Emirates establishes travel Ban on 13 Muslim countries

Travel ban expected to only last a short while and will not affect valid visa holders from entering the country

The travel ban has nothing to do with new relations to Israel, officials say. [Photo: Getty]
The United Arab Emirates has halted new visa for citizens from 13 mostly Muslim-majority countries including Libya and Turkey.

According to a document issued by a state-owned business park, new employment and visit visas have been suspended for nationals of 13 countries that also included Somalia, Iran and Yemen until further notice.

The ban also applies to citizens of Algeria, Kenya, Iraq, Lebanon, Tunisia, Pakistan, Syria and Afghanistan, the document says.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship of the UAE had no clarification to offer in regards to any exceptions to the ban that took effect on the 18th of this month.

According to sources close to the matter, the ban was instated due to security concerns but authorities did not clarify what those concerns were.

The ban comes a week after an explosive device blew up at a cemetery for non-Muslims during a World War One commemoration ceremony in Jeddah, an attack that was suspected to have been related to the UAE establishing formal ties with Israel, a move that angered many Muslims.

Despite the new relations with Isreal causing strain with some of the countries included in the list, sources confirm that it was unrelated to the ban.

Authorities confirm that the ban is expected to only last a brief time and that those already holding valid visas will not be affected and can still enter the UAE.

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