x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Thousands remain stuck in border towns

Philippines' ambassador says about 3,000 Filipinos returned to the UAE but thousands remain stuck in Iran and Oman.

Acmad Omar, the Philippine ambassador in Oman, speaks to fellow citizens about their situation in Oman.
Acmad Omar, the Philippine ambassador in Oman, speaks to fellow citizens about their situation in Oman.

Thousands of Filipinos stranded in Oman and Iran on so-called visa runs have returned to the Emirates on new visas issued by UAE authorities, but thousands more workers remain stranded, many without food or money, Philippine officials said. Libran Cabactulan, the Philippines' ambassador to the UAE, said about 1,000 Filipinos in Iran and 2,000 in Oman had left the two countries in the past few days and returned to the UAE on new visas. However, about 3,000 Filipinos remain stuck in Iran and Oman, he said. Acmad Omar, the Philippines' ambassador in Oman, and members of Filipino associations visited their stranded compatriots in hotels in Buraimi and Khasab. More than 6,000 people had been unable to re-enter the UAE because a recently enacted law prohibited their immediate return after brief trips to neighbouring countries. Authorities have repeatedly said people from all but 33 exempt nations can no longer expect to renew their visas on such visa runs, but thousands are continuing to overwhelm hotels in border towns. rruiz@thenational.ae