UAE authorities provide little information regarding where non-citizens are detained for immigration-related reasons. Some sources indicate that the country has operated at least one dedicated deportation facility, but detainees are also known to have been held in criminal prisons.
Authorities announced on 23 March 2020 that all inbound, outbound, and transit flights would be suspended in the next 48 hours. Human Rights Watch called on UAE authorities to consider the conditional release of persons with underlying health conditions – such as HIV – as “Covid-19 … poses a particularly serious risk to people who live in close proximity to each other, such as in prisons, jails, and immigration detention centres.”
- G. Duncan, “Coronavirus: UAE Passenger Flights Grounded, Malls to Close and Stay-Home Order Given,” The National, 23 March 2020, www.thenational.ae/uae/health/coronavirus-uae-passenger-flights-grounded-malls-to-close-and-stay-home-order-given-1.995954
- Human Rights Watch (HRW), “UAE: Prisoners with HIV Vulnerable to Coronavirus,” 19 March 2020, www.hrw.org/news/2020/03/19/uae-prisoners-hiv-vulnerable-coronavirus
- Global Detention Project, Immigration Detention in UAE, www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/middle-east/united-arab-emirates