Monday, October 27, 2008

The Special Immigration Zones: How to solve the Visa Runner's Problem

Check this article out from the Gulf News.

Since the issue of the visa runner is a very sensitive one, and with the UAE government very precarious about allowing people between visas to stay in the UAE, a special Immigration zone should be formed.

This will basically be a number of fully enclosed secured areas, visa-wise not considered part of the UAE therefore allowing anyone to enter it even if he/she does not have visas. It is basically a free city. They should be situated near airports and with budget accomodation, facilities, an immigration office and a secured train that will go to the regional airport. Once the visa issue is sorted out, the entrant can leave the SIZ (Special Immigration Zone) and proceed to his work.

The benefits behind this are:
  1. Cutting back on the effort needed by applicants to renew the visas, a drive to the SIZ with a few days stay being easier than having to fly to Kish and back.
  2. Allowing them close contacts with anyone that would help them in their visa process. Their companies, their governments, the UAE Government.
  3. Ensuring that funds that would otherwise go into the pockets of Ahmedinjad's corrupt social services programs would go into the UAE economy.
  4. This city being a totally visa-free zone could develop into something of its own.

It is imperative that the government provide an Emirati solution to an Emirati problem. Allowing these people to rot in Kish is not the answer.


sadia said...

brilliant idea!

rosh said...

It's sad, really. Thoughtful view though.

BuJassem said...

nice one bu shihab.. very very smart idea.. and to be honest i wouldn't stop there.. i'd aim to remove all these SIZ's in 5 years because by then you can transfer visas from one employer to the next without having to leave the uae. such a backward system in my eyes.

honestly the reason the uae has the edge over our competitors is because we think ahead and they country has the necessary infrastructure. so if we make the laws and regulations too tough and pointless then people will find other places to go to.. and other countries know it.. qatar, bahrain, oman etc are not just coming to the uae coz we're the first country to have ikea in the gulf..

CG said...

Nice idea. None of it should really be necessary though. The immigration rules need a complete overhaul anyway.

mansoor muftah said...

man,,u have waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much free time! ya think the "authorities"(?) will listen?

Ayesha Saeed said...

To be honest, more than the article it self...!

I am more awe-struck to see a blog by an Emirati...! don't take me wrong but i was under the impression that Emirati's avoid such social activities...!!

Good to have you onl blogging world...

Take Care - Ayesha

Anonymous said...

Hola. Muy lindo está este blog, se aprende bastante sobre los Emiratos Arabes Unidos de una forma interesante.
Soy de Argentina, país maravilloso como pocos.

Notorious said...

see now thats a gd project,, i've been reading all day about economics and realastates ,, but this one i must say is impressive :)

emancipatingmymind said...

what a brilliant idea!umped

big teddy said...

but seriously(?),it;s been 2 months since yr last post (this 1!) where have u been hiding??

Anonymous said...


Since you are an expat. maybe you want to add this expatriates website ( to you list of links. Your

readers may benefit from it.

Good luck


Minnie said...


A little off topic but I don't know where to turn.
A friend of mine is facing financial trouble in Dubai and I wonder if anyone here has any good advice on the issue. He is sincere in his efforts to solve this in a decent manner.

Please check out the details here;_ylt=Ajwtz3z7PQ7JNQbLm2f7NaUjzKIX;_ylv=3?qid=20090127025234AAyF9vr


unJane said...

I hate to whine or nag or whatever but it seems as if I go to the trouble to bookmark you and check back periodically, you could have the decency to write something awesome to keep me entertained and engaged. Please?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this nice idea. I have a small weblog and I receive questions about VISA issues. This idea, if applicable, would help.

I invite you to visit my weblog:

Lindsey said...


I'm a student who has been reading your blog as part of an assignment for a course I have been taking. The problem of visa running is a very interesting and sad problem. This post is a couple of months old so I was just wondering if the emirati government has done anything to remedy the problem recently or if there is anybody advancing ideas like yours for the SIZ on a larger scale. Thank you.