian clashes that erupted between rival Eiye and Aiye sectarian groups in Dubai and Sharjah.
At present, no official statement has been released by the UAE government on the development. But several travel agencies and individuals have confirmed the development to Peoples Gazette.
New requirements for Nigerians wishing to travel to the Middle Eastern city include confirmed hotel reservations, a six-month bank statement showing both inflows and outflows and confirmation of a confirmed return ticket, according to information disseminated by travel agencies in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The UAE Embassy in Abuja did not return calls and text messages from The Gazette seeking comment on the development.
The Gazette had reported a viral video which made the rounds on social media. In it, a group of machete-wielding men were seen screaming in the parking lot of an apartment, chasing each other and damaging public property.
A blanket ban has been imposed on Nigerians following the clashes, with many seeing the latest demands as even better than outright bans from a country with close economic ties to Nigeria.
Police, in a July 21 statement, said the suspects were of African descent and warned residents against violence.
“Dubai Police arrested a group of people, who were having a heated argument in their residence at late hours. The group of Africans appeared in a video that went viral on social media platforms as they fought in a public place and damaged property,” statementsassistance.
Police also said a criminal case had been filed against the suspects and they would be referred to the prosecution for further action.
Prior to recent sectarian clashes, Emirati authorities targeted Nigerians over a range of issues including an alleged rampant racketeering. Last year, hundreds of Nigerians working in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were forced to return home after UAE immigration authorities refused to renew their residency permits.
No official reason was given for these refusals.