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Dubai exempts visa overstay fines for travelers stranded by rain.

Photo : AFP

Last week, amid heavy rains in Dubai, some residents and visitors found themselves in a predicament when their flights were canceled, potentially leaving them liable for overstay fines. individuals facing such circumstances were spared from these penalties.

One such individual was Kurt Cervales, a Dubai resident who had reached the end of a 30-day grace period following the cancellation of his visa. Scheduled to depart on April 16, Cervales was unable to fly out due to the inclement weather. Subsequently, his rescheduled flight for April 17 was also canceled due to the adverse conditions impacting Dubai International Airport.

Given the streamlined visa regulations implemented in 2023, overstayers in the UAE are typically fined Dh50 per day. With Cervales facing a potential fine for each day he overstayed, concerns mounted as his stay extended beyond the grace period.

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However, upon reaching the immigration counter to settle his status, Cervales was pleasantly surprised to learn that he wouldn't be subjected to any fines. This unexpected reprieve came as a relief, considering the financial burden he could have faced.

Similarly, the experience was shared by passengers of the Dubai-based travel agency MRG Pinas Travel, whose flights were affected by the adverse weather conditions. They, too, discovered that fines were waived for those whose travel plans were disrupted by the inclement weather.

Further insights were provided by a call center executive from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) Dubai. According to the executive, travelers whose flights were canceled between April 16 and 18 were exempt from overstay fines. However, beyond this specified period, no new advisory on fine waivers had been issued at the time of reporting.

Overall, the decision to waive overstay fines for those impacted by flight cancellations during the specified period alleviated concerns and provided a degree of relief to affected individuals, highlighting the responsiveness of authorities to unforeseen circumstances.

April 23, 2024 1:21 p.m. 9446

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