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British National visiting Dubai with Israeli entry stamps on passport - can anyone advise ?

(27 Posts)
TheHoarseWhisperer Thu 19-Feb-15 23:24:10

DH has been asked to go to Dubai by his company for 2 -3 days next month for some business meetings. He has around 9 entry stamps for Israel which were for business meeting from a previous company (latest stamp 2012) . We live in the UK and that is where he works.
He has googled as have I and the official answer would seem to come from here

I will phone tomorrow (only because he is v busy - not that he can't work a phone grin ) but just a thought, does anyone have any experience of this and should there be somewhere else he should be looking for official advice.

Lots of websites say "it will be OK as long as you are not working". DH will be going to meetings but is not going for a permanent / long term job iyswim.

Sorry to ask and clearly I will go through the official thing but their phone line is only open for an hour and a half and I wondered if someone had some advice based on experience which could help him get some official answer so that he doesn't get turned away at the door. smile

Thank you to anyone who can help.

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 20-Feb-15 04:59:19

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 20-Feb-15 05:00:47

Its the best solution for these kind of missions/jobs

Kelly1814 Fri 20-Feb-15 06:51:40

They will very likely deny him entry. When I travelled to Israel I had to ask them not to stamp my passport for this very reason. As others have said, can you get another passport? Very common to have a clean one and a and dirty one when you travel a lot.....

Living Fri 20-Feb-15 08:03:14

It's not a given he'll need a new passport for the gulf and I think practice is he should be fine in Dubai. In the circumstances its worth him asking them to arrange a business visa in advance though - he risks spending a long time at immigration while they clear it and there's always the risk he'll get caught by a change in policy.

Living Fri 20-Feb-15 08:07:11

Technically he should have a business visa anyway btw. The visa on arrival is a tourist visa. No one actually bothers for short meetings though.

Risk of a business visa is he'll need to explain why he needs it - if it's his company applying then no issue. However if it's a client he might not want to disclose he's been doing business in Israel.

TheHoarseWhisperer Fri 20-Feb-15 10:43:39

Thank you all - I appreciate your advice.

Millionsmom Fri 20-Feb-15 16:39:56

from my experience, well from the experience of others in the ME, Dubai are usually ok with Israeli stamps. Its Saudi that aren't ok.

Kelly1814 Fri 20-Feb-15 19:51:39

Interested to know if anyone posting on here has actually been to Israel, then the UAE. I live in the UAE, I really wouldn't risk it.

Laptopwieldingharpy Fri 20-Feb-15 23:40:51

It's a definite no no for Lebanon & Jordan. Can't see how the UAE would be more accommodating? But no first hand experience.
A second passport really is quite common practice for frequent business travelers in that part of the world ( or not stamping Israel visas on passport but too late for that).

Shakshuka Sat 21-Feb-15 05:24:55

Jordan is fine. Israelis can go there on Israeli passports and there's an embassy.

Dubai should be ok - until recently they were ok with Israeli dual citizens - but best to check.

Living Sat 21-Feb-15 05:43:14

Qatar's fine with this as well btw. Syria aren't but he's probably not planning on going anytime soon. Lebanon aren't but they're one of the few.

Go on the UAE embassy advice and get a business visa if poss (if they notice it and decide they need CID clearance he could be stuck in the airport a couple of hours waiting for it to come through). I've never had anyone at Dubai look at my passport for more than a blank page to stamp though.

TheHoarseWhisperer Sun 22-Feb-15 00:58:02

Thank you all - really appreciate you taking the time to give your advice.

So - to update. I phoned the UAE embassy in London and asked them about travelling to Dubai (I asked specifically about Dubai not elsewhere in the UAE) with Israeli entrance stamps. They said it was fine and he will need to get a visa on entry (i.e. no prior to travel action required) but the same as any other British national.

Have told him to allow time at airport

So (and sorry not replying in person, all your comments have been v helpful)

He will look into getting a 2nd passport depending on future travel - this might be worth doing so thank you for those who suggested this and the website posted was v useful.

For his more recent trips to Israel there was not an option not to have the passport stamped.

And, Kelly, if he gets through this I might be able to give you an example of as you say "if anyone posting on here has actually been to Israel, then the UAE" smile but but - I am specifically talking about Dubai - not the UAE in general.

Anyway , again , I can't tell you how much I appreciate you all taking the time to give the benefit of your experience.

Thank You

Kelly1814 Sun 22-Feb-15 10:54:12

That's great new horse whisperer.....and thanks for clarifying the difference between Dubai and the UAE, not like I didn't know after living here for 7 years smile

Caterpillar2001 Sun 22-Feb-15 21:32:23

My advice is: Travel into the region with a second passport! Should the aircraft with which your husband will be traveling to Dubai have to divert for whatever reason to a country where a passport with Israeli entry/exit stamps may not be met with such nonchalance, things may become unpleasant.

Many years ago I travelled in a private plane from Northern Europe to West Africa. The pilot opted to refuel in Algeria. Upon refueling the aircraft engines would not restart. As permission to use the appropriate ground power unit to kick start the engines depended on the chief engineer of Air Algérie, who was not on site at that particular time, we had to wait around for many, many hours. Had we eventually not received the ok to use the GPU we would have had to stay overnight in the country, which would have meant me showing my passport which contained Israeli stamps... THAT would not have been a good idea in that country, least of all at that particular time, in that particular political climate...

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 23-Feb-15 03:18:17

Caterpillar makes a good point too. My Dh travels about 50% of the time and he, like all his colleagues have 2 passports. This is mostly so that they can still travel while a spare passport is acquiring visas in an embassy somewhere but also to avoid this situation.

It may be officially ok to travel to the uae with Israeli stamps but all you need is an increased security alert that day, a bad political incident in the Middle East or a jobsworth on duty and it could be a day in a holding room being questioned.... No way I would risk it (used to live in uae too).

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 23-Feb-15 03:19:41

Dubai is uae. It's almost like calling the UK embassy and asking for entry restrictions specific to Wales.....

Kelly1814 Mon 23-Feb-15 06:25:52

My point exactly butterflies smile

OrangePeels Mon 23-Feb-15 06:35:55

We live in Dubai and DH has two passports for this reason. He can't travel to Israel with the UAE visa in his passport.

You don't need to apply for a visa to enter Dubai from the UK, you apply at the airport when you land.

Personally, you have time to get him a fast track second passport so I would do that, just to be safe! Because also, he won't be allowed into Israel again with a stamp from Dubai in his passport!

Golferman Mon 23-Feb-15 06:35:55

I have two passports. This is one reason why so I can travel to both the ME and Israel. It is quite straightforward to obtain a second one. Just state the reason ( inmy case I travel extensively and often need to send my passport off to get a Visa so still need to travel). You also need a letter of explanation from your employer.

YoungGirlGrowingOld Mon 23-Feb-15 06:38:13

It's fine. Many Jews live and work in Dubai and probably elsewhere in the UAE. It's nothing like Lebanon or Syria (where there is a risk of being denied entry). I have an Israeli stamp in my passport and fly in and out of DXB all the time.

Strictly speaking your husband needs a business visa though. It's no big deal because hardly anyone bothers, but if it became a regular thing I would not take the risk. I think the one he needs is called a mission visa but don't quote me!

Living Mon 23-Feb-15 08:14:34

Religion isn't the point here - we're talking Israeli passport stamps. You can be Jewish and live in the UAE. You can't be an Israeli national and live in the UAE.

Whilst Dubai is the UAE, the practices applied at the different UAE airports are not all the same. It takes far longer to get through Abu Dhabi than Dubai if any CID checks are needed. A lot of people I know will fly to Dubai even for AD meetings because it's quicker!

Granted the embassy may not tell you this but it's not true all the emirates are the same. Asking specifically in relation to Dubai wasn't a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Living Mon 23-Feb-15 08:16:14

Argh! Was a perfectly reasonable thing to do not wasn't!

Kelly1814 Mon 23-Feb-15 11:42:28

Orange peel I have travelled to Israel with not only UAE stamps in my passport but also a UAE visa.

They weren't worried about these at all.

They interrogated me at length about the Syrian and Lebanese stamps though....

TheHoarseWhisperer Mon 23-Feb-15 17:53:07

Kelly, Butterflies
I abjectly apologise if I came across as patronising blush , I really didn't mean to, I was just trying to emphasise it was only Dubai not elsewhere in the UAE. I think it's obvious I am not the expert here smile

However, thanks everyone for your thoughts. He doesn't have a specific plan to travel to Dubai or elsewhere in UAE or Israel again (but then again two weeks ago he didn't have a plan to go to Dubai, so this needs to be sorted. I've taken all the comments on board about taking out risk re 2nd passport / business visa. Hadn't even thought about the plane diverting....

Thank you all - this has been hugely useful.

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