The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has told expats whose visas were due to expire on March 1 that they can extend their residency for three months without the risk of incurring additional fees.
The Abu Dhabi-based government's decision comes amid a series of orders issued to help UAE businesses, expats and residents as the Gulf state deals with the impact of covid-19.
The government has said it will waive fines relating to services provided by the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship. This period will be valid for three months starting today, 1 April.
Although the UAE banking sector has not seen any significant pressure at this stage, to maximize efficiencies and reduce the spread of the virus, we encourage all customers to use digital channels to conduct their banking.”
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has said it is working to reinforce the government's efforts to support businesses. The financial centre has said it has temporarily suspended all retail spaces, and closed all cafés, restaurants and places of worship with immediate effect.
The UAE's banking sector has all but shifted to its online services, along with many other countries around the world. AbdulAziz al-Ghurair, chairman of UAE Banks Federation, told Gulf News: "The worldwide outbreak of covid-19 has created significant challenges to society.
"Although the UAE banking sector has not seen any significant pressure at this stage, to maximize efficiencies and reduce the spread of the virus, we encourage all customers to use digital channels to conduct their banking."
Al-Ghurair's message followed that of Mubarak Rashed al-Mansoori, governor of the UAE Central Bank, who said yesterday, "Following our leadership directives, our number one priority is your safety of and each one of us has a responsibility to take steps to mitigate the effect of the spread of covid-19."