The Ministry of Gender has revealed that a total of 452 Ugandans are awaiting deportation from Dubai and other cities in the United Arab Emirates.
A large number of Ugandans are currently employed in the Middle East countries of Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia among others and the biggest number of these are females.
However, in the past few weeks there have been reports indicating that many of these are stranded and sleeping on streets, especially in Dubai.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, the Gender Minister, Betty Amongi said following the reports, the ministry took up the matter to ascertain the authenticity of the reports.
“Some of the cases have turned out to be pranks. The majority of the genuine cases have been victims of human trafficking or individuals who travelled on their own and have overstayed their tourist or visit visas,” Amongi said.
To this he said the minister revealed that an August, 2022 report by the Ugandan Mission in Abu Dhabi indicates that many Ugandans illegally staying in UAE have been living on the streets.
“The report indicates that in early August, 2022, the authorities of UAE offered free tickets to all illegal immigrants. As a result , many illegal migrant workers have reported to Al Awir Immigration Centre for assessment and eventual repatriation to Uganda.”
The minister revealed that none of the 452 Ugandans who have reported to the immigration centre at Al Awir had gone to UAE through recruitment companies but rather on their own.
She urged Ugandans to make use of recruitment companies since they can easily seek redress in case of any problems to them while at work in UAE or anywhere abroad.
Official data from Ministry of Gender indicates that there are 200,000 Ugandans currently employed in the Middle East.
Of these, Saudi Arabia at 156,281 Ugandans taking the lion’s share with UAE at 20486 and Qatar 10203 following in that order.