Gaza – Ma'an – Two hundred Gaza residents were denied re-entry into the UAE and are presently stranded on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf, they told Ma'an on Monday.
"We endure complicated and disastrous living conditions as most the young people can't afford to pay for hotel fees or food," said Hammouda Abu Rida, a Gaza resident currently stranded on the Iranian island.
He and 200 Gaza residents are seeking permanent residency status in the UAE, but were denied entry upon arrival, despite many of them holding contracts with UAE firms.
Those currently stranded were told to leave the UAE by their employers and would be issued with a permanent residency visa upon their arrival, due to their official work status.
Abu Ridah, who studied Information Technology in Egypt, said it was difficult for him to obtain a visa to the UAE. He eventually obtained a tourist visa after being contracted to work for an international company in the Emirates and was also advised to leave to renew his status.
"Given the siege imposed on Gaza, I couldn't go home or to Egypt, so I decided to travel to the nearby Kish Island for a few days and then go back."
Upon his arrival, he said, the UAE had informed the Dutch company he works for that he could not re-enter "for security reasons."