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Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai


Issue 5

September 2014

GDRFA-Dubai saved AED145 million through integrated financial plans

New biometric capture solution targets APC kiosks & eGates

Smart travel models by WTTC

New visa Global Employment: fee structure

Weak economic introduced in UAE recovery does not extend to jobs H.H.Sheikh Mohammed tours Dubai airport

Welcome with a smile

Captain Khalid bin Mediya:

GDRFA-Dubai to launch 30 new Common Visas Mobile App Differentiate Smart services soon with mobility for Regional Blocs to scan passport

GDRFAD’s Mobile application enables individuals: • On arrival visa extension. • Dashboard with all entry permits and residency • • • •

applications that are in progress, active, expiring soon or expired. Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. New and renew residency (wife & children). New and renew sponsored visas (citizens). Attaching required documents.

For Establishments: • • • •

Extending entry permits (tourist visas). Work entry permit renewal. Before arrival – entry permit cancellation. Printing of Ministry of Labor’s permits.

Other features: • • • • •

Payment gateway. Visa inquiry. News and activities. Amer Car services. User guide.

• Branches with location

maps and contact details. • Multimedia • Contact Director General.

Download the application & register your details to enter the draw:

Mobile application is available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFAD

• 4 mobile phones weekly (from 7 September until 16 October 2014)

• Grand prize draw on a car on 16 October 2014

Welcome Message

Historic developments T he border control industry in the UAE has

recently witnessed two bigger-impact developments.The first is the decision of the UAE cabinet about the revision of the visa fee structure and its implementation across the country from August 1. The second was the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to Dubai International Airport to review the performance of the airport’s key players, including GDRFA-Dubai, which reflects the strategic importance of the borders control in his vision and its crucial role in synchronizing different economic sectors to work in full capacity. While the revised visa fee structure and regulations about entry and exit of residents and visitors will enable us in attracting more people to the UAE from across the world in the coming years, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed’s visit has infused in us positive energy to work with more commitment and dedication towards achieving his vision of welcoming the visitors with a never-fading smile and making them happy and satisfied. About the new visa regulation, I am fully confident that this wise decision will further enhance the respect for law and cater to the needs and requirements of our society and serve the national interest. It also achieves a synergy between various sectors that guarantee social justice through standardization of the fees applied at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in all the emirates.

The new system has achieved proportionality between services, fees and added value to customers. These modifications are in line with the Ministry of Interior’s goals to achieve transparency, effectiveness and excellence, as well as to improve and upgrade the services.We can’t ignore the fact that controlling illegal entry of people and violation of residency laws are equally important. Turning a blind eye to lawbreakers will be an open invitation to allow increase in the crime rate and other unacceptable behaviors. These points were the main factors behind the modifications that toughened the law to punish the violators of residency laws and also to raise awareness in the society about the menace of illegal entry and residency violations. These modifications have not come out of the blue. It was the result of an extensive study of various factors and benefits to ensure that the way we manage our borders is the best to achieve security in the country.

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 1

GDRFA Message


in History


October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department


October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.


1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.


1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex


1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith


2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila


1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort


1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated

2 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

Our Vision The UAE to become one the safest and most secure countries in the world.

Our Mission To work efficiently and effectively to enhance the quality of life for UAE society through security, transit, rehabilitation, residency services and secure the safety of lives and property.

Our Values Justice t Work with team spirit t Excellence t Good cooperation t t Integrity t Loyalty Social responsibility t

Strategic objectives t Strengthening of security and safety t Ensure readiness and preparedness in disasters and crises t Enhancing public confidence in the effectiveness of the provided services t The optimal use of security information t Secure the provision of all administrative services in accordance with standards of quality, efficiency and transparency

To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: amer@dnrd.ae Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae

Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae


GDRFA News Lecture on the power of positive thinking

New visa fee structure introduced in UAE


Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai


UAE News UAE Islamic banking assets crossed $95 billion

Dubai Police joins EENA P 17

P 16

Middle East News

Director General

General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General

Saudi up in a fit about expat salaries rising

More Vietnamese workers heading to ME

Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri

P 20

P 21

General Coordinator Captain Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Akram Executive Editor Mohammed Abdul Mannan

International News Passport scanning comes to Istanbul airport

Greece to use drones for immigration control

P 22

P 23

Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707

Mobile App will now scan your passport

Common Visas for Regional Blocs

P 30

Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website




P 37


Differentiate with mobility

P 32 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 3


New visa fee structure introduced in UAE

I n line with a decision of the UAE

Cabinet, a new visa fee and fine structure has been introduced with effect from August 1. The new measures include the issuing of a new array of entry permits and visas, such as multiple-entry permits for visit or work; the activation of study visas, and entry permits for healthcare and attending conferences. An AED5000 refundable deposit will be now be collected for cancelling a sponsor’s residence visa without cancelling the visas of the sponsored family members. According to the new law, signed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the deposit will be refunded once the sponsor adjusts the status. An AED3000 refundable deposit will be collected for sponsorship of

4 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

each family member for a female investor, while an AED5000 refundable deposit will be collected for humanitarian cases determined by the Minister of the Interior. The new decision sets up a fund for the deportation of violators of the residency rules. Resources for the fund will come from deposits which will be encashed after the applicants fail to honour their obligations under the law. An AED100 fine will be imposed on users of residency department portals who fail to fill in applications accurately. Individual applicants who fail to honour any declaration or affidavit will be fined AED500, while in the case of a corporate applicant the fine will be AED2000. Companies that fail to adjust the legal status of their sponsored workers on time will be fined AED1000 for each worker, while failure to report any change in the company’s details

to the ministry will entail a fine of AED1000. An AED5000 fine will be imposed on those who misuse the residency system or submit bogus reports to the residency departments across the country. Repeat offenders within a year will have their fines doubled, not exceeding AED50000. Details about the new visa regime, including fee structure, has been posted on the Ministry of Interior’s website www.moi.gov.ae for the convenience of UAE residents and visitors. The ministry has also issued circulars about the new system to all the authorized typing centres. The new system comes under the UAE Cabinet’s resolution Number 22 for the year 2014, which later was approved as Decision Number 377 for the year 2014 that streamlines the organization and development of the services at the Naturalization and Residency departments.


His Highness Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Interior, issued the ministerial decision, which amended the applicable regulations on foreigners’ entry and residence. The General Directorates of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) at the Ministry of Interior completed the technical and services preparations to ensure a flexible implementation of the new system across the naturalization, residency and ports affairs sector. Officials said the approved amendments take into account the quality and development of services, in addition to meeting social requirements and activities in a way that supports various aspects of economic, touristic and social activities. The new decision also focuses on violators, which is the key issue in the suggested amendments, as part of an integrated system, which ensures the field efficiency of executive authorities and customers’ satisfaction. Fees for employment and visitor visas The employment visa for a worker sponsored by governmental bodies will cost AED200 per year, while the visa charge for workers employed by the private sector or free zones will be AED250 per year. The residence visa for an investor or partner will cost AED250 per year. The residence visa for a family member of a worker employed by governmental bodies will cost AED200 per year, while the

charge for workers employed by private businesses and free zones as well as investors and partners of businesses will be AED250. Renewal of the residence visa will cost AED200 per year for a family member of a worker employed by governmental bodies, private sector or free zones, while the renewal charge for investors and partners will be AED250 per year. The entry permit or its renewal for domestic workers sponsored by Emiratis or GCC citizens will cost Dh150 per year, while the charge for workers sponsored by foreigners will be Dh200. The visa for a domestic helper sponsored by an investor or a partner will cost Dh250. A multiple-entry tourist permit will cost AED200, while multipleentry visa for work will cost AED2100. A visit visa for residents in GCC countries will cost AED200, while its renewal will cost AED700. An entry permit for study or training will cost AED550, while its renewal will cost AED600. An entry permit for medical treatment will cost AED550, while a multiple-entry visa for medical treatment will cost AED1400. The same fees will be applicable to patients’ companions. The renewal of a visa for treatment will cost AED500, while the charge for the companions will be AED600. The transit visa issued to travelers’ transiting through the UAE airports for 96 hours and sponsored by an airline operating in the country will cost AED100. 

Types of visas and fees Employment Visa (Government):


Employment Visa (Private Sector, Free Zones, Investors):


Residence Visa (Government):


Residence Visa (Private Sector, Free Zones, Investors):


Employment Visa (Domestic workers sponsored by Emiratis, GCC citizens):


Employment Visa (Domestic workers sponsored by residents):


Employment Visa (Domestic workers sponsored by investors):


Residence Visa for real estate owners:


Multiple Entry Visa for work:


Visa for medical treatment:

Multiple Entry Visa for medical treatment: Residence Visa for study or training:




Multiple Entry Visa for work or tourism:


Entry Visa for GCC Resident’s Companions:


Renewal of GCC Residents Companions’ Visa:


Entry Visa for GCC Residents:


Renewal of GCC Resident’s Visa:


Transit Entry Visa:


|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 5


Lecture on the power of positive thinking

T he General Directorate of Resi-

Al Falasi, Director General of dency and Foreigners Affairs in the Watani Al Emarat FoundaDubai (GDRFA-Dubai) hosted tion.Major General Obaid Mua lecture on the effectiveness hair Bin Surour, Deputy Direcof Positive Energy, which was tor-General of GDRFA-Dubai, delivered by Dr Dherar Belhoul Brigadier Hussain Ibrahim, As-

6 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

sistant Director General of Seaports and Head of the Transition to Smart Services Projects at GDRFA-Dubai, were among the officials who attended the lecture, which was a part of a


series of activities on leader- He said: “Positive energy is ship excellence initiative taken infectious as it passes from up by the GDRFA-Dubai. one person to another person. Everyone can get affected by In his opening remarks, Major- positive energy similarly as General Obaid Muhair Bin Su- everyone can get affected by rour said that positive energy negative energy.” should be reflected in one’s daily approach and should He suggested five ways to inguide the thinking that can be crease positive energy– focus on used to achieve success and solution not the problem, avoid excellence to enhance positive judgmental behaviour, release relationship in various walks stress of mistakes, give imporof life, especially at leadership tance to power of smile and level. praise, and don’t hesitate. 

GDFRA-Dubai has recently established the Positive Energy Section to develop skills and talents of its employees and boost their selfconfidence

He said GDFRA-Dubai has recently established the Positive Energy Section to develop skills and talents of its employees and boost their self-confidence. Dr Dherar Al Falasi praised Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, for his efforts to motivate the employees as well as for organizing activities to promote positive behaviour. |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 7


Summer programme for children of GDRFA-Dubai employees T he

General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), in association with the Hawaa’ Committee at GDRFA-Dubai, organised a summer programme, Dubai Summer More Beautiful, to boost energy and develop skills of the children of GDRFA-Dubai employees and female staff members of the department. The event, held from August 3 to 13, was open to children aged between seven and 17. Organised in cooperation with the Children City and Start Centre, the activities included a number of scientific, cultural and entertainment programmes that suited best to the participants according to their age.

A series of workshops on drawing, calligraphy, sewing, recycling as well as several sporting activities were organised.

All activities were aimed at increasing the participants’ productivity and to develop their expertise, team spirit, volunteerism and discipline. 

GDRFA-Dubai honours High Performing Employees T he General Directorate of Residen-

cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) felicitated its High Performing Employees as part of its 365 Days of Positive Energy initiative. The initiative was launched by the directorate in response to the instructions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to honour the high-performing employees. Employees who were honoured included First Lieutenant Hamda Ibrahim, First Sergeant Mariam Al Shibli, First Sergeant Saleem Mohammed, Sergeant Saif Al Ustad,

8 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

Sergeant Mohammed Zahidi, and constables Mashal Al Bilal, Hamida Hussain and Hind Daboos.The winners were chosen from among the employees who showed immense positive energy, followed the work deadlines and work ethics, took creative initiative and contributed to high productivity. Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said that leaders should always spread positive energy around his/her team and encourage employees to take challenges in all aspects of life with special stress on problem solving.The GDRFA-Dubai had established a section dedicated

to spreading positive energy among the employees and to nurture their professional skills and talents. The initiative is expected to open new avenues for them to achieve personal aspirations as the newly-established section also focuses on factors that affect employees’ satisfaction. The section was established in response to the call by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to all public servants to show positive energy and determination to apply it in different walks of life to bring about success and innovation. 



Excellence with smile D uring his recent tour of the Dubai

International Airport to review the infrastructure and facilities development, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has praised the electronic linkages between the GDRFADubai and the Emirates Airlines. The first of its kind project in the Middle East, the electronic linkages reduces the departure travel time from 30 minutes to less than 10 minutes, almost a 10 to 15 per cent reduction. In fact, GDRFA-Dubai has come a long way in reducing and streamlining the passengers travel procedures at the Dubai International through an integrated matrix of new systems that have been already in place or about to the introduced over the next few months. We will achieve this goal through a slew of new procedures to accelerate passengers’ movements by ensuring maximum level of security and at the same time welcoming them with a never-fading smile. It is no secret that the GDRFA-Dubai places special importance to raising the awareness about the smart gates and getting the feedback and responses of its users to enhance its tremendous abilities to speed up the passengers flow and achieving more security. Our target is to have four million registered users in our smart gates database over the next three years.

We have already started a massive campaign targeting the public and corporates entities to raise awareness about the smart gates and introduce them to its benefits and the key locations for the registration. GDRFA-Dubai is in the forefront of a gradual transformation to new technologies and systems since as early as 2010. We started by installing 28 smart gates at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport and soon followed with additional smart gates at all the three terminals of the airport. We aim to ensure that the database of our smart services beneficiaries covers all segments of the society in the Emirate of Dubai by the year 2020, just six years away from now. Assuming that Dubai has three million residents, the task for us is to register at least half a million residents annually for the smart services users’ database.

Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai

|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 9

Cover Story

H.H.Sheikh Mohammed tours Dubai airport

Welcome with a smile

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Cover Story

T he recent tour of the Dubai

International Airport by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to assess the services provided to travelers and the performance of the airport’s key players reflects the strategic importance of the borders control industry in his vision and its crucial role in synchronizing different economic sectors to work in full capacity. During the visit, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed expressed his keenness loud and clear about ensuring passport control procedures smooth and fast. He instructed passport control officers to stick strictly to work ethics and deal with travelers gently and passionately with a never-fading smile, and to provide assistance to children, women, sick and elderly travellers. His Highness’s guidance is in line with the latest best practices and trends in the global travel industry, which places tremendous importance to improving travelers’ experience and highest possible levels of satisfaction through superior service, elimination of hassles and better human approach with the power of the never-fading smile and the magic of nice words. It goes without saying that those goals cannot be achieved without work ethics like honesty,

H.H.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tours Dubai International Airport; his instructions infuses passport control officers with positive energy integrity loyalty and trust and unfaltering sincerity towards improvement and readiness to sacrifice for the nation. Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, who gave an elaborate presentation to His Highness about the GDRFADubai’s initiatives to speed up travel at the airport, remarked that the tour highlighted the extreme importance of the borders control in His Highness’s vision and its crucial role in speeding up the travel procedures and improving their experience at border posts in general and at the airport in particular through cooperation with strategic partners.

He remarked: “GDRFA has taken another major step in speeding up the travel time through the electronic linkage with Emirates Airlines. The first of its kind project in the Middle East region will reduce travel time for departures by a whopping 50 per cent. In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, he explained that the linkages will reduce departure travel time from the current 30 minutes to less than 10 minutes when completed. He disclosed: “A package of new systems and procedures are in the pipeline and will be implemented soon to speed up travel for arrivals, including new software and Advance Passengers Information System (APIS). These systems and procedures will reduce travel time for arrivals by 60 per cent.” GDRFA-Dubai is giving finishing touches to a huge campaign |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 11

Cover Story

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Cover Story

Major General Obaid: Dubai government provides unlimited support to the borders control industry it plans to launch to increase awareness about the smart gates’ abilities to ensure a hassle-free flow of passengers through the airport.

The campaign will include onsite presentation about smart gates and their benefits to travellers, ways to use them and locations for registrations at GDRFA- Dubai, Terminal 1 and 3 of Dubai International Airport,

Emirates Airlines headquarters and dnata. Major General Obaid said that H.H Sheikh Mohammed’s instructions emphasized the need to give special care to travelers

The campaign, which targets both general public and private sectors entities, aims to broaden the base of smart gate users with the initial goal of registering four million travelers within the next three years. He added: “Smart gates will not only enable us to absorb the increasing number of passengers and guarantee smooth flow of traffic at the airport, but also improve security.” |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 13

Cover Story

from the GCC countries who look at the UAE as their second home. To live up to his aspiration and vision, the GDRFA-Dubai has immediately set in motion the work to implement his instructions through dedicated training courses and workshops to strengthen work ethics and upgrade the employees’ skills and hone their talents to deal satisfactorily with customers. Describing H.H.Sheikh Mohammed’s visit as a ‘big boost’ to the morale of GDRFA employees, Major General Obaid said that he personally felt the ‘positive energy’ released by his visit during conversations with the colleagues. During his presentation, Major General Obaid revealed that the number of passengers at the airport crossed the threshold of a 14 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

Electronic linkages between GDRFA-Dubai and Emirates Airlines reduces passport clearance by 50 per cent

million passengers during the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.

Work ethics

During the visit, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed made it clear that the integrity of employees is the mirror upon which a brilliant and wonderful picture of the nation’s Islamic values and Arab traditions is reflected in a way that truly represent our tolerance and civilizational openness. During the visit, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed, who was accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of

Dubai, was updated about the facilities provided to passengers at the arrivals and departure halls at the airport, the world’s busiest airport for international passengers.

Smiling excellence

At GDRFA counters, he listened to a detailed description about the traveler’s journey through the airport, from the passport control clearance to heading directly to departure gates, without any obstacles or inconveniences. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed praised the coordination between the GDRFA-Dubai and Emirates Airlines which enable passengers to complete all travel procedures at the airline counters and go directly to departure gates without passing through the passport control counters to get the passports stamped. The new system is the first of its kind in the Middle East region.

Cover Story

Four million travelers to be registered for smart gates in three years

He started the tour from Terminal 3 and walked through the halls, lobbies, departments and offices of key stakeholders at the airport, including Dubai Customs and Emirates Airlines, baggage handling systems and tickets and passports screening counters. He undertook a train ride with his accompanying delegation from Terminal 3 to Concourse A and boarded an Airbus A380 aircraft at the Concourse A, the world’s first A380 facility. On his way back, His Highness took the train to the arrivals terminal to see a life demonstration about the journey of luggage downloaded from arriving flights and uploaded on the electronic conveyer belts after rigorous screening by the customs officers.

The tour also took him to the still under-construction Terminal D at Dubai International Airport, which forms part of an expansion plan to increase the airport capacity and absorb the continuous increase in the number of passengers and aircraft movements. H.H. Sheikh Mohammed expressed his satisfaction about the pace of work on the expansion project which enables Dubai International consolidate its position as the ‘airport of choice’ for travelers flying to and from the four corners of the world through the UAE. He took the opportunity to remind the project managers that they have to stick to the scheduled completion timeframe and apply the highest security and safety standards.Upon completion, the expansion project is expected to raise the airport capacity to more than 92 million passengers annually. It is scheduled to become operational by the fourth quarter of 2015.

GDRFA-Dubai to introduce new procedures to reduce travel time by 60 per cent

Eng. Khalifa Al Zaffin, Executive Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation (DACC), provided insights to the His Highness and his delegation about the key components of the multi-million dollar project and advanced facilities that it will have. The building is designed to handle 18 million passengers annually and enough to accommodate 17 aircrafts, including giant Airbus A380 and Boeing 777. Costing AED4 billion, the new terminal will be 700 meters long and 47 meters wide. It will be connected to Terminal 1 through an elevated rail link stretching 350 meters to facilitate the movement of travelers to Concourse D. 

|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 15

UAE News

UAE Islamic banking assets crossed $95 billion T he UAE is emerging as a serious

player in the Islamic banking market with total Islamic banking assets growing to about $95 billion in 2013 compared to $83 billion in 2012, according to a report by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry based on a recent study by Ernst and Young. The report shows that the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Islamic banking assets in the UAE is expected to be about 17 per cent over the period 2013-2018. The Dubai Chamber in its report estimates that there are 38 million

Islamic banking customers around the world with two thirds of them in Qatar, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, the UAE and Turkey. Among these six prominent Islamic finance countries, Saudi Arabia is the biggest market in terms of Islamic banking assets with estimated value of about $285 billion in 2013 compared to $245 billion in 2012.

UAE’s largest free zone members grew by 30 per cent D ubai

Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), the largest free zone in the UAE, has announced that it has registered 1,027 member companies in the first six months of 2014, bringing the total number of companies operating to over 8,865, a 30 percent increase compared to the same period in 2013. Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman, DMCC, said: “DMCC continues to attract members at an unprecedented rate and we are proud of the ever increasing contribution to Dubai’s overall economy. By driving foreign direct investment we will ensure Dubai remains the regional and international trade and tourism hub.” 

16 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

The research note also shows that Saudi Arabia represents about 43 per cent of the total Islamic banking assets in all the six countries. It also accounts for about 53 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s total domestic banking assets. The Dubai Chamber research also shows that, globally, the Islamic banking profit pool is projected to reach $30.5 billion by 2018, driven mainly by a higher retail focus. 

Dubai is world’s 67th mostexpensive city for expats D ubai has been ranked as the 67th most-expen-

sive city for expats among 211 cities across the globe, having shot up 23 places from 90th in 2013, according to the 2014 Cost of Living Survey released by human resources consultancy, Mercer. The world’s most expensive cities for expats are both in Africa. Luanda in Angola is ranked first for the second year, followed by N’Djamena in Chad. Hong Kong occupied the third spot, followed by Singapore, Zurich, Geneva, Tokyo, Bern, Moscow and Shanghai. London and New York were a little far behind at number 12 and 16, respectively. 

UAE News

Dubai Police joins EENA

D ubai Police has become a member of the European Emergency Number Association (EENA).

Brigadier Omar Abdul Aziz Al Shamsi, Director of the Command and Control Centre at the General Directorate of Operations at Dubai Police, said that the department was invited by EENA to showcase the 999 emergency line experiences at the Warsaw conference recently, in order to make Dubai Police a member of the association. EENA is a Brussels-based NGO set up in 1999 dedicated to promoting high-quality emergency services reached by the number 112 throughout the European Union. The Eena members include more than 1,000 emergency ser-

vices representatives from over 70 countries world-wide, 70 solution providers, 15 international associations and organisations, 150 Members of the European Parliament and 60 researchers. EENA aims to create a unified emergency number 112 for all emergencies, which they have already succeded in doing in multiple cities. “In some European countries, each emergency service, such as civil defense and police, have different numbers, and also have different numbers in different cities within the same country,” he said, adding that in the UAE they have a unified number emergency number 999 for any emergency, whether it is a fire, a medical emergency, an accident or anything else. Currently, tourists

calling 112 or 911 in Dubai have their calls routed to Dubai Police. The Command and Control Room at Dubai Police has received more than seven million calls on the 999 number over the past three years. In 2011, there were more than 2.4 million calls, in 2012 there were more than 2.3 million calls and in 2013 there were more than 2.5 million calls. 

Dubai popular among wealthy Chinese travellers D ubai

rose in popularity among high net worth Chinese travellers from eighth spot last year, according to a report released by the Shanghai-based research group Hurun Report and International Luxury Travel Market Asia. The Hurun Report and the Chinese outbound luxury travel agency Diadema surveyed 203 travellers who spent at least $25,000 per trip in the past three years, and visited an average of 40 countries. Last year, 98 million Chinese travelled abroad, a 17.8 per cent rise on 2012, according to the National Tourism Administration. At least 10 per cent of those surveyed said Dubai was the top destination

for shopping and a similar number said Dubai is a “must- visit destination in the next three years”. Last year, Dubai’s hotels checked in 275,675 visitors from China, an increase of 11 per cent compared

with 2012. For the past few years, retailers, tour operators and hoteliers in the UAE have been wooing Chinese travellers, who now make China the largest outbound travel market in the world.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 17

UAE News

Dubai Chamber membership surges 24.3 per cent D ubai Chamber’s membership reg-

istered a 24.3 per cent increase in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year. In the first half of the year 8,700 new companies joined the Chamber taking the total membership to 160,000 by the end of June. Continuing with its global expansion Dubai Chamber opened its third international representative office in the city of Arbil in Kurdistan and is all set to open two new

offices in Ghana and Mozambique in the near future as part of its strategy to open around 20 representative offices in key emerging markets around the world.Dubai Chamber’s half year data shows that its members’ exports and reexports between January and June 2014 were worth AED149 billion registering a 2.8 per cent growth compared to AED145 billion during the same period in 2013. In the first half of the year Dubai Chamber issued a total of 445,000 certificates of origin (COs), com-

Quality of labour accommodation improves in Dubai

L ess than one per cent of labourers’

housing facilities in Dubai are in poor condition, according to the Dubai Standing Committee of Labour Affairs at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai). There were 954 periodic inspections of labour accommodations in

18 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

the Deira and Bur Dubai areas this year. These inspections revealed that there were 17 housing units with poor facilities — 11 in Deira and 6 in Bur Dubai. There were 493 units in the medium housing category, of which 284 were in Deira and 209 in Bur Dubai. There were 480 units found to be good condition, of which 90 were

pared to 418,000 COs issued in the first half of 2013.In the first half of the year, Dubai Chamber launched the Dubai Association Centre (DAC) in collaboration with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and Dubai World Trade Centre (DTWC). The idea behind DAC is to establish a platform in Dubai for international professional and business associations to meet, exchange knowledge and network and to cater to the region and beyond from the emirate. 

in Deira and 390 in Bur Dubai. The inspection campaigns covered 139,182 rooms in the labour housing units — 45,153 in Deira and 94,029 in Bur Dubai. These included 523,432 workers, of which 166,792 lived in Deira and 356,640 in Bur Dubai. Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Surour, head of the committee and deputy director general of GDRFA-Dubai, said that policies and efforts made by the committee since its inception in 2011 have enhanced the UAE’s reputation in international forums in terms of labour rights. Under the directives of the UAE leadership, the committee has set up an ambitious plan under the slogan (‘Workers are happy’) to improve the life of workers in the UAE. 

UAE News

More international schools and pupils in the UAE

T he

UAE has more international schools and pupils than any country in the world, The National reported. The business generates $2.5 billion a year in fees and accounts for seven per cent of global tuition-fee income. China has substantially fewer international pupils but they bring in about the same amount in fees because schools there charge more than double the average in the UAE. “The markets in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have grown rapidly during the past decade and further growth is inevitable,” says a new report by the International School Consultancy Group.

Of the seven emirates, Dubai has the highest proportion of expatriates and therefore the highest concentration of international schools, with 98,000 pupils per million population, the consultancy group’s report says. The UAE has 439 international schools with 389,000 pupils, Saudi Arabia has 195 international schools and Qatar has 130. Qatar has also approved the construction of a further 26 new private schools out of the 90 applications it received, says the report. Kuwait has 80 international schools with 90,000 pupils, and Oman has 58 with 60,000 pupils.The number of pupils attending schools in Dubai is expected to continue to increase,

as is the number of schools, with six already opened in the first three months of this year.The Knowledge and Human Development Authority anticipates an increase of seven per cent per annum in enrolment at international schools during the next five years, says the report. It is planning for 90,000 additional school places in 60 new and expanded schools and it is thought to be evaluating a substantial number of applications for new schools. The report defines international schools as those that deliver a curriculum to any combination of infant, primary or secondary school pupils, wholly or partly in English outside an English-speaking country.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 19

Middle East News

Saudi up in a fit about expat salaries rising T he salaries of expatriates in the pri-

vate sector rose by 25 percent while those of Saudis declined by one percent during 2013, according to a report published by Al-Eqtisadiah business daily, quoting figures released by the Labour Ministry and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA). “The salaries of expats during the year rose by 25 percent or SR236 from an average salary of SR1,341 in 2012 to SR1,808 in 2013,” the report said. The average salary received by Saudis in the sector fell by one percent from SR4,801 in 2012 to SR4,748 in 2013. Saudis receive more than double the salary received by expats in all job categories.

against SR1,200 for expats and assistant engineering jobs SR4,800 against SR1,000 for expats. According to the SAMA report, the average salary of employees in the private sector is SR2,962.

For secretarial jobs their average salary is SR4,300 against SR1,640 for expats, sales jobs SR3,200

However, the ministry’s statistics put it at SR2,134, a difference of SR828.The report stated that the

number of Saudis working in the private sector rose by 29 percent or 332,200 in 2013 with Saudi women taking 85 percent or 182,700 jobs, with Saudi men at 16 percent or 149,500.The total number of Saudi women working in the sector rose from 215,800 to 398,500 in 2013 while that of Saudi men jumped from 918,800 to 1.1 million. 

Bahrain’s visa policy create easy access for Indians

T he Bahrain Economic Development

Board (EDB) has said that its new visa policy would enable Indians along with 35 other nationalities to apply for electronic visas from October 2014. Starting in 2015, Indians would also be able to spend longer periods in Bahrain and visas would be valid for a month as well as renewed for up to three months. Additionally, multiple entry visas

20 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

would also be available.The new visa policy would enable citizens from more than 100 countries to enjoy easier and quicker access to the Middle East’s most open economy. The new visa policy would also enable expatriates, who do business in Bahrain, to easily travel in and out of the kingdom more easily, as well as boost the tourism industry. Indians make up the largest expatriate

population in Bahrain, with more than more than 300,000 residing. India is also one of Bahrain’s most important trading partners. In 2011, total trade between India and Bahrain exceeded $1.7 billion. In addition to the 36 countries that are now eligible for E-Visa applications, residents from another 65 countries will now be able to apply for Visa on Arrival (VoA). 

Middle East News

More Vietnamese workers heading to ME

T housands of Vietnamese guest work-

ers may travel to the Middle Eastern countries in the near future following a recent tour of the region made by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung. Vietnam has signed agreements to send between 25,000 to 60,000 workers to six countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. The director of the Overseas Labour Management Department, Dao Cong Hai, said: “The workers will have sixmonth probation before signing two or three-year contracts. If our recruitment and vocational training don’t meet their standards, the guest workers would return to the homeland.”There are about 15,000 Vietnamese guest

Expats deported from one GCC country cannot enter another

T he Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

countries have started applying a law that bans any expatriate deported from one of the six GCC states from entering the rest of the GCC countries, Annahar daily quoted reliable sources as saying. They said the new law is based on the GCC security pact. Moreover, the country which deports an expatriate will be allowed to take the deportee’s fingerprints and share the information including the fingerprints with the rest of the GCC countries. In the same context, sources confirmed that the GCC countries are coordinating efforts to control drugs through exchange of information such as the names of smugglers and modus operandi and other data. 

workers already employed in the Middle East, about 8,000 of them in Qatar. Over 800 guest workers, accounting for about five percent of the total sent to the region, have been required to return home for not meeting the demands of their overseas employers or foreign regulations, or were shifted to work in other jobs at lower wage lev-

els. “This is a lesson for us in the future,” he added.After a period of stasis, Middle East markets have shown signs that they will rebound with Saudi Arabia recently announcing its plan to increase recruitment of guest workers from nine countries, including Vietnam. The two countries have also signed.

Issuance, renewal of visas goes online in Kuwait K uwait’s Public Authority for Manpower has opened an online portal

for companies handling government contracts as part of strategies to ease procedures for them. Al-Qabas daily quoted Director General of the authority Jamal Al-Dousari as saying that the authority has taken the first step through the issuance and renewal of work permits using the portal, in addition to final cancellation for travel. He explained the final cancellation is for workers who are outside the country or in case of death. He added the first step includes procedures for printing computerized list of workers registered under the companies. He said that the authority will include issuance of work permits for the first time through the portal for companies involved in government projects. He affirmed the procedures will eliminate many negative aspects of the previous system. He cited reduction of paper work, stealing of revenue stamps and problems associated with shortage of employees. He also revealed that since the authority has started using the portal, it has issued 2,983 work permits and finally cancelled 705 procedures. He added 167 companies have benefited from the simplified procedures.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 21

International News

Greece to use drones for immigration control I n a pilot project, the Greek govern-

ment is expected to use a drone in order to be able to oversee the country’s sea border in the Aegean Sea which is considered one of the main avenues for immigration into Europe. Greece’s Ministry of Marine and Aegean Sea has issued a competition call for a drone which will be handed to the Greek authorities soon. According to a report in Greek Reporter, the budget for the drones reaches 77,800 euros. The unmanned aircraft is expected to fly a total of 60 hours within the first two months. According to the Greek government, the drone will be equipped with gyroscopic cameras, its speed limit will exceed 70 kilometers per

hour and it will fly a minimum of 50 kilometers away from its control center.The Greek Minister of Shipping, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, has announced that Greece through the Aegean Sea receives about 1,000 immigrants per month. Since Greece raised a border fence between it-

Netherlands to intensify mobile immigration control

M obile immigration checks are to be expanded to enable a more effective response to people smuggling and illegal residence in the Netherlands.

There will be more extensive checks on trains, as the current rules do not in practice offer enough scope for a flexible approach. In the future it will be possible to check more trains and more individual compartments. The Netherlands cabinet has approved this change to the Aliens Decree 2000 proposed by Fred Teeven, Minister for Immigration. 22 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

It will also be possible to act more effectively if large numbers of illegal immigrants enter the Netherlands, or if there are specific indications that this is about to happen. KMar, the Public Prosecution Service, the National Police, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service and the Expertise Centre on Human Trafficking and People Smuggling are working together closely to obtain a better understanding of the increased influx of immigrants and investigate organised people smuggling. The main objective of expanding mobile immigration control is to support these operations. 

self and Turkey alongside the river Evros in the northeast part of the country, Aegean’s immigration flow has escalated. In 2013 alone, about 10,000 people managed to get into Europe through the Aegean Sea and this number is expected to continue rising throughout the year. 

Thailand to introduce fingerprint scanning at airport

T he

Immigration Bureau plans to install fingerprint identification equipment at Suvarnabhumi Airport within the next two months. The new equipment is part of a global trend among international airports to utilise biometric scanning technology for security and efficiency purposes.“Immigration procedures at Suvarnabhumi are very fast. It takes only 20 seconds for the average passenger. It will be even faster when we finish installing the fingerprint identification units,” said Police Lieutenant General Suwat Tumrongsriskul, Immigration Bureau Commissioner. 

International News

Passport scanning comes to Istanbul airport

A n automated border control sys-

tem, only accessible for Turkish citizens traveling frequently, will be installed in Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport. Turkish citizens who fly frequently will be spared long queues at passport control in Istanbul’s main airport from the end of August when two automated

kiosks will be installed enabling travellers to scan their biometric passports. The number of kiosks at Ataturk airport will be increased to six in the next three months, according to Turkeys leading airport operator, TAV Holding, who aims to in-

stall 24 by the end of 2015. Finger print and face recognition technology will be added to the system in the future. Initially the system will only be accessible for the estimated 10,000 Turkish citizens who travel frequently. Passport control officers will not be working at the kiosks, the statement added. 

Kyrgyzstan to register citizens’ biometrics T he President of Kyrgyzstan has signed into

law a plan to register the biometrics of all Kyrgyz Republic citizens over the age of 16 by August 2015. The project will see the formation of the Unified State Population Registry (EGRN). The data will be used for various purposes including the eventual production of biometric passports, and for voting purposes. The government has set aside $4.8 million to purchase equipment for collecting biometric data. The database will store basic biographic information, passport details, civil status, and biometric data - including all ten fingerprints, a digital photograph of the face and handwritten signature. The data will be collected in numerous ways including stationary registration points (such as passport offices) and via mobile teams, who will travel to settlements, universities, airports and large retail outlets.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 23

International News

Bolivia first nation to legalize child labour from age 10 W hile most of the rest of the world is

trying to diminish child labor, Bolivia is on the verge of becoming the first nation legalize it from age 10. Under the legislation, 10-year-olds can work as long as they are under parental supervision and also attend school. The Bolivian government says law reflects reality in country where one million children regularly work, but activists complain it will increase poverty and contravenes United Nations conventions designating 14 as the minimum work age. Bolivia pays a per-child subsidy of $28 a year to families whose children attend school. Mexico has set age 15 as the minimum and Chile age 16. The UN agency says child

labour is down one-third globally since 2000, with Latin America and the Caribbean together accounting now for just 13 million of the planet’s estimated 168 million working children. A 2008 study done by the ILO and Bolivian government found

that 850,000 children ages five to 17 were working in Bolivia, roughly half in the countryside and half in the cities. Nearly nine in 10 were in the worst kinds of jobs, including sugar cane harvesting and underground mining. 

Singapore launches jobs website for locals

S ingapore has launched a jobs website favoring citizens

and permanent residents in response to mounting complaints that foreigners are stealing professional jobs from locals. The Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said the Jobs Bank website will match employment opportunities with profiles of locals seeking employment or a change of jobs. From August 1, companies needing professional workers are required to advertise on the site

24 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

for at least 14 days before they can seek an employment pass for a foreigner from the Ministry of Manpower. This will allow Singaporeans to take first crack at the job openings. The website offers vacancies in sectors such as accounting, banking, engineering, science and sales. More than 16,000 positions are currently available, about half of them for professionals, managers and executives. Singaporeans make up just over 60 percent of the 5.4 million population, with a low fertility rate forcing the government to rely heavily on guest workers, according to a report by AFP. About 12,900 individuals have also signed up, with more than one-third of them making 12,100 job applications. 

International News

Indian students in German universities F or an increasing number of Indians, Germany is emerging a favoured higher education destination overseas. There has been 114 per cent increase in the number of Indian students enrolling for higher education courses there since 2008, according to the latest figures released by the regional office of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

The number of students enrolled has increased from 3,516 in the 2008-09 academic year to 7,532 in 2012-13. US, UK, Australia and Canada have been the most-favoured destinations

for Indian students, partly due to the absence of a language barrier. Germany, which has the fifth biggest Indian student population on campuses, has sought to bridge the gap by introducing courses in English and easing visa norms to allow students to look for jobs there after completion of studies. Engineering courses were the chosen area of study for nearly half the number (close to 48 per cent), followed by mathematics and natural sciences (19.8 per cent). Informa-

tion technology (13.8 per cent), and law, economics and social sciences (9.4 per cent) are the other courses sought after by Indian students in Germany. Since 2009, 46 new co-operation projects have been forged between Indian and German universities. Indians comprise the second largest international student population in Germany, second only to China. As many as 1,324 Indian students AND 761 German students have been part of the DAAD exchange programme, the Times of India reported. 

UK third most desirable job market worldwide T he UK has the third most desirable job market world-

wide, with one in 10 searches for UK jobs coming from international jobseekers, a report has found.The report on cross-border global labour mobility, conducted by Indeed Hiring Lab, part of job site Indeed.com, analyzed data aggregated from 55 countries between May 2013 and April 2014.

flexible working culture; many international searches are looking for flexible jobs in the UK.

It found the US, India, the UK and Canada attract the greatest search interest from jobseekers globally. India is the only one of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries that is attractive to global talent. Jobseekers from the US, India, Ireland, France and Spain are the most likely to want to work in the UK. The report claims international jobseekers are attracted to the UK because of its

The research also found that one in 10 Brits (nine per cent) is actively seeking positions abroad. The most popular destinations for British jobseekers searching for roles outside the UK are France, Italy, the US, Canada and South Africa. Of all the countries surveyed, Saudi Arabia has the highest ‘Movers Index’, with 65 per cent of people looking to move, according to a report in HR Magazine.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 25

Exclusive Interview

GDRFA-Dubai’s support crucial to tourism’s growth

Dubai tourism’s alpha player unveils future plans T he unrivalled performance of the

ever-expanding tourism industry in Dubai –which has been ranked among the world’s Top 10 MostVisited tourist destinations can be largely attributed to the strong interaction and cooperation between the government bodies and the private sector to ensure that the visitors get the best experience during their stay in the emirate. The inspiring synergies between the public and private sectors are showing off impressive results.

A latest report by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the UAE’s gross domestic product (GDP) will reach 8.5 per cent in 2014 with a 4.5 per cent year-on-year rise to AED122.6 billion. The increase is driven by growth in the hotels, travel agents and airlines among others. Direct contribution to GDP of the travel and tourism industry is set to climb by 4.7 per cent to AED59.1 billion this year, according to the WTTC. In 2013, the UAE’s travel & tourism sector delivered AED56.5 billion or four per cent of the country’s GDP. Looking ahead the direct contribution is set to increase by 3.1 per cent a year 26 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

to AED80.1 billion by 2024, maintaining a four per cent of GDP figure. Total contribution is expected to grow by 3.2 per cent to AED167.4 billion by 2024, 8.5 per cent of GDP. By 2024, international tourist arrivals are forecast to reach 39.9 million and to generate an expenditure of AED105.4 billion. Dubai plans to increase the number of tourists to the emirate to 20 million by 2020, the year in which it will host Expo 2020, the world’s third biggest event after Olympics and FIFA World Cup. The Dubai government believes that tourism revenues will treble to reach AED300 billion.

Over the years, one company that has been playing a key role in the tourism industry’s growth in Dubai – and also other parts of the UAE- is Alpha Tours. Through a slew of initiatives, some of which in cooperation with the government organizations, the leading tour operator has remained in the forefront of the efforts to attract more tourists to Dubai. One of the key facilitators in giving a big push to the number of visitors to Dubai is the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai). With eyes firmly on making visitor facilitation smarter and friendly, GDRFA-Dubai has come in for all praise by Alpha Tours. The company’s ebul-


“Immigration department is the face of the country. Visitors find immigration officials at ports of entry very friendly, welcoming.” lient and energetic CEO Ghassan Aridi praises GDRFA-Dubai for facilitating tourists’ smooth entry and exit by simplifying procedures to ensure their comfort and attending to their needs quickly. According to Ghassan Aridi, the eminent position Dubai has earned itself on the global tourist map is distinguished by the diversity of its tourism hotspots which has made it one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Today, Dubai is experiencing a constant influx of tourists and unprecedented growth in this sector. Tourism in Dubai is developing in very positive manner. For the past sev-

eral years, it has recorded double digit growth. Although the current growth rate is around 3.5 per cent, it is still the highest growth rate in the world, which has been confirmed by the World Tourism Organization as well as by the World Travel & Tourism Council. “There are barely three or four destinations in the world that have achieved such phenomenal growth. In the region, it is undoubtedly the most favorite destination. Globally, it stays among the Top 10 most popular yearround destinations. Contributing factors remain the new concept of tourism like unique hotels, nice restaurants, amazing spas, great shopping facilities, family environment and the great security,” he said.


He pointed out that this impressive growth in inbound tourism can be attributed to the efficient interaction between government departments and the tourism sector. He said the largest inbound tourism company in Dubai has been enjoying a leadership status for the past several years and keeps growing while following the government guidelines. The company has successful ties with all the government departments and shares great relations especially with GDRFA-Dubai, which is very effective and gives priority to resolve the problems faced by the customers. “GDRFA-Dubai has reiterated its full support to Dubai’s tourism sector through facilitating passengers’ smooth entry and exit by simplifying procedures to ensure their comfort and attending to their needs quickly. |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 27

Exclusive Interview

The GDRFA-Dubai works hand in hand with the relevant authorities to boost Dubai’s economy and develop the emirate as the leading commercial hub in the region,” he remarked. He pointed out that the GDRFA-Dubai is lending its support to the tourism sector in a number of ways. The authorities always ask about the problems faced by business groups, and are open for ideas to improve their services. This attitude has formed the basis for a successful partnership between public and private sector. “Easy access is the main requirement for growth of tourism. While, direct flights providing easy connectivity mark a big impact, easy immigrations process to enter the country is also vital. The GDRFA-Dubai’s mechanism to provide visas in a very easy, fast and effective way has helped a lot in the remarkable increase in the number of visitors,” he said. The GDRFA-Dubai currently offers visa on arrival to citizens of 39 countries as well as to the residents of other GCC countries. But getting visas prior to arrival for citizens of the remaining countries is equally easy. He said that the launch of online application services, which remain open 24x7, has become a boon for tour operators in making last minute bookings.“The last minute offers by airlines and hotels help us a lot in bringing bigger number of tourists from across the world. But it has been possible only because we get visas on a short notice. We are thankful to the GDRFA-Dubai for considering the requests. Whenever any big international conventions, concerts or conferences are held in the emirate, the GDRFA-Dubai places special desks to bring further ease to the tour operators. Hope this partner28 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

“The entire world is adopting technology to make the passenger facilitation process easy and transparent. Smart governance is definitely going to make it much easier, and will put Dubai firmly on a high pedestal” ship will continue unabated and will bring even better results for Dubai tourism,” said Aridi. He expressed hope that the launch of smart services will be even more fruitful. “The entire world is running after technology to make the process more easy and transparent. Smart governance is definitely going to make it much easier, and will put Dubai on a high pedestal,” he added. Sharing from his vast experience in inbound tourism, Aridi said that his company is the biggest tour operator in the market. Although, it is difficult to define the market share, he is

aware of his position in the tourism sector which also brings responsibility to showcase Dubai abroad even more effectively.“You can’t define market share as tourism depends on several issues. But we are on top and this success has given us responsibility, too. We have to justify that,” he said. He said that every year, the company participates in over 35 exhibitions and eight workshops in various parts of the world showcasing Dubai as the dream destination and Emirates as the lead-

ing airline. The group, which deals with MICE tourism, sports tourism, health tourism as well as holidaymakers, brings tourists mainly from UK, Russia, GCC countries and China.“We are planning to open direct offices or through GSAs in key destinations. China is going to be the first destination after the Middle East. Our plan is to open 20 offices in the next five years,” he said. The plan to expand footprint emanates from the confidence given by Dubai’s strengthening position as the dream destination. “The future is great for Dubai, in the medium and long term. The government’s efforts have been taking Dubai to a new height every six month. The great policy of Dubai to keep it away from the international conflicts has made it safe destination for tourists from across the world.” However, he was concerned about slow growth of Medical Tourism in Dubai, which is still in its infancy. “Tourism facilities are excellent, but we lack in medical facilities to compete with other leaders in this sector. We need to focus on improving on medical facilities. A lot of hospitals are coming up, including a number of internationally known brands. But we have to fasten it.” “The government is offering great attractions. In October, Dubai will host a big health tourism conference, which will play a big role in promoting the emirate as the next destination for medical tourism,” he concluded. 

|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 29

New Technology

Mobile App will now scan your passport

A irports are some of the busiest and crowded places

in the world. So every little tweak in the boarding process will have large-scale consequences. Even if you can check in online, you still have to show your passport somewhere at the airport if you’re flying international. One of the most-frustrating things is the inability to check in due to your passport needing to be checked by an officer at the immigration and passport control counter. One of the main concerns for any traveller is having left the passport at home or losing it or having the passport stolen whilst on holiday. This scenario is about to change for good in the US to begin with. United Airlines is testing out a new feature that will allow flyers to scan their passports on their mobile phones to check in for international flights. The airline is the first US carrier to launch the new service, which works with its mobile app and can be accessed 24 hours before flight departure.

30 30 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||

The nifty function is available on both iOS and Android mobile devices

After initiating the app’s check-in feature, customers can scan their passport using their mobile device’s camera to capture photos of the documents. The technology works in the same way as mobile banking services that allow consumers to deposit a check without having to visit the bank. After taking photos of the front and back of the endorsed check, customers simply select the deposit account, and submit the images.

Once a credentials management company has verified the passport, customers will receive their boarding pass. The process takes roughly 2-3 minutes. An e-boarding pass will be provided once the verification process is complete, meaning that customers will be able to bypass the kiosk at the airport. However, for those who require additional travel documentation, such as visas, they will still have to go through the traditional check-in process at the airport. Passport scans are stored securely within the app, and can be reused again in the future. The nifty function is available on both iOS and Android mobile devices and has already attracted


much praise from passengers. United notes that flyers who require additional travel documentation such as a visa will still have to physically check-in at the airport. Passports that are scanned and uploaded can also be stored by United MileagePlus members for later flights. The app also includes additional bug fixes and more information on cards regarding flight boarding times. United Airlines is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded through the App Store. Scott Wilson, United Airlines’ Vice President, said: “We are focused on building the most useful travel app in the airline industry for our customers. The new passport scanning feature now saves the valuable time and offers the customers more options to control their travel experience.”

United Airlines is collecting the feedback during the testing phase of the passport scanning functionality with the aim of further improving the product and launching more customer friendly features by using this technology.

In addition to the new scanning feature, the updated apps now also display when boarding time ends The all-new United app, with an iOS 7-friendly design is optimized for the iPhone and compatible with the iPad. Offering features from flight booking to flight status and more, the United app is an indispensable travel companion. In addition to the new scanning feature, the updated apps now also display when boarding time ends, so you don’t spend more time at the gates than you need to. United currently offers mobile boarding at 54 international airports, including all domestic airports it serves in the US, the most of any US-based carrier. The airline had launched its allnew mobile app last year and since then more than 13 million customers have downloaded it.


In 2007, it became the first US airline to introduce mobile boarding passes, and it was the first US carrier to offer mobile boarding at all 214 domestic airports it serves. United Airlines and United Express operate an average of more than 5,200 flights a day to 374 airports across six continents. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 27 member airlines. Latest statistics show that nearly 90 per cent of travellers carry mobile devices with them. Storing their passport through the United’s mobile app in the cloud means that they’ll be even safer, allowing them to be accessed from any internet connected device. One issue that has arisen is the need for verification of the passport given the ease with which online documents can be doctored. Passport agencies are looking to introduce a verified online version of passports soon whereby when a passport is requested, an electronic, verifiable version is made available online in exchange for a log in and password. Like boarding passes, it’s likely that the online version will have a barcode for additional verification purposes. Industry analysts don’t think it will be long before we see the first fully automated airports, where, barring the bag and person scans, your trip from airport door to plane will be seamless.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 31

Special Study


Differentiate with mobility

From single identification of a specific traveler to automated immigration and security control, biometrics offers a huge potential. Exploration of the technology’s potential has only just begun. biometrics with the other C ombining technologies such as wearables, ge-

olocation or identification at baggage drops and security checkpoints will truly enable the airport experience travelers are seeking today. This destination requires the combined efforts of technology companies that continue to innovate, together with airlines, ground handlers, governments, and airport operators who are willing to use and adopt the new technologies. In a business whitepaper published recently, the leading global technology giant, Hewlett-Packard Development

32 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

Company (HP) has also called for carefully planned execution and transition to ensure this industry can cater to the differences in speed of change of participating parties. Ultimately, traditional processes will need to work hand-in-hand with highly innovative technologies over several years to come. One day soon, airlines will reach a very high level of comfort, which will enable consumers to move seamlessly and “touch-free” through an airport, asserted the study author, Daniel Friedli, senior product manager responsible for product strategy

and innovations within HP Travel & Transportation.

Make it personal

The whitepaper said digital technologies are transforming the way airlines and airports connect with customers and how staff goes about their daily work. Airline travel is at a crossroad, needing to make airport processes more personalized, social, and virtual. By looking at developments in self-service, mobile, and geolocation digital technologies and how they can change the ways ground handlers, and airline and airport staff work—you can be even more mobile, flexible, and efficient.


Customers may or may not take to wearable technology, and appetite will probably depend on fashion trends

Differentiate with mobility

Mobility is the biggest game changer for all organizations as smartphones and tablets drive new expectations everywhere with “anywhere, anytime, anyplace” connectivity to products and services. The mobile experience has become the face of the business and the self-service window into retail outlets as people become more proactive in consuming services—and air travel is no different. Mobility offers ample ways to do this. Increasing the scope of ancillary services by offering them through additional channels, up to the last minute prior to flight and in flight through mobile services, is a very real prospect. But it’s important to go about mobility the right way - to think beyond the device and make mobile more than simply a matter of porting existing applications onto a fresh set of devices. Instead, mobility should open up a new way of thinking about how you engage with customers and become a route for delivering a whole new set of services. Mobility opens up a new way of thinking about how you engage with customers and becomes a route for delivering a whole new set of services. Mobile connectivity means more flexible ways of deploying staff and managing tasks such as baggage handling, check-in, and in-flight services. Plus, with over three-quarters of travelers carrying smartphones and able to access information, there are new ways to engage with customers. These include airport retail activity, pushing personalized offers to travelers in the airport vicinity, and providing premium, enhanced customer service options.


Benefit from wearable computing Geolocation is another exciting facet Wearable computing may seem in the realm of the futuristic and fantastical, but it’s simply another aspect in the trend toward mobility. The most talked about wearable devices right now are Google Glass and the Sony Smart Watch, which are relevant and applicable to the air travel sector.

of mobility and consumer attention that can be used to communicate logistical information and retailing opportunities to customers. The technology tracks where people are— and it can be specific to individuals or anonymous, which aids in understanding human traffic flow through airports.

Customers may or may not take to wearable technology, and appetite will probably depend on fashion trends. For non-watch-wearing customers, the device of choice will most likely remain the smartphone. However, there is potential for gadgets smaller than a phone, which are clipped onto a handbag or belt. Longer term, take up will also be influenced by the fact that these devices are wearable personal information systems, whereas phones are a more personal communication system.

When geolocation capabilities are personalized, there are a host of further potential applications. Similarly travelers can be informed of security lines and wait-times and given directions to alternative security checkpoints, check-in kiosks, or baggage drop locations.

With the launch of Google’s Android Wear—an operating system built specifically for wearable devices—the industry most likely will see a myriad of new, innovative devices and functionality appear over the next months.

This virtual map of human traffic opens up a host of applications including redirection of travelers to lounges and restaurants, and efficient staffing of these amenities. Automated modifications can be made to billboard advertising according to the time of day in order to market to relevant demographics of each passer-by. By understanding where people are in an airport, general traffic flows and architectural and infrastructure layout can be improved. 

|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 33

Special Study

Smart Borders

Increasing security without sacrificing mobility T he key issue plaguing immigration and customs agencies is the resources needed to undertake the critical security screenings required of both people and goods as they traverse the border. Despite unique challenges and varying approaches, border security specialists from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the US share a vision for Smart Borders. An international study by Deloitte’s Global Migration and Border Management team has underscored the need to promote global participation in multi-lateral trusted traveler programmes, container security initiatives as well as by tapping into the larger community through digital strategies as the steps towards starting employing Smart Borders. 34 |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ |

It said the primary goal of an international agreement would be to scale the benefits of existing trusted traveler programs to multiple countries and industries to reduce the number of screenings and checkpoints required for the international traveler. The study said while pursuing international standards, governments can also look to scale existing public private partnership models. By engaging industry, governments can demonstrate a commitment to economic growth while leveraging enabling technology and commercial leading practices.


Many countries have moved beyond existing concepts of collaborative border management to actually consolidating around functions

The continuing advancement of digital and mobile capabilities will enable governments to better educate and connect travelers and industry with border security authorities. By employing mobile technologies, inspection agencies and officers can obtain a degree of agility that helps expedite the transfer of crucial security and customs information throughout the supply chain. In 2015, the study noted, global commerce is projected to be worth over $300 billion. The interlinked and international nature of this economy makes exponential growth quite lucrative, yet this economy also becomes increasingly susceptible to a range of risks from organized crime and terrorist groups to emerging technology. Governments, in particular, will have the opportunity to envision and realize Smart Borders—a border security and management paradigm that can create safer, more standard and cost effective demarcations. Smart Borders can help government get back to basics, empowering public servants, industry and the community to work together to solve the most pressing economic and security problems—from issues affecting local communities to those that transcend national borders.

tial increase in the flow of populations and goods. Emerging Solutions for Smart Borders Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the US have all instituted stricter security measures in the past decade and, as a result, now contend with this issue and are rethinking their border flow strategies. Each have worked to implement a variety of organizational restructuring, technological investments, and bilateral cooperative agreements in an attempt to bolster security without compromising economic progress. These approaches have produced varying results and a wealth of lessons learned. According to the IATA, an airline spends on average $382,000 a year just to update and maintain the system to transfer passenger data to governments—and it is all non-standard. Right now, 39 countries require an airline to send advance passenger information (API) data before the flight’s arrival and 32 more plans to introduce similar requirements in the near future.


IATA is working to harmonize their requirements for API-type data, which is too often inconsistent and non-standard across countries, with global standards and guidelines. Many countries have moved beyond existing concepts of collaborative border management to actually consolidating around functions. By streamlining and fortifying border security operations, multiple countries have consolidated governmental agencies and related border functions to allow agencies that were once separate to pursue the security of the border in tandem with trade and immigration. In this paradigm, border security becomes an integrated way of addressing national security, community protection, biosecurity, trade and immigration issues concurrently. Similarly, IATA is currently working to streamline security measures for both passengers and cargo. IATA efforts to improve security screening of cargo include Consignment Security Declarations, which provide a standardized audit trail for cargo along the entire supply chain; Advance Electronic Information, which facilitates the risk assessment process by customs authorities; and Secure Freight, an air cargo security project that aims to ensure freight is protected from unlawful interference. 

Governments seeking to encourage the success of their citizens and businesses should consider new and innovative measures to mitigate the impact of two converging issues, namely heightened security and the exponen|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 35

In Focus

Roadmap for barrier-free travel

Common Visas for Regional Blocs I n a study titled Smart Travel-

Unlocking Economic Growth and Development through Travel Facilitation, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has put across a strong case about the benefits that countries in a geographical region get from having a common visa that makes people travel faster and frequent, thereby contributing enormously to tourism, trade and aviation sectors’ growth.

The World Economic Forum, established in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, cooperates closely with all leading international organizations. The Forum noted that the global middle class will more than double in size by 2030. Passenger air transport traffic is forecast to increase 31 per cent by 2017. Annual international tourist arrivals are expected to reach 1.8 billion by 2030. 36 36 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||

The rate of international tourism growth between 2010 and 2030 will be highest in emerging economies in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Visa facilitation could create as much as 5.1 million extra jobs in G20 economies by 2015. Visa facilitation could generate $89 billion in additional international tourism receipts and 2.6 million extra jobs

in APEC countries by 2016. Tourism represents 9.5 per cent of the world’s GDP, six per cent of world exports and one in every 11 jobs. The extensive study, done by experts drawn from the tourism and travel industry, makes an interesting study taking into account such an effort being on the anvil in the Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC) states for many years.


In the chapter titled A Common Visa for Regional Trading Blocs, the study noted: While eliminating visa requirements worldwide is unrealistic in the short term, countries can begin the visa facilitation process by building on the trusted relationships they currently have. By working together, similarly situated countries can increase their appeal to foreign travellers through the creation of common visa areas. A common visa area allows travelers to visit multiple countries on a single visa. This dramatically reduces the costs in time and money for a tourist or business person making a multi-state trip. It also enhances the attractiveness of the collaborating countries as either tourist destinations or potential business centres because of the ease of visiting multiple destinations on the same trip. It also allows the cooperating states to share some of the financial costs of visa processing and administration, as well as creates the groundwork for further cooperation on security and border control, leading to additional cost savings and strengthening regional security. Some regions have already accepted the merits of this proposal and have taken action in this area. Schengen Area: The most integrated of the common visa area models, the Schengen Area represents territory of 26 European states that have mostly abolished their borders and collectively administer a single visa allowing visitors from outside the area free movement within the Schengen community.

Nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes 15 countries, can travel visa-free within the region

The consulate of the country of entry, or alternatively the primary destination of the visitor, is responsible for processing the visa application, but application procedures and criteria are set at a regional level. Cooperation by the Schengen states far surpasses just the administration of visas. It also encompasses elements of border security, immigration and other more complicated political issues that can be seen as distinct from operating a common short-stay visa programme. ECOWAS: Nationals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which includes 15 countries, can travel visa-free within the region. The next step is a visa-free region for foreigners in 2015. APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC): The ABTC comprises Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, and the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It allows business travellers precleared, facilitated short-term entry to participating member economies.

Visa facilitation could generate $89 billion in additional international tourism receipts and 2.6 million extra jobs in APEC countries by 2016


The ABTC removes the need to apply for individual visas or entry permits, saving valuable time, and allows multiple entries into participating economies during the three years during which the card is valid. Cardholders also benefit from faster immigration processing on arrival through fast-track entry, and exit through special APEC lanes at major airports in participating economies. The ABTC enhances border integrity and security in participating economies by providing benefits to border agencies – it increases the number of low-risk travellers since each applicant is checked against “watch lists” of other participating states. Therefore, the ABTC carries savings not only for business people, but also for governments. Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda’s Single Destination Tourist Visa: As of 1 January 2014, the three countries launched a single destination visa to boost tourism in the region. The countries have also launched a new branding initiative called “Borderless Borders”, to signify the new direction in promoting trade and tourism in the region. UK-Ireland Common Travel Area: The United Kingdom and Ireland are establishing a common visa area for non-EU visitors by 2016. This would expand and improve the current visa waiver programme that allows visitors from certain countries to travel to Ireland using a UK visa. Once implemented, the new policy would apply to visitors from a much larger number of countries, including Brazil, the People’s Republic of China and India, with growing sources of new tourism. |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 37

In Focus

Benefits of creating a Common Visa Area While it is clear that a common visa requires inter-state collaboration on politically sensitive matters and presents several legal and implementation challenges, none of these challenges should be insurmountable. For a common visa proposal to be effective, it needs to address the following issues. Foreign relations: Whether a state requires citizens of another state to procure a visa before entering is fundamentally a matter of foreign policy. Visa requirements are often part of reciprocal agreements and a reflection of the relations between two countries. Should they collaborate on a common visa, they would need to set a common foreign policy in this respect. For a common visa to be effective, the participating states would presumably want to create a single list of countries from which a visa would be required. If this proves a bridge too far, it is possible (as in the Schengen area) to designate certain visas as having limitedpermission.11 Border security: Management of the state’s physical territory and the exclusion or acceptance of individuals into that territory is fundamental to the role of the “Westphalian” state. Sharing this authority with another country requires a high degree of mutual trust. Even if both states maintain distinct border control operations, they are trusting each other to manage the screening process by which certain foreign nationals gain permission to enter each sovereign territory. Additionally, by standardizing and harmonizing processing procedures and document stand38 38 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||

Foreign relations: Whether a state requires citizens of another state to procure a visa before entering is fundamentally a matter of foreign policy

ards, each state must be willing to dilute its own authority over the procedural control it exerts over the admission process. The countries must trust each other not to exploit or make negative use of the insight gained into each other’s border control operations. Cost and revenue sharing: The implementation of a new visa programme requires significant upfront costs followed by continued funding for operations. It is important for countries to consider how they will apportion the costs in both the short and the long-term, as well as how they will fairly distribute the financial burden and the revenues linked to visa processing. The Schengen Area, for instance, requires (a) that visitors apply for a regional visa from the consulate of the Schengen state through which they intend to enter or the consulate of the state in which they plan to spend the majority of time, and (b) that the state which processes the application is entitled to the fee. In this way, there is a logical connection between the cost and revenue side of visa processing. This solution is designed to deter visa shopping, where visitors apply through the consulate of whichever

UK-Ireland Common Travel Area: The United Kingdom and Ireland are establishing a common visa area for non-EU visitors by 2016

member state develops reputation for having the most permissive approval standards. Without these limiting rules governing where applications can be made, states would be encouraged to lower their standards to attract visa shoppers and incremental fees. Administration: Rather than include many of the necessary procedural details in the text of the treaty, the Schengen Area established an executive committee to implement the common visa. The executive committee consists of one representative from each contracting party; moreover, committee decisions are required to be unanimous. It is not necessary for all regional visa arrangements to use the same structure. However, some type of administrative body will be necessary to draft and issue the numerous technical provisions necessary for the standardized visa application form and process that will be used by all implementing bodies within each participating state. The administrative body will also need to oversee the implementation, monitor compliance among participating countries, and make expedient decisions as needed. State implementation: Any regional visa collaboration would need to adhere to the principle that protects the sovereignty of the individual participating states. Countries have different internal mechanisms for implementing external trade and security agreements; some require additional domestic legislation for these agreements to take legal effect, and domestic action is almost inevitably necessary for implementation. The most important function of the regional administrative body established will be to work


productively with the appropriate governmental agencies within each participating state to ensure technological and procedural alignment. It will be incumbent upon each state to identify the appropriate domestic governmental agencies and to see that they are properly integrated into the project. At a minimum, administration of a regional visa is likely to require cooperation from agencies responsible for border security, foreign affairs, trade and transportation. Moreover, interagency communication and cooperation is essential to the success of a Smart Visa project. Privacy and data protection: Countries need to

Any regional visa collaboration would need to adhere to the principle that protects the sovereignty of the individual participating states

consult their own codes as well as international agreements to ensure they have the authority to share traveller data. State policies on the use of passenger data vary considerably. It is notable, for example, that the implementing legislation for the US trusted traveller programme known as “Global Entry” appears to preclude individual passengers from demanding access to


their personal data held in official files. In contrast, the proposed EU programme observes the data access protections enshrined in a number of EU codes including the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Regardless of the applicable jurisdiction, strict standards will have to be adopted for recording, accessing, storing and disposing of personal data. It is also important to be proactive from a public awareness standpoint, reassuring travellers (whatever the status of their actual legal rights) about the protections in place to prevent misuse or appropriation of their personal data or biometric information. 

|Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 39

opinion column

Preferential Mobility Immigration policy in the era of a gated globalization

I n response to the economic challenges

in recent years, governments and their nationals have been increasingly resisting the previous, relatively open models of globalization and embracing a more limited and controlled or gated approach.

By Michelle Kotze Partner, EY Dubai

The gated approach to globalization could potentially impact the regulations pertaining to immigration and temporary status issues for mobile employees. The question that arises is – are we entering an era of preferential mobility? Immigration can be seen as a form of contract where permanent or temporary entry status is offered, in exchange for the promise to devote one’s skill and time to undertake certain work obligations to enhance the welcoming country.

The attitudes of domestic populations consistently reflect local opinion that traditional globalization has failed to deliver prosperity on the ground, as a consequence of individual consumers not feeling richer, more secure in their jobs, or optimistic about future prospects. Conscious of the economic challenges and domestic national attitudes and aspirations, policymakers are increasingly looking to explore new approaches in pursuing economic growth. One of those approaches is the concept of preferential mobility and access treaties.

In the usual case, these contracts are negotiated between host governments and petitioning individuals. However, there has increasingly been a third party involved - namely, the government of the foreign entrant’s home country.

With a proven track record of delivering global immigration services to complex multinational organizations with large assignee and business traveler populations, EY are at the forefront in assisting these policymakers across the globe.

Under such tri-party arrangements, it is likely that the entrant’s home country has made specific pre-arrangements with the host country to secure some preferential treatment and/or processing priority to facilitate mobility for their nationals.

We are continually involved in discussions with governments around the world on the issues that affect global immigration and are also assessing, on an ongoing basis, how we can influence those decisions that impact the business community. 

In emerging, post-recession immigration policies, it is increasingly apparent that governments globally are 40 40 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|September |September٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||

treading carefully, under considerable pressure to deliver economic growth in a period of uncertainty.

opinion column

UAE joins BORDERPOL have spent millions on G overnments trying to thwart terrorists, human

smuggling, illegal migration, drugs, small weapons trafficking and facilitate legitimate asylum programs. Governments are coming up with outstanding programs to meet these challenges. Alongside, we see NGOs or IGOs coming out with revealing details as to why terrorists, human smugglers, illegal migration and drugs or small weapons traffickers exist and why more needs to be done to facilitate asylum programs. Over the past 40 years, a multitude of books and reports on border security matters have all come to the same conclusions. The first is far too much money and effort being spent on controlling borders because there is really nothing that states can do about terrorism, human smuggling, illegal migration and drugs or weapons trafficking. Second asylum programs, whether they are national or regional, is never enough. One of my favorite quotes on the subject of border security and migration management inter alia was published by the prestigious Royal Institute of International Affairs in the forward to a book published in August 1993 which stated “the fears which influence politicians and their constituents about the arrival of large numbers of immigrants have little basis in fact”. The arrival of large numbers of immigrants have little basis in fact? Well, 21 years later the facts in migrant

and refugee receiving states are somewhat clear to the next generation of politicians and their constituents. Global efforts to eliminate illicit drugs or small weapons trafficking are another conundrum within the border security paradigm. Now, you might ask what is the chief executive of BORDERPOL, a nonpartisan global institution representing border security and traveler/migration professionals, trying to say? The French have saying “the more it changes the more it remains the same”. And so it is with border security traveler or migration management paradigms.

By Thomas Tass Chairman & Executive Director BORDERPOL

While we have logistically improved the process of managing borders thought smart technology and multilateral political arrangements such as the EU Schengen program the key issues over the past 40 years have remained the same. Hence, the tasks ahead for BORDERPOL members remain very much a work in progress. The unlikely scenario is that illegal migration, trafficking in humans, drugs or small smuggling will diminish with the passing of time. We understand that trans-border criminality is as multifaceted as border services and agencies are multidisciplinary. The result is a complex set of social, economic and technological problems which beset communities, countries and regions.  |Manafez Dubai |September ٢٠١٤ | 41

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