UAE scraps Canadian visa fees

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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird

The United Arab Emirates is waiving visa fee requirements imposed on Canadian travelers, ending a row between the two countries that started in 2010 over aviation rights.

In a joint statement, the two countries’ foreign ministers, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and John Baird, agreed to “facilitate requirements to increase business, tourism and joint prosperity for our citizens by restoring the visa regime.”

“We are pleased to announce that we have accomplished those goals, which will be formalised in the next month,” the statement added.

Baird is on a tour of the Middle East.

The move follows two years after the UAE increased the cost of a one-month visit visa for Canadian citizens to $250 a month after Canada’s transport agency refused to give Gulf carriers Etihad and Emirates new landing rights.

The UAE also closed Camp Mirage, a secret military base located outside Dubai and used to supply Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

An estimated 40,000 Canadians currently reside in the UAE while 150 Canadian companies operate from the Gulf state. The UAE is Canada’s largest trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa region.

In a sign that relations between the two countries were thawing, the UAE and Canada signed a nuclear treaty in September paving the way for Canada to export atomic material and technology to the Emirates.

The two countries said on Tuesday they had also established a Canada-UAE business council to further facilitate trade.

“Just over a year ago, we set out an agenda between our countries to strengthen and re-energise the Canada-UAE relationship. To that end, we set three goals,” the statement said.

“First, sign a nuclear cooperation agreement. Second, launch a Canada-UAE business council. And third, facilitate travel requirements to increase business, tourism and joint prosperity for our citizens, by restoring the visa regime,” it added.

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Posted by: Abdulaziz

UAE is not happy because Canada and their rich potential market is not going to be accessible for their airliens like the Australian, British, growing US, and now French markets. But it was worth the try. and Hisham, "Boring Canada" is only funny when said by Americans in South Park episodes. coming from you, it just looks cheap shots racism.
And I hate to admit it, but I never met an ugly Canadian personally. They are scrumptious.

Posted by: Hisham

A motion to change the word "boring" to the word "Canada" has just been approved by the UN language committee. Effective January 1st the new word for boring will be introduced into more than 200 languages. And the two words "a" and "boot" will once again mean "a piece of footwear" and not "about".

Posted by: Expat

Hisham, that was just sad...

Posted by: Hisham

Said a guy who calls himself a monkey...

Posted by: Monkey Tennis

You've embarrassed yourself there mate - very poor effort.

Posted by: Expat

Hmm...when the spat originally broke out, UAE was seeking two things: (1) visa reciprocity (i.e., allowing UAE citizens to obtain visas on arrival in Canada); and (2) increased landing rights for its airlines. It got neither.

As for the comments blaming the Canadian government for this, I think that the end results speak volumes about who was wrong. The Canadians didn't need to back down at all.

Posted by: Ken Spitz

It looks like the UAE mis-calculated that the Canadian elections will go against Stephen Harper. Some opposition leaders, met and gave them the impression that a tough stance from UAE will Harper look silly, and loose votes! Sometimes it takes a lot to understand how democracy works, and how voters react to a show of strength and weakness!

Posted by: Kiptoo

What about the flights by EK & EY? No mention if now will be daily.

Posted by: Tehsin

Need to clarify one thing, the article says that visa fee is scrapped. Does it mean that one still has to apply for visa before arrival, without fee, or Canadian can get visa on arrival at airport, as before? I couldn't get that idea from this news, or I m missing something

Posted by: Ronald

The headline is misleading, as usual on this site. The article clearly states "restoring the visa regime" which is not what the incompetent sub who wrote the headline understood.
What keeps being forgotten about EK and EY wanting more slots is that they are promoting their hubs to South Asia, a massive market they cannot currently exploit.
Oh, and Hisham, the only thing boring about Canada these days is ignoramuses such as yourself don't know anything about its financial, social and cultural dynamism.

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