10-Nov-2010 10:49 AM

UAE issues new visa requirements for Canadians

UAE’s Government announced new visa restrictions that will require all Canadian citizens to obtain a visa to travel to the UAE from 02-Jan-2011 (Arab News/Emirates 24|7, 09-Nov-2010). The new visa requirement was announced by the UAE embassy in Ottawa and follows a feud between the two countries over UAE access to the Canadian market. Citizens from the US, Europe and most other developed countries do not require a special visa to visit to the UAE. A UAE official stated the visa waiver policy no longer applies to Canada as relations are "neither healthy nor hopeful" between them. UAE Ambassador to Canada, Mohamed Abdulla Al Ghafli, issued a statement saying "reciprocity" and not retaliation is the explanation for imposing the visa requirement. UAE citizens require a visa to enter Canada, and the new rules "will simply level the playing field".

UAE: "The visa waivers are granted to countries with a special relationship ... built on economic and other areas of close and growing cooperation … The current status of relations with the government in Canada compared with other countries on the visa waiver programme is at a much lower level ... It isn’t fair to include it with countries with which we have a healthy and productive relationship." Government spokesman. Source: Arab News, 09-Nov-2010.