UAE to charge Canadians for visas after row

Tensions have risen between the two countries since Canada denied expanded landing rights for UAE airlines flying to Canada.

UAE to charge Canadians for visas after row


The United Arab Emirates announced it will charge Canadians up to 1,000 dollars for a visa beginning next week, in an on-going row between the two countries over aviation rights.

Tensions have risen between the two countries since Canada denied expanded landing rights for UAE airlines flying to Canada. That triggered a UAE government decision to end access to a military base used by the Canadian military to support troops in Afghanistan occupation.

The UAE embassy in Ottawa said on its website that Canadians would be charged $250 for a 30-day single entry visa while a six-month multiple entry visa would cost $1000, with a maximum stay of 14 days during each visit.

Canada was among more than 30 mostly Western countries whose citizens benefited from a UAE visa waiver, but a UAE official said in November that Canadians must obtain a visa in advance to travel from Jan. 2 to the Gulf state, which includes regional tourism hub Dubai and major oil exporter Abu Dhabi.

Dubai carrier Emirates has been lobbying the Canadian government to boost its thrice-weekly direct flights to Toronto and more Canadian destinations, with support from the UAE government, but Canada refused to provide greater access. Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways also wants to increase its flights.

"With 25,000 Canadians living in the UAE...as well as 200 Canadian companies active in the UAE today, six flights per week does not service the economic needs of both countries or the potential for growth," the UAE ambassador said in a statement.

More than 25,000 Canadians live in the United Arab Emirates, one of Canada's biggest economic partners in the Middle East, with bilateral trade valued at about 1.5 billion dollars per year, according to UAE officials.


Agencies

Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2010, 11:35
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