Visit visa holders who exceed their permitted duration are causing travel agencies in the UAE to face fines, according to executives. The authorities have been forced to enforce stricter entry regulations at Dubai Airports due to cases of visitors overstaying and absconding. This results in financial and operational challenges for travel agencies when a visitor is reported as an absconder.

One of the main reasons for visitors overstaying is a misunderstanding about the visa grace period. The grace period of 10 days beyond the visa's expiry date was removed last year, leading to unintentional overstays. Many visitors are unaware of this change and are informed by travel agencies that there is no longer a grace period, as highlighted by Firoz Maliyakkal, the founder and CEO of Tahira Tours and Travels.

Financial difficulties also contribute to visitors overstaying, as some face unexpected challenges during their stay, making it hard for them to return home on time. Additionally, the allure of Dubai and its diverse attractions encourages visitors to extend their stay without considering the legal repercussions, as mentioned by travel agents.

Another common reason for visitors absconding is job hunting after being attracted by Dubai’s opportunities. Visitors often overstay their visas while waiting for employment opportunities, placing themselves in a legal situation, according to Firoz.

There are severe consequences for travel agencies when visitors do not report to them after visa expiry. They face substantial fines and penalties, in addition to a reduction in their visa quota, affecting their operations and ability to invite more people to the UAE, as highlighted by travel agents.

Visitors who overstay illegally face hefty fines, and withdrawing an absconding case involves paying fines exceeding Dh5,000, as well as penalties for the duration of the overstay, administration fees, and exit fees. These expenses can become overwhelming for both the visitors and the travel agencies involved.

Travel agents are urging visitors to be mindful of the legal implications of overstaying their visas. Proper planning and adherence to visa regulations are crucial to avoid legal complications and financial penalties in order to respect the visa regulations and avoid overstaying while enjoying Dubai as an attractive destination, emphasized Firoz.