United Arab Emirates: Travel Ban In UAE: All You Need To Know

Last Updated: 20 February 2019
Article by Hassan Elhais

"The freedom of movement and residence will be granted within limits of laws" quotes from Article 29 of the UAE constitution offers freedom and simultaneously curtail it on the basis of law. It implies that everyone enjoys the freedom to travel inside and outside the country unless specifically objected by law through a travel ban.

The notion travel ban or deportation is used common parlance in UAE and can be imposed on various grounds such as, as a consequence of a criminal act, violating immigration laws, unpaid debts, under a civil claim. The concerned article, by Criminal Lawyers in Dubai, intends to guide the readers in comprehending the laws pertaining to a travel ban in UAE, the procedure for removing a travel ban in UAE and other similar points.

In legal terms travel ban is a restriction on ongoing freedom of movement or prohibiting a particular individual from entering, re-entering or exiting the country. The travel ban so issued by the government of UAE restrict the individual to cross the border through any means of transport. As mentioned above, travel ban can be caused through a variety of claims and complaints and some of these claims arose due to legal implications or due to immigration. A travel ban is distinctly different from a labour ban or an arrest warrant, and the difference is highlighted as below: Travel Ban and Labor Ban: a labour ban does not restrict the individual to enter or exit the country. However, it restricts to receive a work permit from MOHRE (Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization) for a limited period pursuant to Federal Law Number 8 of 1980 concerning the Labor Law of UAE and its amendments.

In such circumstances, the employee can either visit the country on a different visa and can apply for a job where a work permit from MOHRE is not required such as in free zone companies or public sector. On the other hand, a travel ban is a ban on immigration to enter UAE for all or any reason. Travel Ban and Arrest Warrant: An arrest warrant is issued for detention of a person by a competent authority who committed a criminal offence under Article 45-46 of the Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 concerning the Penal Code or who fails to oblige with the final judgment of execution court under Federal Law Number 11 of 1992 regarding the Civil Procedure Code.

An arrest warrant under criminal law is issued if the public prosecutor has sufficient evidence of his guilt, whereas, under the Civil Law, the arrest warrant can be issued by a judge of Execution court, should the debtor fails to submit the claim which is more than AED 10,000. Ergo, the objective of an arrest warrant is entirely different from that of the travel ban, as, in an arrest warrant, the accused is kept in custody until the happening of a specific event, whereas, the travel ban does not let the person enter or exit the country permanently until specifically removed.

In the case of a travel ban, the accused will not be allowed to cross the border or enter UAE, however, it does not mean that he will be detained at the airport unless specifically mentioned by the court or competent authority. All the arrest warrants entail travel ban, but all the travel ban does not require an arrest warrant. UAE Laws on Travel Ban The legislature of UAE does not involve a particular law designated to issues pertaining to a travel ban and the procedure for its removal.

However, its existence is evident from various federal laws of UAE. Accordingly, Federal Law Number 6 of 1972 regarding the Immigration law and an amendment through Ministerial Decree Number 83 of 2002 which provides a non-exhaustive list of categories under which an expatriate cannot enter or exit the country.

The preceding list is defined under Article 94 of the Decree as follows: Individuals restricted from entering the country: The individual against whom a criminal complaint has been filed; A person who has been deported by the competent authority; An individual who has been expelled or has a travel ban from GCC countries; Anyone who is involved in the activity reported by Interpol; Someone who suffers from a disease which is hazardous for public health.

Individuals who are restricted to leave the country: Anyone who holds a travel ban imposed by any public prosecutor due to an ongoing investigation; Someone who is banned by the criminal or civil court; Ban issued by the Minister for those who default in the payment of debts of UAE government. Reasons and Removal of Travel Ban Although UAE does not have a specific legislature for a travel ban, foreign expatriates can still face travel bans on several grounds which is broadly classified under following groups along with a procedure to remove the ban, subject to the discretion of UAE government: Violation of laws of Immigration Under the laws of Immigration, an expat a face travel ban on several grounds such as: If a person is employed without a valid work permit; Illegally entering into the country; Overstay on the visa; Resigning the job without updating the employer or leaving the country without cancelling work permit.

Procedure for removal The bans are issued automatically by a competent authority and can be extended for a lifetime. This ban can be imposed if requested by one party like the employer, and the competent authority declares the employee as absconding and imposes a permanent travel ban. The accused can submit an application before the immigration authority for removal of the travel ban.

However, it is advised to seek legal representation from Criminal Lawyers in Dubai for removal of such ban. Outstanding debt In case of unpaid debt, the creditor is empowered under Article 329 and 330 of the UAE Civil Procedure Code, through which he can submit a request before the competent court to prohibit the debtor from travelling when there is a strong apprehension that the debtor will abscond from the country without paying the debt which will frustrate the whole proceedings. Therefore, the request for the ban is to recover the outstanding payments.

However, the ban ceases to exist if the debt is repaid. Procedure for Removal The ban is imposed upon the request of the creditor. However, there are certain conditions and perquisites which the creditor must consider prior to submitting a written request for travel ban as outlined in Article 329 of the Civil Code as follows: The creditor must prove beyond any doubt that the debtor will abscond; The amount of debt exceeds AED 10,000; The debt should be of definite amount; If the debt amount is not clear, then the judge is authorized to analyze the debt on the basis of written evidence and the guarantee submitted by the creditor to cover the damages.

Under the preceding circumstances, the debtor can apply to the court to object the travel ban by filing a complaint before a higher judge. Also, the ban can be removed in some instances as follows: If a creditor takes back the application; If debtor submits a bank guarantee; If debtor repays the claim in the court or to the creditor.

Criminal offence An automatic travel ban is imposed on the person if he is charged with a criminal offence or has violated any provision of the criminal law. It can also be imposed in civil or commercial transactions such as cheques bounce. Procedure for Removal A ban in a criminal offence remains into force until the period of investigation, trial and judgment of the criminal case. In such circumstances, the accused can submit a complaint before the competent court and can request a bail, however, it is pertinent to note that under a travel ban of criminal offence, the accused can submit application for bail and can be released from the police custody, however, will not be allowed to travel until the final judgment.

Personal Status law In accordance with the Federal Law Number 28 of 2005 concerning the Personal Status Law, the guardian can request the court to impose a travel ban on the child/children as a consequence of which the fosterer will not be able to travel outside the country without the written consent of the guardian. However, if the party fails to seek prior approval must justify before the court the reasons behind the travel.

Procedure for Removal The procedure for this travel ban is completed within 24 hours from the time of applying. In such circumstances, the relevant parent can apply for the removal of the travel ban on the child with strong reasons. Thus, it is always advised to seek legal representations to convince the court for such motion.

Careful Comparison between Deportation and Travel Ban One of the most significant differences between the travel ban and deportation is the interest of the parties wherein; travel ban is imposed to protect the individual interest, whereas, deportation is imposed in the interest of the public at large. The annulment of a deportation order is though difficult, however, not impossible as under Article 132 of the UAE Penal Code, the deportation order can be lifted upon the request of the relevant authority.

Another issue which has been resolved by the Civil Procedure Law is regarding a situation in which a person having a deportation order holds a travel ban as well. In such cases, an ad hoc committee will be established which will decide the merit of the case. Also, if sufficient evidence for his outstanding dues has been submitted, the deportation order might be put on hold. Conclusion In any case, if you have a suspicion that a travel ban has been imposed on you in UAE, it is advisable to contact a Best Lawyers of Dubai and to conduct a check on your legal status before visiting UAE.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions