More and more individuals are escaping violence and injustice at home to safer locations as the world becomes more linked.
Although many nations have asylum procedures in place, it needs to be clarified whether nations accept asylum applicants and their criteria for doing so.
Dubai is well-known for its luxury and cutting-edge conveniences, but does it have the capacity to house the homeless? We’ll look into the possibility of seeking refuge in Dubai in this post.
Can You Seek Asylum In Dubai?
The United Arab Emirates has no official asylum policy because it is not a party to the United Nations Refugee Convention.
Yet, the government is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which guarantee the rights of refugees and asylum seekers.
Anyone seeking refugee status in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the legal right to file an asylum claim with the UAE government, which must then evaluate the petition and provide a ruling within a reasonable amount of time.
The UAE government issued new legislation in 2018 called the Refugee Law, which details the steps someone must take to request refuge in the country.
To be considered a refugee under the law, one must have a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or participation in a certain social group.
Yet, the Refugee Law doesn’t offer a direct route to citizenship and permanent residency.
In most cases, asylum applicants are only eligible for a two-year temporary protection period.
Asylum seekers are also limited in their capacity to work, travel, & receive some forms of social assistance under the legislation.
Requirements for Seeking Asylum in Dubai
Fear of Persecution
All asylum applicants must show that they are legitimately afraid for their safety in their home country due to persecution on account of one of the grounds specified in the Refugee Law.
Presenting supporting evidence
Asylum seekers must provide evidence to support their claim, such as official documents, witness statements, or medical reports.
Registering With Authorities
Within 30 days of arrival in the UAE or as soon as feasible, asylum applicants must register with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
Passing Secutiry Checks
Background checks and security checks are performed on asylum applicants to ensure they don’t threaten the country.
Challenges Faced by Asylum Seekers in Dubai
Refugees are not only entering but also settling in the United Arab Emirates.
Ecuador’s applications have been the most successful so far.
There have been 12 requests for asylum filed by people from the United Arab Emirates in 2021.
By 2020, the United Arab Emirates was home to an estimated 8,716,332 migrant workers, roughly 13% of the total population.
These people were born in different countries but have permanently made the nation they call home.
This count takes into account accepted refugees but not rejected asylum seekers.
The data comes from the United Nations Population Division’s estimations and predictions and the results of several censuses.
While the law in Dubai offers certain safeguards to those seeking refuge, many nevertheless encounter substantial difficulties.
Lack of access to legal representation
Difficulty navigating the asylum procedure due to a lack of access to legal representation. Asylum applicants may need help locating inexpensive and dependable legal assistance.
Non-Arabic and non-English speaking asylum applicants may need help communicating with officials and gaining access to necessities because of language problems.
High cost of living
Due to the city’s high cost of living, asylum seekers in Dubai may have difficulty providing for themselves and their families while they wait for a verdict on their application.
Tension and anxiety can build up while asylum seekers wait for a verdict on their applications, which might take months or even years.
Why Dubai is not supportive on the idea of seeking asylum
Regarding immigration, Dubai and the rest of the UAE are notoriously stringent because they want to protect their economies and citizens.
The United Arab Emirates administration has been wary of establishing a formal asylum program for fear of inviting a flood of refugees and asylum seekers to the nation.
This hesitation stems partly from legitimate concerns that asylum seekers may compromise UAE national security.
The administration hesitates to admit those who may destabilize the country because of its relative stability in a region plagued by violence and instability.
A further contributor is the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) ties with its neighbors, notably Saudi Arabia and Iran, embroiled in regional wars and political tensions.
Because of the difficult political situation in certain countries, the UAE may hesitate to accept refugees and asylum seekers.
Moreover, both Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are home to a highly structured and controlled culture that adheres to several rules and regulations.
The administration may fear social unrest and disorder would break out if too many migrants and asylum seekers were allowed to enter the country simultaneously.
While the UAE and Dubai have passed the Refugee Law and taken other measures to safeguard those seeking asylum, the government is still hesitant to welcome significant numbers of people needing protection.
In conclusion, it is possible to seek refuge in Dubai, but doing so can be difficult, and there are no assurances that you will be granted asylum.
Those looking for asylum face a challenging legal process and high standards before being evaluated.
While there is no official asylum program in Dubai, there are measures in place for individuals to seek refuge on a case-by-case basis.
However, due to the political climate and the UAE’s connections with other nations, it may be difficult for some people to gain refuge in Dubai.
Asylum seeking is a very individual choice that must be made after thoroughly evaluating all relevant factors.
- (2022, September 27). How to apply for asylum in the UAE? International protection in the United Arab Emirates – alinks.org. alinks.org. https://www.alinks.org/how-to-apply-for-asylum-in-the-uae/
- Refugees in the United Arab Emirates. (n.d.). Worlddata.info. https://www.worlddata.info/asia/arab-emirates/asylum.php
- S., & Gogol, F. (2020, September 11). Can You apply for asylum from outside of the U.S.? . Stilt Blog. https://www.stilt.com/blog/2020/09/can-you-apply-for-asylum-outside-the-u-s/
- Subaihi, T. A. (2023, February 25). More than 600 in UAE seeking asylum, UN report says. The National. https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/government/more-than-600-in-uae-seeking-asylum-un-report-says-1.58068