UAE Plans to Lift Travel Ban on Nigerian Citizens, Announces Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation

The travel ban was initially imposed by the UAE amid diplomatic disputes, including issues with visa denials and a face-off with Emirates Airlines, which had suspended flights to Nigeria

Dubai, UAE – June 5, 2024: In a significant development in diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has announced that the UAE plans to lift the travel ban on Nigerian citizens imposed in 2022.

During a welcome dinner for delegates at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 80th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Dubai, Keyamo revealed the impending announcement.

Advertisement

He expressed that while the issue of visa has been resolved, the formal announcement is pending as both parties finalize the necessary arrangements.

“The issue of visa has been resolved; the announcement remains. They want to dot the I’s and cross the T’s. The announcement will be made in a couple of weeks,” stated Keyamo.

The travel ban was initially imposed by the UAE amid diplomatic disputes, including issues with visa denials and a face-off with Emirates Airlines, which had suspended flights to Nigeria.

However, President Bola Tinubu’s intervention last year aimed to resolve these disputes, claiming to have secured a landmark deal with the UAE to lift the ban with immediate effect. Nonetheless, this assertion was later refuted by an Emirati official.

Keyamo emphasized the importance of the UAE as a crucial partner to Nigeria, highlighting the significant investments Nigerians have in the Gulf state.

“Nigerians have a lot of stakes here in the UAE, and they have a lot of investments. What we are doing is to make it easy for millions of Nigerians who have put a lot of pressure on us to ensure that we open up this route again,” he remarked.

Advertisement

The minister also underscored the growing trust and confidence between the two nations, noting his recent discussions with high-ranking officials from the UAE, including the ruler of Dubai and executives from Emirates Group.

“I was on the same ride with the ruler of Dubai, the minister, and the head of Emirates Group and all the top shots of Emirates”.

“That is to tell you how much they value us, and they want Nigeria to see it in that light. They have started to trust us again, and I want to say thank you to them. I will take it from here on,” added Keyamo.

The anticipated official announcement is expected to rekindle bilateral relations and foster increased trade and flight connectivity between Nigeria and the UAE.

In a related development, Emirates Airlines recently announced its intention to resume flights to Nigeria starting October 1, indicating a positive trajectory for air travel between the two nations.

As both countries prepare to formalize the lifting of the travel ban, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the restoration of seamless travel and enhanced cooperation in various sectors, further strengthening the bonds between Nigeria and the UAE.

 

This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

Latest articles

Related articles