Monday, April 19, 2010



UAE's new regulations require visiting Kenyans to have a degree certificate

Kenya's Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang'ula. Photo/FILE

Government Spokesman Alfred Mutua says Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang'ula (pictured) will be travelling to the UAE within the week to address the simmering diplomatic tiff. Photo/File

Posted Sunday, April 18 2010 at 18:04

Thousands of Kenyans going to or passing through Dubai (United Arab Emirates) will need a degree certificate to get a visa into the Arab country.


A degree certificate “or higher” is required for one to enter the UAE, otherwise, without the Visa, you will not enter and won’t leave, but will be detained at the airport.

The rules were effected last Monday, just four days after the UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah Al Nahyan met both President Kibaki and his Kenyan counterpart Moses Wetang’ula in Nairobi.

Kenya and UAE then signed a memorandum to open doors for the oil-rich Arab state to set up a mission in Kenya.

But even before the ink dried on the agreement, the UAE slapped the new regulation barring Kenyans without Bachelors degree from entering Dubai -- the busiest aviation hub in the Middle East.

This means that the 369 Kenyans in Iraq, the 36 in Afghanistan and the 36,000 others who live and work in Dubai, will not dare leave unless they have visa approval. That is besides the thousands of traders who make daily trips to the international trade hub in the middle East.

The exact reasons for the new move are unknown but the chairman of Parliament’s departmental committee on Foreign Relations and Defence, Mr Aden Keynan, said it was as a result deportation of UAE nationals touring the country.

“It is unfair for the Dubai government to punish all Kenyans over this misunderstanding,” Mr Keynan said. “Mr Wetang’ula and his team must be proactive in their dealings with such crucial trade partners so that such hitches do not occur.”

Speaking to the Nation on Sunday, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said Mr Wetang’ula will be travelling to the UAE within the week to address the simmering diplomatic tiff.

Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Thuita Mwangi and Dr Mutua said the move had not been officially communicated.

A US firm operating in Iraq has warned its Kenyan employees who were due to return home for a two-week break that should they leave their station, “there’s no guarantee that the employee will have a Dubai visa approved for their return.”

The firm, Kellog Brown & Root Proprietary Data, employs hundreds of Kenyans as mechanics and electricians in Army bases in Iraq.

According to correspondence seen by the Nation between the company and the Kenyan Mission in Abu Dhabi, no Kenyan without a Dubai visa will be allowed to transit through the airport.

However, Dr Mutua insists, Abu Dhabi reserves the right to change its visa regulations “but the minister will find out what the real problem on this situation is.”

The Kenyan mission in Abu Dhabi is exploring ways to get those Kenyans without visas to transit via Dubai into other countries in the Middle East.

The mission plans to write letters asking the UAE authorities to grant permission for inter-terminal transfers. Even if they get past the hitch and board their connecting flights, if it is determined that they have no visas, the plane may not be allowed to leave Dubai.


The use of letters from the Kenyan mission is a huge gamble given that the mission insists “it is unknown at this time if this will work.”

The employers of many Kenyans in Iraq and Afghanistan are now looking at Kuwait as a transit point.

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Add a comment (42 comments so far)

  1. Submitted by Akilininywele
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:56 PM

    The only lasting solution is to develop our country so that our youth do not go to look for jobs in foreign countries that residents don't want.

  2. Submitted by ungarungaru
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:53 PM

    Ok.This means we be carrying our degree certificates alongside our passports eh?Its a ridiculous

  3. Submitted by bibsdaisyvicky
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:53 PM

    thats absurd!what has a visa got to ddo with my education if i aint goin to look for employment,how many of them have degrees,how will our ministers solve our isues if they dont have degrees

  4. Submitted by wuod_aketch
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:45 PM

    Now you see why you Africans should not lease or sell your land to these Arab countries for cultivation of rice that they will export to their countries. Does the Tana river project ring a bell. A Kenyan having a degree will prefer staying and working at home. It is hell being foreigner in most countries even in Europe.

  5. Submitted by mzee_moja
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:33 PM

    This is something we can sought out in-house. Somebody somewhere should be given the tender of giving honorary degrees to all kenyans including "children." I dont even find any job in the UAE that warrants our degrees.

  6. Submitted by vicu
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:28 PM

    So a diplomatic stand off has erupted between Kenya and U.A.E????I should tell those Dubai policy makers actually it ia more of a diplomatic favor than a Stand off as I will go back to school and bag in a Phd.Did i mention it will only cost me 2!!!

  7. Submitted by bibsdaisyvicky
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:23 PM

    thats absurd,what has a degree certificate got to do with a visa woe unto our foreign affairs delegation for some of them dont have the papers how then will they solve our predicament

  8. Submitted by ndiangu
    Posted April 18, 2010 11:20 PM

    i ve not heard such nonsense in my life!its harassment,just because kenya is not rich as UAE.its the most unfair ban,lts do the same to them.

  9. Submitted by Coucal
    Posted April 18, 2010 10:53 PM

    Luck Kenyans. At least Wetangula, Kajwang , Mutua have degrees , so they can get into Dubai to intervene for lesser-educated Kenyans. Throwing a masters and phd won't hurt.

  10. Submitted by admin1
    Posted April 18, 2010 10:50 PM

    Foreign affairs docket must be removed from or Wetangula leave the ministry! Here at home, what's his shouting about Migingo Island? Move Kalonzo to this docket.

  11. Submitted by joemarusoi
    Posted April 18, 2010 10:47 PM

    That is anice one,corruption of kenyan police,they are used to chaikidogo if not detatained behind bars, now they step on hot bus-bars, now we are paying for there sin not mend for us, Almighty have mercy on innocent Kenyans

  12. Submitted by beshtez
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:53 PM

    well ... the kenyan govt wrongfully branded their citizens terrorist and deported them. This guys are just now giving us a dose of our own medicine

  13. Submitted by wangulu35
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:44 PM

    the news is unfair and a blow to kenya-dubai residents who have neen developing their country through remmitence back home. from they i see it is a diplomatic stand off that implcates discrimination of UAE residents visting kenya as tourists(suspicion as terrorists) i personally witness the interogation of a kenyan citizen based in Australia with whom i travelled the same plane going through the same.wetangula musttravel to UAE and solve this diplomatic stand off to help victimised kenyans over nothing that has to do with them

  14. Submitted by jameskamau
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:34 PM

    The government of Kenya should intervene for Kenyans. I believe they also need to visit our country. I know not all of them have degrees

  15. Submitted by rohojuu
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:33 PM

    This is absolutely ridiculous! Well this means that my 18 year old daughter will have to acquire a degree to visit me. Where are our family values headed to? I don't have a degree but i make enough for my family upkeep and education. If this be the case, I need a job in the foreign affairs or immigration ministries back home.Period.

  16. Submitted by agusa2010
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:24 PM

    It's not difficult to get a degree certificate, is it? Is that all that they are looking for?

  17. Submitted by frysasken
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:20 PM

    if whoever came up with this rule has himself obtained a degree otherwise, I would like to know which university he went to. This guy should know that there are more Kenyan university graduates than the population of the UAE. Asituletee!

  18. Submitted by GeoffreO
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:18 PM

    Absurd. Who is going to confer degrees to kids to enter UAE?

  19. Submitted by babbibba
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:17 PM

    Well done UAE you are actually motivating us to delve deep into fraud, its a piece of cake, we will print degree certificates and yes that verification system during check-in will always favour us, simply because we are KENYANS. Hehehehee proud to be kenyan

  20. Submitted by alim0
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:16 PM

    This is in retaliation of the mistreated of UAE citizens who visit kenya. Arabs visiting kenya are subject to all forms of humilation... courtesy of the war against terror.

  21. Submitted by kenyamoja99
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:16 PM

    Some countries do take care of their citizens and can hit back hard unlike Kenya. You can't just arrest four guys, label them terrorists, detain them for 3 days and then deport them. Without trial or even an explanation. You are used to do that with Kenyans but be careful when dealing with citizens of a country which cares about them. Now apologise!

  22. Submitted by ogutuwalwanga
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:14 PM

    I dont see any big deal here,if you dont have a degree go back to school aquire one then apply for the bloody visa simple.

  23. Submitted by yesuwangu
    Posted April 18, 2010 09:03 PM

    who understands the point here.President Aroyo of philipines Went to Qatar and asked the sheikh to help her country by securing and employ more kabayans.she was promised 100,000 filipinos vacancies.Kenya meets UAE and ask for less JObs vacancies limited to degrees only My God!If watengula cannot use wisdom please ask.look at the Jobs Kenyans are doing and see if it suits graduates also

  24. Submitted by mza
    Posted April 18, 2010 08:44 PM

    Dubai is on the decline. Let them first pay off their debts before I consider going there!

  25. Submitted by jsphochieng
    Posted April 18, 2010 08:39 PM

    Will come home when KQ Launches direct flights from NRB to BAGHDAD

  26. Submitted by mukudi
    Posted April 18, 2010 08:32 PM

    In other words, they want to have graduate maids for their households. That is what opportunity citizens have when their government fails them. Kenyans would not be going to the middle East if there were employment opportunities at home.

  27. Submitted by waHanah
    Posted April 18, 2010 08:20 PM

    These guys are just throwing their weight around rest we forget they call shots in these uneven diplomatic contest.Given chance the Arab will ride the black man roughsod. There is no sense for degrees on transit or even embarking as many Kenyans go there on business and the pull and shove tasks most do there do not warrant any degree .

  28. Submitted by wawerugithiri
    Posted April 18, 2010 08:06 PM

    This is a motivation to make Kenya a better place. Mombasa port can be improved even beyold dubai. We have to tap the human capital that is going to waste, and elect visionary leadership. This could not apply if we were economically upright. Most unfortunate!

  29. Submitted by sammundu
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:56 PM

    We are in alot of problems.This is such a big issue considering the many kenyans going to dubai for bussiness.The other problem is that its a political issue where we must rely on our good for nothing politicians to solve.Plse send somebody else but not the ever dazed wetangula.

  30. Submitted by jimk7
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:55 PM

    This is nonsense! if i am making a stop over on my way to USA or any other country i am destined to why do i need a Dubai visa? ridiculous! nonsensical!! utterly disgusting

  31. Submitted by mapesa
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:52 PM

    We can beat them at their own game! Let our government issue Honorary degrees to all people who want to travel through that port! Kwani?

  32. Submitted by keoles
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:44 PM

    Where on earth can this rule work.It is impossible,They should be open,and tell us they don't need us.Hope Hon Wetangula is on the way to Abu Dhabi now,this is so urgent.Am actually to pass there in a weeks time and i didn't carry my certificates.How will i transit to Kenya.Mungu Wangu

  33. Submitted by mdavoe
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:39 PM

    This story is so ridiculous something doesn't add up.To travel one needs travel doc's which include the mandatory visa, which in Dubai's case you apply/get before you depart.Educational doc's only come in when you apply for a job.

  34. Submitted by jameskamau
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:31 PM

    The Kenya government should impose the same to their citizens. We shouldn’t always be in receiving end.

  35. Submitted by tunes2006
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:15 PM

    i suppose its a case of which master do we serve the US or the UAE? after all black Africans are only BUT awards for guesing what that means.

  36. Submitted by Mfalmempendwa1
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:14 PM

    That is why Kadhis courts should be resisted with all cost.

  37. Submitted by easydogg
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:12 PM

    Just recently Libya banned all European union members from entering Libya just because the president son was arrested in New zealand. What can I say, politicians should try to make Kenya a habitable place for Kenyans so that we dont have to go begging other countries to give us jobs. In the meantime, Kenya has to back down and apologise because, so many Kenyans earn a living through Dubai connections.

  38. Submitted by Samur
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:06 PM

    It is only in Kenya where education is not given Honors it deserves.Abu Dhabi has all the rights to impose rules.May be some Kenyans have committed offenses there,or the education standard of those who trade too low,hence doing corrupt deals.U know how corrupt some Kenyans are,especially to issue passports.

  39. Submitted by bushebi
    Posted April 18, 2010 07:01 PM

    The solution lies in only one item: make Kenya a better place for all of us;you're mistreated because of your country's economic class that results in capital flight East and West. We have no alternative but to force economic growth upon ourselves so we can be proud of our country.

  40. Submitted by Treaty
    Posted April 18, 2010 06:56 PM

    What is this??? I still do not understand this! Would a degree serve the diplomatic hitch or who is that learned going somewhere others cut off? our kajwang is playing kids game hide and seek in the immigration. Why should he just do things ignorantly? He should be sacked now! It will be shame for degree holders to work with class 7,8,9,10 from india who are majority while our college leavers and o'level leavers aren't equivalent. Clean our house before cleaning others Mr Kajwang

  41. Submitted by jgatihi
    Posted April 18, 2010 06:53 PM

    This is nonsense!! most kenyans doing business in Dubai do not have college education and they don't need one either, they are doing well. I have never hard rule like this before.I don't get the point here? What is behind this? Last time I was there most kenyans were doing manual labour!!! This is very upsetting and demeaning.

  42. Submitted by Henry4
    Posted April 18, 2010 06:44 PM

    Anybody who travels often through airports will tell you that such a ridiculous requirement will be very hard to enforce let alone regulate. So we're looking at infants, children, grandmothers and fathers and some of our MP's who didn't quite make it beyond Fourth form from being barred in Dubai. Wetangula ought to do better than this.