UAE seeks visa-free access to Schengen for citizens

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UAE MOVE: The UAE president says he will continue to uphold the country's travel agreement with Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images)

UAE MOVE: The UAE president says he will continue to uphold the country's travel agreement with Saudi Arabia. (Getty Images)

The UAE is stepping up its efforts to see Emirati citizens exempted from visa requirements in the Schengen Area, the country’s Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The European Union (EU) is considering the Gulf state’s application and the UAE is confident it will be passed, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Butti Al Hamed said in comments published by state news agency WAM.

“The UAE wishes to express its appreciation over the fact that its request to be included among the countries whose citizens do not require a visa to travel to the Schengen Area is currently under serious consideration by the European Union,” said Sheikh Abdullah.

"The UAE realises that this request is at the beginning of a complex internal debate and subject to internal EU-procedures,” he added.

The UAE has been working with the EU for over year in a bid to enable Emiratis citizens to travel visa-free to and within the Schengen bloc.

The 26 countries in the Schengen Area include Italy, Germany, Switzerland and France.

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