'Your visa has been cancelled'

Government SMS spurs panic among expats in Ras Al Khaimah

What would you do if you are preparing to break your fasting after a long scorching day and then receive a government message on your mobile phone saying your residence visa has been cancelled.

Normally, you will panic especially when the brief message did not mention any reasons.What was what happened in Ras Al Khaimah on Tuesday when expatriate Muslims were reading to sit for their Iftar meal.

“Your residence visa has been cancelled,” the RAK General Directorate for Residence and Foreign Affairs said in its SMS sent to many expatriates.

“The message triggered a strong state of confusion among those who received the text…most of them panicked and immediately tried to reach the Directorate to know the reasons but it was already shut for the day,” Al Bayan newspaper said.

The frustrated expatriates, some with families, found it difficult to continue their preparations for Iftar as the text appeared to have ruined their appetite.

But their confusion and frustration did not last long.“Shortly later, they received another text on their mobiles from the Directorate apologizing for this mistake,” Al Bayan said.

“The new text eliminated the fleeing of sadness and disappointment and they sat at the tables ready to eat.”Quoted by the paper, Brigadier Sultan Al Nuaimi, the Directorate’s director general, said:”

It was an inadvertent mistake…we were just trying a new system and the text was sent out inadvertently…we immediately corrected this error and sent out new texts apologizing for this error.”

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