The UAE has imposed an embargo on the entry of Indian passengers who have only one name on their travel documents, including visas and passports.
A circular issued by Indian airlines Air India has confirmed the UAE’s revision of its travel guidelines, which state that “any passport holder with a single name (word) in either the surname or first name will not be admitted by immigration of UAE”.
“Then no visa will be issued to such a passenger and in case the visa was previously issued then the [inadmissible passenger] from immigration,” it added.
IndiGo airlines also issued a similar circular to travel agents on Monday. “As per instructions from the UAE Authorities, from November 21, 2022, passengers with only one name on their passport traveling on tourist, visit or any other type of visa are not allowed to travel to/from UAE,” it added.
The new rule, however, exempts UAE resident cards and conditional work visa holders.
“Passengers with only one name in their passports and on residence permit or work visa will be allowed to travel provided the same name is updated in the ‘First Name’ and ‘Surname’ columns, according to a statement issued by IndiGo.
It remains unclear why the restrictions were imposed by Gulf authorities. The UAE government relied on the convention for writing the name listed in part 3.4 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Indian Express.
“The owner’s name is generally represented in two parts. the primary identifier and the secondary identifier’, according to ICAO rules. “The issuing state or agency determines which part of the name is the primary identifier. This can be the family name, patronymic or married name, first name, surname and in some cases the full name where the holder’s name cannot be split into two parts,” it said.
Following the announcement, the Consulate General of India in Dubai also tweeted the revised guidelines for passengers by individual names.
Meanwhile, several Indian citizens with only their first names on their passports have already been barred from flying out of the country, the Khaleej Times.
“My cousin, who had arrived at the airport to come to Dubai from Mangalore Airport in India, told me that he could not travel. My mother also does not have a surname on her passport,” Zahra, a Dubai resident, told the agency.
“He is currently in the US and is about to travel to the UAE. Now my family is trying to figure out if she will be allowed to travel. I wish they had given us time and informed us to sort everything out.”