Making a point. Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Suri Image Credit: XPRESS/Virendra Saklani

Dubai: A top diplomat has called upon Indians not to put their lives at risk by going to countries torn by war in the region.

Making the community appeal through the press at the Indian Counsulate in Dubai, India’s newly appointed Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Suri said, “Despite advisories and warnings, Indian citizens keep putting themselves in harm’s way by going into conflict zones in the region. The Government of India has to take enormous risks to rescue them.”

He said, “It is wrong, irresponsible and dangerous to go into conflict zones.”

The ambassador said such visits not only endanger the lives of the workers but also their families and others who have to get them out. Companies that lure them with the promise of better prospects are at fault, he said, stressing the need for utmost caution.

India has rescued thousands of people from strife-torn countries in the region in recent years in what reports describe as the most challenging rescues involving highly sophisticated air-sea operations.

Multiple-entry visas

In a major announcement made at the press meet, Suri said with effect from April 1, the Indian Government would issue five-year multiple entry business visas to UAE businessmen, with a similar facility being extended to tourists as well in the near future.

“We will issue the five-year business multiple entry visa as a default setting for applicants from the UAE,” he said.

The visa will not be a visa on arrival and will cost Dh1,500.

The criteria to apply for the visa are detailed on the Indian Embassy’s website.

Suri said a new contract for handling Indian passport and visa applications will soon be awarded after the bidding process is over. The services are currently being outsourced to the company BLS International.

Outgoing Indian Consul-General in Dubai Anurag Bhushan also addressed the media.

He will soon be succeeded by the new incumbent, identified as Vipul.