More visas issued than cancelled

Dubai government issues around 59,000 visas every month

The number of working visas being issued in Dubai remains a “net positive” figure, despite anecdotal reports of huge numbers of expatriates fleeing the country, according to the chief economist in the Dubai government.

Raed Safadi told a meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Dubai on Sunday that the emirate issued 59,000 visas every month – which breaks down to almost 2,000 visas a day.

This figure “had come down in December”, Safadi admitted, but added that a net of 1,000 visas were issued every day in January - making a total of around 1,000 work visas cancelled each day, according to reports by arabianbusiness.com.

His comments were sparked by media reports during the past three weeks that visas were being cancelled at a rate of 1,500 a day, amid claims that thousands of expatriates were leaving Dubai as a result of the global economic crisis.

“Yes, we have cancelled a lot, but at the same time a lot have been issued,” Safadi told the conference.

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