Non Plus Ultra: 3 Jordanian Festival Guests Denied Croatian Visa

Total Croatia News

For a country that relies on tourism so heavily, Croatia sure seems not to know what its tourism strategy is. We brand various locations as party destinations to pile as much money as we can in a couple of months, then complain about hammered young Brits. We raise the prices locally to make use of the season, then complain about raised prices in other cities. We think of ourselves as friendly and welcoming, then reject visa applications to tourists coming from, ahem, suspicious parts of the world.

Three young friends from Jordan (Hamzeh Haykal, Motaz Jabari and Saleh Ali) bought tickets for the upcoming Ultra Europe festival in Split in autumn last year, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on July 2, 2017. They got VIP tickets, booked accommodation in the festival camp, bought plane tickets to Split, and even planned to spend another week on Hvar and Brač. All in vain, as Croatia rejected their visa applications.

Haykal, a 25 year-old living in the Jordanian capital Amman, said he and his friend saved money for months to be able to afford the trip and thevacation, and are now forced to sell the plane tickets and the festival passes on social networks. We’re not talking about small amounts here: “We bought the best available passes on September 13 last year. We booked a beach bungalow with a jacuzzi in the official festival camp, as well as shuttle transport to the stadium throughout the festival. For that only, we paid $2400, or $800 a person. Plane tickets to Split cost us $770 each, and we had to send our passports to the [Croatian] embassy in Cairo as there’s no Croatian consular post in Jordan. The postage to Egypt cost us $180, plus $100 more for application fees. That’s almost $2000 a person, spent for nothing unless someone decides to purchase our festival packages”, said Haykal.

They are ready to lower the price, just so they could get at least some of their money back. Fortunately, the accommodation they booked in Hvar and in Bol on Brač can still be cancelled.

Haykal also stated their rejection letters quoted not disclosing the purporse of the visit and the conditions of the planned stay as a reason for visa refusal. They claim they sent in all required documents, return plane tickets, booking confirmations, evidence of employment in Jordan and reports showing the state of their bank accounts. Haykal is employed as a personal trainer in one of the leading gyms in Amman, and one of the other two is working “at a good position” in Hotel Hilton.

“They obviously think we want to come to your country and never go back, which absolutely isn’t our intention. We’re more than satisfied with our lives in Jordan, my parents live there, as well as the girl I’m soon to going to marry; even my dog is here. We understand our country is situated in a problematic zone, but our case is clear and we think we supplied more than enough information that was required to apply for a Croatian visa, and it’s not fair we’ve been refused”, added Haykal.


I planned to apologise for the terrible pun in the article title, but it seems to hit closer to home than I first thought. We might as well hang a sign at our border: non plus ultra – do not go beyond this point, except if you’re a desirable type of tourist. We’ll update you once we decide what that exactly entails.


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