Those whose visas have expired or whose employment contracts or periods of absence have come to an end fall into the category exempt from fines
People fleeing conflict in Sudan are greeted by Emirati officials in Abu Dhabi after being evacuated from a flight. — AFP file
Overstaying Sudanese tourists and tourists with expired residence visas welcomed the UAE’s announcement Friday to waive fines for Sudanese nationals who violate laws on entry and residence of foreigners.
Musa, who came to the country in February to visit his family and friends, is among Sudanese tourists who no longer worry about racking up overdue fines. He was supposed to return in mid-April in time for Eid al-Fitr, but was unable to do so after violence between Sudan’s two armed factions closed Khartoum’s international airport on April 15.
The UAE Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security (ICP) announced on Friday that Sudanese citizens who have expired visas and residence permits, work contracts or whose period to leave the UAE has come to an end are among the categories exempted from fines starting April 15 this year.
The ICP said: “This move is in line with the UAE’s approach and high humanitarian values, as well as its wise leadership’s passion to provide a decent life for the country’s Sudanese residents. Those who have ended are in the category of being exempted from fines.”
Major General Suhail Saeed Al Khaili, Director General of the ICP, underscored the deep-rooted relationship between the UAE and Sudan and the passion of the UAE leadership to support and stand with the people of Sudan. “I hope peace and security will return to the country and its people soon,” he added.
The cousin of Dubai resident Mohammad Hussain, whose tourist visa expired a month ago, said he thanked the UAE for its “compassion and generosity”.
“This (probation) is good news, now my cousin can stay with me without fear of punishment. But we really pray that he can go home soon, when things stabilize and return to normal,” he told Khaleej Times .
Abdul Rahman, another Sudanese tourist who came to the UAE three months ago, was also relieved. He said he had been worrying about how he would pay the fine for more than a month. He added: “I hope I can fly home soon to be with my loved ones, but with all flights grounded I can only pray for better days.”
In an official statement, the Sudanese embassy also expressed its gratitude to the UAE leadership for their support and care for the communities living in the country. The embassy also expressed its gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
More aid to Sudan
Meanwhile, an Emirati aid ship carrying 1,000 tonnes of supplies and food arrived in Port Sudan on Friday. The aid vessel is part of the UAE’s ongoing relief efforts in support of the Sudanese people and a manifestation of its humanitarian vision to alleviate the humanitarian problems faced by the Sudanese people as a result of the current crisis.
The UAE delivered more than 540 tonnes of food supplies and emergency medical supplies via 14 aircraft, bringing the total aid to Sudan to 1,540 tonnes.
The UAE has also sent nine aircraft to Sudan to evacuate a total of 997 people, including nationals from several countries, since the start of the conflict.
The UAE likewise provides custody and care services to nationals of some 26 different countries who are evacuated via UAE aircraft before returning to their respective home countries.