Dubai: New hotel-like centre for residence visa violators opens

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on July 12, 2021

The facility is located at Al Awir and is in line with international standards.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai inaugurated a dedicated centre to accommodate residency violators.

The centre, located in Al Awir, is built on an area of 16,731 square metres according to international standards. It provides hotel-like accommodations for violators who have become aliens in the UAE because their residency visa expired.

Major-General Muhammad Al Marri, the Director-General of the General Administration of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, said: "The centre is provided with state-of-the-art amenities for inmates, during their stay there, which, usually, doesn't exceed 14 days, except under extreme circumstances."

He said the construction work for the centre had started in 2015, and the facility was ready by the beginning of 2018.

The old shelter home could accommodate 500 inmates, which was equally divided between men and women.

The new construction can house 1,288 inmates, including 735 and 553 men and women, respectively.

At present, the facility has 11 men and an equal number of women occupants.

Additional features in the building include accommodation for visitors and 13 counters to handle their belongings such as luggage, tickets, cash, etc.

There is a dedicated counter for visitors who can avail of dnata's travel services, including DUBZ, a subsidiary of the Dubai airport services provider, which also helps inmates directly exit the country.

Adel Wajeeh, the Assistant Director of Operations for DUBZ, said help is at hand for an inmate to leave the facility after the person receives all travel documents and a negative PCR report.

The centre allocates two days during the weekend to visit inmates. Fridays and Saturdays are allotted for men and women respectively, and visitors are allowed for other emergencies.

Brigadier Khalaf Ahmed Al Ghaith, Assistant Director-General of the Violators and Foreigners' Follow-up Sector, said that visitors could request a mobile application, which is currently being upgraded, to specify a stipulated time and date to meet an inmate.

The centre has a large waiting area for guests, which has 16 counters, from which visitors can speak with inmates over dedicated telephones, and glass barriers separate them as a safety measure.

Work is in progress to hold virtual meetings between inmates and their visitors, and the facility will be implemented soon.

The centre, which is decorated with logos of the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020, has 14 restaurants — eight for men and six for women — that serve meals thrice daily along with a canteen that sells assorted foodstuff.

Emarat Al Youm has reported that the centre provides an outdoor courtyard for inmates to use for two hours daily in the morning, besides a sports centre and a recreational area.

Inmates who have lost their passports can get fresh travel documents issued through respective consulates and embassies organised by the facility's authorities.

There is a separate medical clinic for inmates to get regular health check-ups, including undergoing Covid-19 tests. If their condition worsens, they can be transferred to hospitals run by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) via ambulances, and the government bears all expenses.

Dr Heba Al Qazzaz, the general physician at the Tadawi centre, said inmates undergo regular check-ups for all kinds of diseases, including a Covid-19 test report within 24 hours. Doctors are present daily till 3:30pm, while nurses are present round the clock.

The Tadawi centre has one room for men and another for women. Each has three beds, Dr Al Qazzaz said.

There is also a laundry service and two separate lockers for inmates to store travel bags and valuable personal belongings such as cash, jewellery, watch, laptops etc.

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