By Claire Valdini
Waiving of payment requirements ends row that started in 2010 over aviation rights
The United Arab Emirates is waiving visa fee requirements imposed on Canadian travelers, ending a row between the two countries that started in 2010 over aviation rights.
In a joint statement, the two countries’ foreign ministers, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and John Baird, agreed to “facilitate requirements to increase business, tourism and joint prosperity for our citizens by restoring the visa regime.”
“We are pleased to announce that we have accomplished those goals, which will be formalised in the next month,” the statement added.
Baird is on a tour of the Middle East.
The move 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.
The two countries said on Tuesday they had 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.
A welcomed announcement for both countries. Finaly the Conservative Party correcting their expensive gaffe to the Canadian economy. But will only believe it when implemented. Diplomacy prevails.
Great news, conservative hopefully coming to know diplomacy. I hope visa issues with saudi Arabia will be resolved will also be resolved soon.
Welcome announcement for you maybe. Arab world does not exist for most Canadians,and has zero impact to our daily lives.
So happy about this! We Canadians who live in the UAE and have family visiting to show them this lovely country welcome the news!
Let the maple syrup flow and the pancakes be dry no longer...
finally baird and the PCs agreed on something without insulting or yelling at others. if they can take that same approach globally they proberly have a shot at winning the elections
and this is the first step in changing that ignorance among our people procan.
"expensive gaffe". Your kidding right?
Canada is as important to UAE in terms of trade as Barbados to Malaysia. Fees should continue.