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Visa for Canadians to the UAE

Beginning 1st June, Canadian travellers will not require visa for travel to the UAE, it has been announced, thereby ending a row between the two countries over aviation rights and restoring the previous visa regime for Canadians in the UAE.

This has been agreed between the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and his UAE counterpart, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

This comes as pleasant news for 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, said Minister Baird.

This deal, which is now formalized, is an important signal to the world that bilateral relations between UAE and Canada are strong and is getting stronger with every passing day, and that it is on an upward trajectory, he pointed out.

In the year 2011, the UAE had begun charging Canadians $1000 for a six month multiple entrance visa, while three month and one month visas were costing 500 dollars and 250 dollars respectively.

The steep hikes in obtaining a visa for the UAE came as two countries have been at odds over landing rights in Canada and UAE-based carriers, and due to closure of UAE military base for Canadian use.

A few months earlier, Canada was compelled to close a military base in Dubai, that was part of key supply route to Afghanistan, after refusing to grant the UAE’s two national carriers more landing rights.

Baird was the transport minister at the time when more than 25,000 Canadians were living in the UAE and bilateral trade was worth $1.5bn annually. Over the years, the number of Canadians in the UAE has grown to more than 40,000 in number.

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