The UAE has approved new rules requiring expatriates seeking renewal of their residence visas to submit tenancy contracts but the decision has been shelved briefly to give more time to tenants and landlords.
According to the semi-official daily Alittihad, Abu Dhabi suspended the enforcement of the new rule after the immigration department was throttled by applicants, many of whom failed to submit the required documents.
Quoting department sources, the Arabic language daily said the new rule has also been shelved to give way to a series of meetings between the competent authorities, including Abu Dhabi Municipality, to discuss a mechanism for tenancy contract submission and attestation.
“The decision has been shelved briefly to ease bottlenecks at the department and to give more time to tenants and landlords as well as allow authorities to discuss a proper mechanism for its implementation,” the paper said.
It said the decision had first exempted public servants and covered only foreigners in the private sector, adding that all expatriates are now affected.
“Another reason for the suspension of the decision is that major companies operating in the emirate are supposed to submit proof showing they provide housing for their employees,” it said without mentioning when the new regulations would be fully enforced in Abu Dhabi and other emirates.
Visa applicants confirmed the temporary shelving of the new rules, which were partly enforced in Abu Dhabi last week.
“I went yesterday (Tuesday) to renew my visa and applied all needed documents…they did not ask for a tenancy contract,” Fadi Hariri said.
Another expatriate said his application was rejected last week and was told to submit a tenancy contract. “I went again yesterday but was told a tenancy contract is not needed for now,” Mohammed Masri said.