By Staff writer
Move to boost tourism after 500,000 Chinese visited the Gulf state in 2015
The UAE will grant visas on arrival to visitors from China as the Gulf state cements ties with one of its most important trading partners.
The news was announced via a tweet from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, who said that the move “affirmed our important relationship with China”.
About half a million Chinese visitors travelled to the UAE in 2015, a Chinese diplomat told Gulf News last month.
Chang Hua, China’s ambassador to the UAE, said that there were up to 50,000 of his country’s citizens now living in the Gulf state.
In April, research conducted by Dubai Chamber showed that China was now the emirate’s top trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to $48 billion (AED176 billion) last year.
At the end of August, Qatar Airways group CEO Akbar Al Baker announced that citizens from China, India and Russia would be granted visas on arrival in Doha by the middle of 2017, in a bid to boost flagging tourism numbers.