The Ministry of Interior continued its nationwide Ramadan Councils on Monday evening. The councils are organized at the countrywide level by the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; under the theme “Innovation through Dialogue”. Nine councils were held at the countrywide level and tackled the topic of the ‘Naturalization, Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector’.
The main topic of discussion consisted of two different subthemes, notably, the services provided by the sector to both citizens and residents of the UAE, in addition to naturalization and residency-related affairs. The second subtheme tackled the different challenges facing the ministry in the Naturalization, Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs sector, with particular focus on the alarming issue of violators of residency laws and its implications on the community; and issues related to absconding domestic helpers.    

During the council, which was held at the residence of Dr. Saeed Ahmed Al Ameri in the city of Al Ain and moderated by media figure Osama Al Amiri; participants stressed the need for concerted efforts between government authorities and the public in order to curb illegal infiltrators and offender residents. They also called for intensifying the nationwide drive to raise awareness and legal education among the various segments of society; stressing the need for domestic workers to receive pre-departure orientation and training before taking up domestic work in the UAE.  

Speakers at the council discussed the services provided by the Naturalization, Residency and Foreign Affairs Sector, as per a set of strategic goals that give top priority to maintaining security and safety and providing the most distinguished and sophisticated services. They also shed the light on the wide array of services provided through smart applications to streamline customers’ transactions; in addition to the implications and pitfalls of hiring illegal workers.

Participants attending the Al Ameri council also called for curtailing beggary, which is an objectionable scourge that undermines the reputation of the community and the beauty of the country. They praised the Ministry of Interior's efforts to organize nationwide awareness campaigns throughout the year, especially during the Holy Month of Ramadan to raise public awareness. Furthermore, they hailed the ministry’s unrelenting commitment to educate citizens and residents on the need to refrain from obliging beggars by acquainting them with the dangers of this negative societal scourge, which detracts from the UAE society.

Preserving Rights

The council hosted by HE Lt. General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of the Dubai Police and General Security, was moderated by media personality, Mohammed Salem,  Director of Programming at Al Khaleejyah Radio Network. Lt. General Tamim called upon workers recruiters and agencies to clearly explain work conditions, which will ultimately preserve the rights of both parties. He noted that if the domestic workers are provided with the proper humanitarian and economic conditions, there would be no reason for them to flee their employers’ home.

For his part, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, noted that there are multiple reasons that would prompt a worker to leave his job. He called upon recruitment agencies to provide a shelter for workers who do not wish to continue working.

Participants attending the council hailed the efforts of the Naturalization, Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector in serving the different segments of the Emirati society at the countrywide level. Speakers from the Directorate General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai reviewed the services provided by the directorate throughout the week. They noted that one of the most common challenges facing the sector is when some people neglect to renew their documents; especially their residency documents.

Five stars

Participants at Mohammed Salem Al Kaabi’s council in Sharjah, which was moderated by media figure Thani Juma’a, called upon the Naturalization, Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector to announce the new services and conjointly educate customers on the proper ways to use and avail of those services, as well as to use social media to raise community members’ awareness.

The speakers examined the wide array of services provided by the Naturalization, Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector, and the developments of the past few years; particularly the e-services, and the comprehensive employees, which have contributed to saving customers’ time and effort in the quest to provide five-star services.

At the Ramadan council hosted by Salem Ahmed Al Nuaimi in Ajman and moderated by media personality Jammal Al Shehhi, participants called for establishing private companies to handle recruitment of domestic helpers in cooperation with the competent authorities in the UAE; in a way that would the rights of both parties. They also stressed the importance of raising public awareness on the need to report absconders and violators of the residency laws.

Brigadier Mohammed Abdullah Alwan, Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Ajman, praised the role of the MoI’s Ramadan Councils in reinforcing awareness of society and discussing pressing issues of concern to citizens.

The speakers discussed the risks of begging, which detracts from the Emirati society. They urged travel agencies to be more inquisitive when they apply for visit visas for people of different nationalities.


Participants attending the Ministry of Interior’s Council hosted by Sultan Mohammed Malih in Dibba, Al Fujairah and moderated by Media Figure Ahmed Al Yammahi, stressed that the Ramadan Councils organized by the Ministry of Interior are a distinguished gesture and provide a venue to brainstorm ideas regarding the most pressing issues of concern in the community. They particularly called for setting up plans and programs to deal with the issue of the residency law violators, which is on the decline; and urged members of the public to effectively cooperate with the police by reporting violators.

Furthermore, speakers at the council stressed the need to find proper mechanisms to reduce the number of absconding domestic helpers, as well as the importance of educating these categories, explaining their rights and obligations, and providing them with an overview of the UAE society.

Brigadier Mubarak Rabih bin Sinan, Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Fujairah, noted  that the directorate strives diligently to provide the proper incentives to develop  the services offered to the public. “The directorate endeavors to ensure that the services provided to the public meet the highest standards of quality and excellence to guarantee customer satisfaction and acceptance,” he said. He also noted that the services provided by the Naturalization Sector at the Ministry of Interior constitute a major portion of the ministry’s services provided to the public.

Another council was held in Umm Al Quwain and hosted by Salem Khalfan Al Shawi. Participants in the council, which was moderated by media figure Ali Sanjal, called for allocating a toll-free number to report offender residents, absconding maids, workers with disabilities, the elderly and street vendors. They also called for raising community members’ awareness on the need to refrain from hiring illegal workers.

Colonel Sheikh Ibrahim Al Mualla, Director General of the Naturalization and Residency in Umm Al Quwain, gave an overview of the services provided by the directorate, in accordance with the vision and strategy adopted by the Ministry of Interior. He also noted that the directorate operates with full transparency in completing transactions to the various segments of the public.

Speakers at the council underscored the importance of awareness efforts to educate members of the public and domestic workers on the customs and traditions of the UAE society. They also stressed the need to educate housewives on the proper means to treat domestic workers in order to avoid any annoying problems.  

The participants in the council hosted by Hassan bin Humaidan Al Zaabi in Ras Al Khaimah, which was moderated by media figure Munzer Al Muzaki, discussed the Ministry of Interior’s vision to serve customers wherever they may be, and the modern technologies already being adopted by the Naturalization, Residency, and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector.

Participants called for curtailing the issue of absconding domestic workers, in accordance with the laws and regulations. They also called for regularly organizing awareness drives at the Naturalization, Residency, and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector to reinforce community members’ awareness; and stressed the need to acquaint community members with the different laws that guarantee the rights and explain the obligations.

Psychiatric Evaluation of Domestic Workers

Participants in the Council hosted by Hind Al Naboodah in Dubai, which was  moderated by Media Figure Mouna Al Baher, called for identifying the responsibilities of the entities that are in charge of children of unknown parentage and catering to their social and psychological needs. Participants also discussed a number of issues and topics related to the Naturalization, Residency, and Foreigners’ Affairs Sector, mainly absconding maids.

During the council hosted by Dr. Mariam Salem Al Bayshak and moderated by media figure Sheikha Al Mesmari, participants tackled the issue of violators of the residency laws and the need to report them. They also tackled the services provided to both citizens and residents of the UAE. The council called for conducting a psychological assessment test for domestic workers alongside the mandatory medical check-up, and for providing services to people with special needs and the elderly. They also highlighted the need for different segments of society to cooperate by reporting violators and absconding workers to protect society against various forms of crime.
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