1964: Immigration issues :: Road to federation
By 1964 the growth of the economies of Abu Dhabi and Dubai was creating something of a gold rush mentality, particularly in Asia. A huge new demand for labour was resulting in mass immigration which the Trucial States were finding hard to control, or monitor, with their basic Immigration Services. As early as 1962 it had been reported in Council that upwards of nine hundred Asians a week were landing by boat at Khor Fakkan on the East Coast and then making their way to Dubai, Sharjah or Abu Dhabi. Most found their way to Dubai, where there were more opportunities.Though the immigration services is now largely federal, each of the seven emirates still retains some control of immigration. Thus, an employee's visa specify the company sponsoring the visa and the emirate of the workplace. If the company wishes to transfer the employee to an office in another emirate in needs the permission of the receiving emirate.
Although it was understood that a system of seven individual entities was unworkable, this was just what was being attempted. Sheikh Sultan bin Saqr of Sharjah suggested a joint visa section, based in Dubai, a plan that Sheikh Rashid took under consideration for the next Council meeting. He stated, however, that he was perfectly happy with the controls in place in Dubai. Indeed, administration and government apparatus in Dubai were, at this point, far ahead of the six others in their organisation and effectiveness.