Sources have revealed to Al-Monitor that authorities in the United Arab Emirates recently informed approximately 125 Lebanese citizens residing there on work permits that they must leave the country. The officials refrained from telling the deportees the reasons behind their deportation.
A policy of expatriating Lebanese nationals from the UAE has been in force for two years. The Lebanese Foreign Ministry says that the UAE will only say that the expulsions are for security reasons. Many expatriated Lebanese, the majority of them Shiites, emphasize that they have not committed any violations against Emirati security and that they had announced their willingness to appear before a court in the event that authorities had evidence to the contrary. The 125 individuals notified of their impending expatriation were given one week to settle their affairs in the UAE, after which all property registered in their names would be expropriated. This action is part of a growing campaign being conducted by the UAE against Lebanese nationals, especially Shiites, out of the fear that they may have ties to Hezbollah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.