Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 7 May 2014 12:22 PM

Font Size

- Aa +

EU officially adopts visa-free travel for Emiratis

Comes after the UAE exempted citizens of 13 European member states from requiring a pre-entry visa on arrival

EU officially adopts visa-free travel for Emiratis
European Union flags

The European Union Council of Ministers on Tuesday officially adopted new regulations allowing UAE nationals to be exempt from visas when travelling to the Schengen zone.

According to the amended regulation, the nationals from Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, the United Arab Emirates and Vanuatu will be exempt from the visa requirement when travelling to the Schengen zone.

This exemption will come into force only when bilateral agreements on visa waiver between the union and the countries concerned have been concluded in order to ensure full reciprocity, said an EU statement.

Regarding Colombia and Peru, the amended regulation states that the European Commission will further assess the situation of both countries before the opening of negotiations on bilateral agreements on visa waiver.

The regulation was recently amended to introduce a new safeguard clause allowing the temporary reintroduction of the visa requirement in specific circumstances- for nationals of a third country who can normally travel to the European Union without a visa.

The new rules also strengthened the "retaliation mechanism "towards a breach of reciprocity by a third country, when a country reintroduces a visa requirement for nationals of a particular or of several EU member states.

The Schenzen Area covers an area of 4,312,099 sq km and is made up of 419m people. Its member states include Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania will join in the next few years, while EU member states the UK and Ireland have opted out of joining.