Saudi travel restrictions a result of disputed map on UAE national ID cards
(26 August 2009)
Saudi Arabia has imposed a ban on residents from the United Arab Emirates using national identification cards for travel between the neighbouring states. The national ID cards include a map of the UAE which Saudi officials claim is incorrect. In 1974 the two states signed a boundary agreement that ceded a 25 km corridor of territory between UAE and Qatar to Saudi Arabia. The UAE claims that this agreement was never properly ratified, while Saudi Arabia believes the agreement to be valid. Saudi officials claim the map on the UAE national ID cards shows this corridor as part of UAE territory which contravenes the 1974 agreement. Emraiti officials have advised its citizens to use passports when travelling to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has also protested recent plans to build a causeway between UAE and Qatar that bypasses the disputed area.
Sources: 'Saudi and UAE border in dispute over ID cards' Souhail Karam (Edited by Andrew Hammond and Victoria Main), Reuters News, 23 August 2009; 'Riyadh slaps curbs on border travel' Abdullah Rasheed, Gulf News, 21 August 2009.