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Passengers Removed From Flight to Dubai Because They’re Under 40?!



Mark Essien - BellaNaijaThe founder of, Mark Essien, who was recently listed on Forbes as one of Africa’s 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs, reported on his Twitter page a few hours ago that he saw people escorted off a flight because they’re under 40.

Here’s the tweet:

A BN reader recently complained about being refused a visa at 25 because she’s single, see the story here.

No word on if the passengers are all female and single, but we will ask and update the BN fam.


  1. Janey

    March 20, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Stories!!!! They were removed for other reasons. My sister is currently in Dubai alfor vacation as I type. She is not even 27yrs. First timer traveler too. Better verify your story and agency

    • Bola

      March 20, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      @Janey, the rule is about single people under 40 I suspect the agency your sister used would have written married for her instead of single. Apparently that’s how the agents get around it, I remember complaining some years ago that why should they write Mrs on my visa now I know why. The law has been there for a while about singles under 40 not travelling unaccompanied by an older relative with the same name to Dubai, seems they are enforcing it more now. Very archaic law

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      March 20, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      What of all the oyibo “children” I know that go to Dubai anyhow? Single girls in their 20s? Honestly wondering if they’re under a different dispensation with their red pali because I know for damn sure they’re not lying to anyone about being married to get into that country.

    • OriginalPayPay

      March 20, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      I was in Dubai in January/ Feb no restriction whatsoever, and they didn’t use mrs for me. But why would they give them Visa and throw them out. Which kain bad belle be this

    • flynaija

      March 20, 2015 at 4:13 pm

      We process Dubai visas for tourists under 40 without issues. Mind you, these rules have always been there but were not enforced. The major reason why the age(s) were modified was because of those that travel to Dubai (predominately male) on tourist visas but eventually stay back to look for jobs.

    • cindy

      March 20, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Hian! the last time I checked the law restricts women mainly and it’s because they think they all go there for prostitution. Sexism at its finest. Very archaic law. Mtchew!!

  2. Tolu Famuyiwa

    March 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Maybe they want to reduce no of Africans coming in, buttthat’s terrible

  3. Jane hare

    March 20, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    All the same, I don’t av anyone in that shoe now…but I hope its not true

  4. Miss Bonnie

    March 20, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Hi BN , this is actually true. I was suppose to be on holiday in Dubai 2 months ago. I read on BN about the 25 year old that was denied a visa because of her age, So I expressed my concerns to the travel agency I was applying through. They told me not to worry , that I work for a Fortune 400 company so they cant reject me . I’m 26 years old by the way. This wasn’t my first trip to Dubai, I’ve been there numerous times for work.
    ….. Guess what ?? I was denied a visa . The reason was my age . I tried reapplying but the whole process is so long. I had to pay them to cancel my first visa and spent a total of 2 weeks waiting for the second visa that never came . My Hotel fees was non-refundable and I spent a lot of money on a trip that I didn’t go on.
    I’m going to Dubai for work and I’m about starting the Visa process again., I’ll keep you updated on what happens.

    • ATL's finest

      March 20, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      Whao!!!!! Good luck Miss Bonnie and I wish U all the very BEST!

    • chukwukadibia

      March 20, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      i would love to work in your company,any openings?

  5. my wife is fiiiiiiiiiiiiiine

    March 20, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Why jump through hoops to go to Dubai my fellow Nigerians, spend your money in Naija, we have obudu cattle ranch, how many emirates come to nigeria to spend their money. stay at home, invest the money towards your retirement, buy a piece of land, do something, buy stocks of growing companies and wait. My papa bought a property in 1992 among others that saved my mums life many many years later. they did not go borrowing, did not beg, we their kids did not have to pitch in even though we did in our own small way, nobody knows how they raised thousands of dollars to pay for my mums treatment, if he had spent his youth gallivanting around the world, where him for see money buy house wey give am over 1000 percent profit. Be wise people

    • honey

      March 20, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      Mr my wife is so fine,
      Thank you sir, but your advice is way out of line. Did they tell you they haven’t invested? And i dont think you have the right to tell anybody how to spend their money. How many houses have you bought? And how many times have you gone to Obudu cattle ranch yourself?
      You dont need to coerce people, if our country is good enough they will stay here. Moreso, even the oyinbos who live in the so-called “land of honey” still travel out of their country. that is why it is called vacation. If you have the means , you explore the world.
      I am sure even your fine wife is dying to go explore the world, but being the autocrat that you are, OYO is her case.

    • mywifeisfiiiiiiine

      March 20, 2015 at 4:56 pm

      Haba sister mi we are not fighting o, spend your money how you like biko; vacay all you want. My advise is for people that will think twice about spending their money in a country that discriminates against single women. They should use the money for their future rather than spend it In a country where they have to go through hoops to get to and pretend that they are married just to get a Lil respect from their Arab hosts. Do you, but don’t pour venom on a simple advise; as for my wife, she ain’t complaining. If you read my post I did not mention any other country, I only talked about UAE and there is obviously a reason for it. So slow your roll

    • TheRealist

      March 21, 2015 at 1:28 am

      @honey, it is not your right to be admitted into any country other than your own country – Nigeria! According, it is rather misguided to spout indignation at people who restrict your ability to visit their country (btw, go see what your sisters are doing outside Cavalli in the early hours) or to those who advise you to alternatively (re)discover your own country.

    • Tola

      March 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      @my wife is fine, I mistakenly gave your comments 2likes, wish there was an unlike button. It’s our money and our choice on how we spend. The whole point of life is experiences that will give you good memories and traveling does that for some of us . About investments, I never knew traveling and investing are mutually exclusive! You spend your money on what is important to you while I spend on what is important to me and you have no right to judge how I choose to spend mine Shikena

    • Mosramu

      March 20, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Just a note about Obudu Cattle Ranch. My friend’s sister got married last year or so in Nigeria and before going on the main honeymoon, had a pre-honeymoon at Obudu. They were told that there weren’t enough guests around to turn on the generators for them!

      I’m all for tourism becoming a major industry in Nigeria but if a lot of things aren’t put in place and working properly, you can’t expect people to choose to stay here.

    • dami

      March 21, 2015 at 2:08 pm

      Yes your right about the Gen issue but that’s cos of the low patronage. That aside, I was there for my honeymoon, and it is a market yet to be explored.

    • jA

      March 20, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      100 GBosas for you! I totally understand what you are saying and only the discerning will get the wisdom of your words. Yes, please go on vacay whether outside or within Nigeria but for goodness sake, save for your future and lay a good financial foundation for yourself. Secure the type of retirement you would like to have now! Everything is good if you can truly afford it and have set your priorities right… I’m not doing Dubai/UAE while Aisha Falode’s son’s killers have not been brought to justice.

    • dami

      March 21, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      I certainly share your opinion. Intact my husband is an advocate. We only travel(ed)for master(which is even online for the most part) and then birthing. But I thanGod we have 2properties in our name and we r still under 30. This traveling trend is not economic intelligence am sorry. Life is so unpredictable.


    March 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    See what runs girls have caused!

  7. dubai residwnt

    March 20, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Lies..not possible. Stop spreading rumours about dubai. Yes, immigration laws are very strict now for young travellers but they still issue visas. The passengers may have been pulled out due to other reasons. Definitely not age, I assure you.

  8. Toyosee

    March 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    How is it doing you “my wife is fine” dont think that because people travel the world they do not have investments.Besides why not enjoy your youth and see the world when you can.When you have money, you dont have time, when you have time you dont have money, when you have money you might also not have the time or energy.
    There are a billion other countries that the average nigerian can go and see instead of spending their whole vacation in dubai at the mall. Abi what else do they have there.People who can afford to travel, trust me they are more enlightened than the average person.Its only in nigeria that i think people travel to show off and not necessarily enjoy themselves.All the same wetin konsine me.Enjoy yourself, life is very brief

  9. Ada

    March 20, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    If only travelling to other African countries could be made cheaper. I don’t know its so expensive for me to travel to other African countries and cheaper to travel to European or America. This places are far yet less expenses. Why cos am still don’t understand the reason behind this price hikes.


    March 20, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Hmmm, i am not sure about this announcement at all, one minute we hear some people were removed, another minute we hear some1 just got back from Dubai. Can the country just come out with a formal statement already! We will get over it and move to other states where we can visit. It is and will never be a do or die affair.

  11. cindy

    March 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Hian! the last time I checked the law restricts women mainly and it’s because they think they all go there for prostitution. Sexism at its finest. Very archaic law. Mtchew!!


    March 20, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Well I was in Dubai just a week ago and i’m way below 40 and single…………… there might just be some other reasons for the visa rejections……..

  13. BooB's

    March 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I willnt blame the Arab countries & most especially Dubia, with what our 9ja sisters are doing over they! Everywhere they go is to sale their bodies & they come to ur front to say they are big girls ! Shame on u all!

    • Idomagirl

      March 21, 2015 at 11:52 am

      Abegi, are all the prostitutes in Dubai Nigerian? Aren’t there citizens o other countries prostituting there? What about some of our Nigerian guys robbing and committing fraud there? Biko don’t make this about “Nigerian girls”, get a clue first.

  14. EllesarisEllendil

    March 20, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Well let’s the deport the 10 or so Emirate citizens in Nigeria. Vengeance!!!

    • TheRealist

      March 21, 2015 at 1:29 am

      LMAO! Good one!!

  15. Angel

    March 20, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Pls Nigerians there are so many other countries worth visiting other than Britain, America and Dubai (UAE). I don’t understand the obsession with dubai, yes it’s a very beautiful city but there are equally other interesting places.

  16. Ada

    March 20, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Lies. I just got from Dubai last week thursday and I’m 25 years old.

  17. Jay G

    March 20, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Very true, my husband left this night. The only reason he wasnt turned back at naija was cos he has a residence visa but all those who had the normal visa were all turned back for being below 40.

  18. Kenny Jossy

    March 20, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Even arab countries don they take 9ja do yeye, whaooo the new low. UAE discover oil the same year 9ja discover oil (1960) make una compare both. Any tom dick and harry wey steal 9ja moni i mean the politicians go run go there go spend am instead of invest the moni for 9ja how the world go respect Nigerians when the 9ja government place zero value for the life of a nigerian. GMB a beg make u come deliver your ppl them no fit wait till the March 28th.

  19. Gt

    March 21, 2015 at 1:42 am

    The restriction is for few countries and nigeria is one of them, it balls down to high crime rate dey no longer issue 2months visa to young travellers, only when accompanied by some1 above 40 with same surname.. But dey still issue 2weeks tourist visa to people below 40 but na luck sha lol but whats the whole biggie about dubai sef tall buildings and malls so what? Its not like things are even cheap there, uk is far cheaper than that dead uAE

  20. kay

    March 21, 2015 at 2:49 am

    Well today they didnt let a friend board the plane cause he was under 40,but my grouse is this,why issue the visa in the first place if you were not going to let them in,Is the UAE government running a visa scam or what, and the one that hurts bad is nigerian immigration and other airport officials now acts as the immigration law enforcers for dubai,why would you stop people from travelling when they have valid visa’s and valid return tickets,its not your job to do that,let the UAE immigration let in those they wanna let in or reject as they want,dnt do it for them,and guess what,my friend was allowed to travel after paying $100 dollar bribe at muritala international,no wonder Naija officials are so eager to uphold the UAE law,bunch of losers.

    • ms.b

      March 21, 2015 at 5:44 am

      It all makes sense now. Upholding the “law” to make extra cash. Y won’t we have boko haram? When all what d millitary n para military know best is BRIBE! What a shame, now ISIS is on its way, bribery and corruption till we kill ourselves.

    • Idomagirl

      March 21, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Just imagine.

  21. tunmi

    March 21, 2015 at 3:00 am

    That’s one place to avoid. How about Seychelles, or the Gambia?

  22. Changing Faces

    March 21, 2015 at 6:27 am

    People, know your rights! The airport officials only want your money… It’s not their place to stop people travelling on visas already issued by another country. Why not insist to the UAE to stop issuing visas to under 40s? How can they allow them charge for visas and then waste someone’s airfare. Are they not to protect our interests? Remember that you submit your passport data page before they issue you a visa, and your date of birth is clearly written there. They tried the nonsense with me recently but I stood my ground, the immigration official now asked to speak to my husband over the phone, as if I couldn’t have called my brother to talk in his stead. I got to Dubai and immigration asked me NOTHING before letting me in. It’s a shame our people are so greedy and look for every way to exploit us.

  23. Airport Escort

    March 21, 2015 at 7:55 am

    I was at the Mmi airport last night 20mar15, it was Nigerian Immigration that stopped Nigerians under 40 from leaving the country. Despite the fact that they already have their visas. My friend I was seeing off is married, and goes for regular training in Dubai.

    Passports were seized and passengers were told to come back on Monday to clear with the controller of Immigration

  24. loju

    March 21, 2015 at 8:43 am

    i dont believe it. i live and work in dubai and i have friends in emirates, they said they used faked visa…. so verify your story before putting it on the blog…. besides about the ladies coming if you not yet 30 is true but pple still come… my cousine is 27 and she just came in yesterday. so pls verify before u say rubbish

  25. K

    March 21, 2015 at 9:00 am

    You definitely need to know your rights! I just called the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai in Dubai and there is no such rule regarding this. You are being exploited and you have the right to contest this if you are being removed from the flight after being issued a valid UAE visa
    You can contact them below
    General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai.

    Toll-free : 8005111
    Land Line : + 971 4 313 9999
    Fax : +9 71 4 501 1111
    Email : [email protected] , [email protected]
    e-suggestions :

    If you have been removed from the flight, you can lodge your complaints at
    e-Complaints :

    • Idomagirl

      March 21, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Thank you for this!!! The authorities in Nigeria have used this ‘under 40’ rumour to begin a racket. They are just looking for bribes. What a shame.

  26. niola

    March 21, 2015 at 10:22 am

    hmmmm strange tweet, just got back from Dubai last night and I am certainly under 40, so were the bunch of people that we travelled with.

  27. Chinua

    March 21, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Because sometimes airports are fined for allowing passengers without proper documentation pass through their airports.

  28. Idomagirl

    March 21, 2015 at 11:45 am

    It isn’t the UAE authorities turning people back but our own immigration officers here, which makes no sense. There has been no official statement on this under 40 thing, I’m sure our own people here heard the rumor and decided to use it to frustrate and extort money from people.

    Please know your rights, if you have gotten your visa, it means that you have satisfied every condition required by the authorities of the country you want to visit, therefore no Nigerian official has any right to ask you not to board the plane. What nonsense.

  29. missopiniated

    March 21, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    If it’s d Nigerian immigration causing this mix up&issues,its really a pity. Whether a person is a year old sef,its none of their business&truly speaking,if Dubai no gree make we go,there so many other options.

  30. Chinco

    March 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I think the security check at the airport needs to improve, they spend so much time begging you with style than actually checking for potentially dangerous substances….last time I had a liquidcontaining hydrogen peroxide n some stuff I used to clean my hands during the ebola crisis and a safety pin in my bag….I saw these things after boarding and realised how porous the security checks are, ppl who intend to cause harm can get away with things….may God continue to protect us. I wish there was a place onec could complain about such things

  31. T

    March 21, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Those Naija airport folks are ridiculous. I’m Canadian and last time I was in Nigeria trying to leave to come back to Canada, the officer was harassing me to prove my Canadian residency – this was in addition to my possession of my Canadian passport o. I’m like, ki lo de?! How exactly is it any of your business what I get up to there? And this was at the luggawas check in section when I was just trying to get my damn luggage tags! This ninja was outchea asking me to show my Canadian drivers license, student card and whatnots! I’m like, mister this is so not within the scope of your job description. Who sent you?! FOH with that mess! Mschew, iranu.

  32. fleur

    March 21, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    As Americans will remind you, a visa is a privilege that can be taken back at any time. You can actually arrive the airport of your destination and be denied entry. Don’t assume that because you’ve paid fees and bought tickets that you must be allowed entry.

  33. Sunshine

    March 21, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Well, the ineptness of this past and current administrations got us to where we are. If there is consistent and stable infrastructure, Nigerians will never be subjected into travelling out of the country at an alarming rate, only to get ridiculed by other countries. So, comes next week Saturday, vote wisely for a new beginning, period.

  34. Maureen

    April 10, 2015 at 8:49 am

    So wat’s d update now, so do they allowed married woman who is less then 40yrs all is still d same rope holding married n single under 40yrs.

  35. OmoBee

    May 29, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Got denied Dubai business Visa yesterday, and the reason was because I am below 40. I was more than suprised because this had never happened since i was in Dubai twice last year for w0rk purpose and considering it was basically an application that was put in from my company headquarter in Dubai. Its so annoying because our annual management meeting got canceled because of this.

  36. Praiz

    August 23, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    I learned that if a company you want to work with invites you, then visa won’t be an issue.

  37. Godson

    September 22, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    That is not possible and no one has the right to that if you have been granted visa to travel to Dubai. If you are under 40years, no worries you can get your visa from other emirates in UAE like Sharja Emirates, I will reccomend using thaey will assist you in processing Tourist ir work visa in UAE.

    Contact: [email protected]

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