Dubai: Hundreds of illegal residents who wanted to take advantage of the amnesty on offer in Dubai and Sharjah were turned away from centres on Sunday due to a last-minute rush
A Ministry of Interior official said that the people were turned away as the two month-amnesty period ended on Saturday (February 2). However, an earlier statement from the Ministry specified that the amnesty ended on February 4.
On Sunday hundreds of illegal residents gathered at Al Aweer amnesty centre but apart from a handful, who were entertained early in the morning, all were turned away.
Officials at MoI claimed that the last day of amnesty was Saturday, so no applications could be received beyond that deadline.
Apart from Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and other emirates also refused to accept amnesty applications on Sunday, Gulf News has learnt.
“The amnesty lasted for 60 days and people should have applied earlier,” said Brigadier Dr Abdullah Sahoo, director of the General Directorate for Residency and Foreign Affairs in Sharjah and head of the media committee for the amnesty campaign.
Figures for the total number of people who took advantage of the amnesty were not yet available.
“No excuse for those people who came late, we have been calling on [them] every day to apply for amnesty,” he said.
Meanwhile, authorities began the hunt for illegal residents from Sunday, while awareness campaigns for the public to report suspected illegals have also been launched and will continue throughout the year.
Brig. Sahoo urged residents to cooperate with the MoI in reporting violators.
He said a campaign called Saahem had also been launched by the MoI to create awareness on the risks of employing illegals and to encourage the reporting of such violations.
The public can report cases of suspected illegal residents around the clock on the toll-free number 80080.
“We urge [the] public to participate with the Ministry of Interior in the campaign to say no to violators and to report illegals in all the emirates,” an official at the MoI said.