Abu Dhabi: A new toll free number has been set up to facilitate reporting of illegal residents, officials announced on Wednesday.
80080 is the number to which people from all seven emirates can call in and report the presence of those unlawfully living in the country.
"13,812 illegal residents were caught during the period from January 1 to May 31," Brigadier Nasser Al Awadhi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of Naturalisation and Residency Department, said in a statement issued by the Interior ministry.
Al Minhali urged the public to make use of the number in helping the authorities safeguard the safe and secure environment in the UAE.
The decision to set up the toll free came following a meeting of heads of immigration departments of all emirates, a ministry official told Gulf News.
"At the meeting, which was held in Ajman, it was decided that calls to report such cases had to be at one single platform rather than separate local numbers," said the official.
The primary objective of the meeting was to discuss the ministerial decree issued in May to regulate the real estate sector. The decree allowed expatriate property owners to obtain multiple entry visas valid for six months, provided they met the laid out criteria. This brought in unified regulations in the real estate sector for the first time.
The meeting explored ways to overcome obstacles in the implementation of the decree and to evaluate the efficiency of the mechanisms in place.