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Wed 5 Mar 2014 02:28 PM

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UAE issues visa exemption to 13 more EU countries

Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic among new nations added to pre-entry visa exemption list

UAE issues visa exemption to 13 more EU countries
European Union flags

The UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday announced that citizens of 13 European Union member states will be exempted from the need to acquire pre-entry visas to the UAE.

The exemption will come into effect from March 22, and follows a decision taken by the UAE Cabinet to introduce the measure.

The countries affected are Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria, news agency WAM reported.

As a result of the above decision, citizens of all 28 countries in the EU will be allowed to enter the UAE without having to previously apply for a visa.

The Ministry statement added that all necessary measures have been taken by the Ministry of the Interior to implement the decision at all UAE points of entry.

A statement said these exemptions will enhance political relations between the UAE and European Union, will help to further develop economic ties and bilateral trade and will also help to encourage mutual investment.

The European Parliament on Thursday voted to allow visa-free travel for UAE citizens to countries in the Schengen area in Europe which is made up of 26 countries.

Lawmakers carried the decision with a majority vote of 523 out of 577 EU representatives at a meeting in Strasbourg.

The EU's endorsement of the visa waiver status for UAE citizens will start with the setting up of a joint working team of the UAE and EU, which will implement the decision as soon as possible, news agency WAM reported.