By Shane McGinley
The new regulations will come into effect from June 1
Canada has welcomed official confirmation the UAE is to waive visa fee requirements imposed on Canadian travellers from June 1, ending a row between the two countries that started in 2010 over aviation rights.
“Sincere thanks to my counterpart His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE, for delivering on his commitment to restore the previous visa regime for Canadians,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.
“It is great news for the tens of thousands of Canadians who travel to the UAE each year for work or for vacation. It will help increase economic opportunity and long-term prosperity in both countries. It is also an important signal to the world that bilateral relations between our two countries are strong and getting stronger. We are on an upward trajectory. And that’s truly exciting.”
The move was first announced in a joint statement during Baird’s visit to the UAE in April. The waiver will come into effect from June 1.
The confirmation 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.
In April, the two countries 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.
Great. But you can bet your shirt that the first Canadian to rock-up to the passport counter on 1st June (or at checkin before they fly) will be asked "Where is you visa?" and if shown this article will say "We have received no formal notice of this". Because that's the way it is.
So finally, additional landing rights were given to UAE airlines?
Ha Ha you have no chance. Gulf States have poor imagine in Canada .Prime Minister Harper would not even entertain the idea after very recent conflicts with Gulf States even the Liberals do not support your anti union postions and the NDP well that's a no brainier eh..
Discuss facts, not assumptions.