Travel Ban for expats in Dubai: Things You Should be Aware of!

Travel Ban for expats in Dubai: Things You Should be Aware of!

According to the rules of UAE, legal affairs governing the travel ban in Dubai is spread over the article (94) of the Executive Regulations as well as in the Immigration and Residence Law (6) passed in 1973.  You can see that there is no single article available as of now which clearly depicts or envisages the scope of travel ban in Dubai completely together at the same place. It is as mentioned, scattered around the different sets of laws concerning immigration or the life of expats in the country. Even though you wouldn’t see contradictory laws, in order to find out the grounds of the imposition of the travel ban and how it is to be removed so that the person can enter UAE again, you will need to do some research. Or else, you can contact legal practitioners who have expertise in this area.


According to the Immigration and Residence Law and Executive Regulations, the following categories of foreigners are prohibited from entering the UAE:

1)    People who have criminal backgrounds

The UAE government takes background of a person seriously. Especially nowadays, for employment in the UAE, police clearance certificate from the country where the potential resident is coming from is strictly mandatory to process the visa. People who have criminal backgrounds do not get a visa and they are rejected. It is done so as to decrease the crime rates in the UAE and to protect the residents of UAE. The government considers it as their responsibility to keep the UAE safe and hospitable to everyone around the world. Hence, if you have a criminal background it might be hard to obtain a UAE visa for travel. Your chances of entering the country will be really low.


2)    People who were deported in the past

The government of UAE, after careful considerations sometimes deport some people who have violated laws of the land. Other times, deportation can result even from some activities which might be contrary to the belief systems or morality principles observed in the UAE. E.g.: Cohabitation, it is a commonly practiced living system in the western countries to live with the people you date. But, in UAE, it is a strict violation of moral principles and you can be hence deported. So, sometimes it need not be a serious offense, still, if you have been deported for any such reason, it is not necessary that you obtain a travel visa to the UAE again.


3)    Persons who are on the Interpol list

Interpol is an international organization headquartered in France for monitoring the criminal activities across the borders. It is actually a network of criminal law enforcement agencies of various countries around the globe. Interpol’s’ database at the headquarter in Leon, helps to record and monitor the activities of criminals beyond borders. Interpol's databases can track criminals and crime trends around the world, specifically by means of authorized collections of fingerprints and face photos, lists of wanted persons, DNA samples, and travel documents. All the member countries can access the database and the countries around the world use it to identify criminals from the immigration desk itself.  Hence, if a person whose identity listed on the Interpol tries to enter the UAE, the entry will be prohibited.

4)    People who are suffering from serious diseases which the government finds a threat to the health of the UAE residents

There is a list of diseases the ministry of health in the UAE finds dangerous to the civilians and their lives. If people are suffering from such diseases like HIV or… they are not allowed in the country. It is to prevent the transfer and spreading of such diseases at any cost in the UAE. If you are a person, suffering from any of the serious contagious diseases, check if the disease or symptom is classified and entered into the UAE list, before applying for the visa as the chances of receiving required approvals are low.


5)    People who were deported from any of the GCC countries on criminal grounds.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t been to the UAE before. Sometimes, if you have resided in any of the other GCC countries such as Oman, Saudi Arabia etc. and if you have a record of deportation from that country, you might not be allowed to enter the UAE.



These are the most common grounds of travel ban in Dubai for a person. While most of the above limit the entry to the UAE, there are some other grounds on which enforces travel ban due to the actions of a person within the UAE. They are:


  • Criminal Offenses in UAE


When a person is charged with criminal offenses in the country, there will be an imposition of a travel ban in Dubai. It means that if a person violates the criminal laws of the UAE and perform any of the activities stated below, such as:


Theft: if you are involved with the unlawful possession of objects or money which belong to other people and if it is proven under the law, a travel ban in Dubai will be imposed


Cohabitation: UAE system works on sharia law according to which relationships out of wedlock is considered as a serious offense. If you follow a western culture, still your relationship with your partner will be unlawful as long as you are not lawfully wedded.


Drug Abuse: the use and transfer of drugs are strictly prohibited in the UAE. You are not allowed to carry, possess or sell any kinds of drugs. If you do so and get caught, travel ban in Dubai will be imposed.


Use of Weapons: different kinds of Weapons and their use is not allowed in the UAE. Hence you are not allowed to own, carry or use any kinds of weapons unless you have special permissions.


Murder: as obvious as it is, murder is the utmost serious crime. It should not be performed in the UAE under any circumstances.


Rape: the laws of UAE grants special protection to women. Any activity which questions the safety of a woman is against the law and the offenders will be punished.


Bounced cheque cases:  when the cheques bounce in commercial transactions, the consequence include a travel ban


  • Breach of immigration laws


UAE has several laws on immigration which are to be obliged by the people who enter the country. But, not always these laws are observed properly by people. One of the most seemed violation in the UAE by foreign nationals is the engagement in a job without having the authorization or required work permit. People tend to overstay in the UAE sometimes violating the visa rules. It could be for job search, or with a different identity etc. for financial gain or so on. Other than these there are so many illegal immigrants entering the country through unauthorized channels by crossing the borders. Such people will not have legal documentation to stay in the country. It is illegal. Also, employees who leave their jobs to find better opportunities without proper visa cancellation or sponsorship may receive a travel ban in Dubai.


  • Personal Matters


Besides the matters which are official in nature, people might also get issued a travel ban on the grounds of personal matters. When it comes to the travel of children, if the guardian doesn't grant permission, there could be a travel ban in Dubai according to the articles (149-151) of the Federal Law No. (28) of 2005 on Personal Status. In the case of Fosterer, there has to be written permission from the guardian.


Also, if people have unpaid debts, according to the articles (329) and (330) of the UAE civil procedures code, a travel ban could be issued.  If the creditor requests for a ban it can prohibit the debtor from traveling abroad for a certain while.  This travel ban in Dubai will be expired when the debt is cleared.


These are the commonly observed grounds for travel ban in Dubai. If you are a person who has been through any of these in the past, it is recommended to check whether you have a travel ban or not before you make your travel arrangements. If you are not yet clear about the conditions or if your case is different from the typical scenarios, call …… for legal consultation and guidance!

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