EU sing New Visa Waiver agreement with the United Arab Emirates

Beginning May 7, 2015, European citizens will be allowed to access the United Arab Emirates without having to apply for a visa before arrival after authorities signed a new visa waiver agreement.

The reciprocal bilateral short-stay agreement was signed in Brussels, Belgium, by the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the EU, Ilze Juhansone, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, and the UAE Ambassador to the EU Sulaiman Hamid Al-Mazroui.

Under the UAE’s Visa Waiver, entry and residence of foreigners law, EU citizens can stay in the UAE for 90 days within a period of six months without a visa, instead of the previous 30 days. For entry in UAE, passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry.

The decision was also made to improve the already strong economic and strategic relations of the United Arab Emirates with the European Union, where trade and investments between the two increased by 9.7 per cent in the last 3 years. Moreover, the number of round-trip flights between the UAE and Europe have reached 508 per week as there are more than 160,000 EU citizens living in the UAE, and last year a record 3.49 million tourists visited the emirate of Abu Dhabi, according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), while Dubai welcomed more than 10 million.

Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, spoke about the historic agreement on the Schengen visa waiver for Emiratis, he proudly said: “This is a historic moment in the relationship between the UAE and the EU” and continued: “It will no doubt improve many things such as trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges”.

However the agreement does not apply to the United Kingdom and Ireland as they are not parties to the Schengen Agreement. Further, the Agreement does not apply to Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein as they are not parties to the European Union.

 

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