UAE May Lift Visa Ban on Nigeria as Emirates Flights Resume October 1

Speculation is mounting that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) may lift the visa ban imposed on Nigeria, as Emirates, the country’s national carrier, has announced the resumption of services to Nigeria from October 1, 2024. This comes 23 months after the airline suspended operations.

While no official statement has been released on the visa ban by either the UAE authorities or the Nigerian government, Emirates Airlines stated on its website that it would commence operating a daily service from Lagos on October 1, offering customers more choice and connectivity from Nigeria’s largest city to Dubai and onwards to its network of over 140 destinations.

The service will be operated using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Emirates’ Deputy President and Chief Commercial Officer, Adnan Kazim, said, “We are excited to resume our services to Nigeria. The Lagos-Dubai service has traditionally been popular with customers in Nigeria and we hope to reconnect leisure and business travellers to Dubai and onwards to our network of over 140 destinations. We thank the Nigerian government for their partnership and support in re-establishing this route and we look forward to welcoming passengers back onboard.”

Background:

December 2021: The UAE restricted travel from Nigeria due to a reported surge in COVID-19 cases from Nigerian passengers. However, there were suggestions that the travel ban was linked to a diplomatic row over flight frequencies between Air Peace and Dubai authorities.

October 2022: The UAE banned visas for Nigerians and citizens of around 20 other African countries.
November 2022: Emirates suspended flights into Nigeria over its inability to repatriate its $85 million revenue trapped in the country.

September 2023: Reports emerged that the UAE had lifted the visa ban, but UAE officials denied this.

May 17, 2024: Nigerians still require visas to enter UAE and there is no official confirmation that the ban has been lifted.

Speculation:

With Emirates announcing the resumption of flights from Nigeria to Dubai from October 1, some speculate that the visa ban may be lifted by then to enable easy movement between both countries. However, this remains speculation until an official announcement is made.

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