Monday, January 24, 2011

New UAE visa rules leaves Canadians stranded

Oh dear, not surprising this happened given the new visa rules, which see Canadians having to secure a $250 visitors visa for a simple trip into the country. Checking with authorities at the Canadian embassy in Abu Dhabi and with UAE authorities upon leaving the country was not enough for 69-year-old Donald Caufield. He spent 24 hours at the airport, unable to come back in via India to visit his wife, who lives and works here.

Then this statement:

A spokesperson for Emirates said: "There is no evidence that Canadian travellers are deterred from coming to the UAE because of visa requirements. Capacity to and from Canada is severely constrained due to the limited number of flights."

Hmmm, Canadians, what would deter you from fleeing a Lethbridge winter for the sunny climes of the UAE: the lack of flights to and fro (because the rest of the world offers no other airlines or routes that are much cheaper and take roughly the same amount of time as Etihad or Emirates, surely), or the extra $250 the UAE has lovingly decided to tack onto your trip?


rosh said...

WOW. It gets uglier. All this and more, because EK and the other one, were not extended additional landing rights! Jeez. Pretty pathetic.

$250 for a 30 day visa and $73 via EK? I think Canada has a very legit reason to take EK and ET to the WTO.

Dave said...

I'm suprised that the UAE is taking such a hard line against Canada, because it appears to me that the UAE needs Canada a lot more than Canada actually needs the UAE.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dave, it is Canada that needs the UAE more. $2 billion in trade, most of it in Canada's favour. 27,000 Canadians living in the UAE that should, as any citizens of a democratic country, be given attention by their government and not be polarized by their minority-yet-dictatorial Prime Minister.

When we look at all the facts, it becomes clear that the UAE is in the right. TWO years in Canada and our foreign affairs minister refuses to meet the UAE ambassador? 9 years of free rent? 9 years of free medical support to our soldiers?

Whats worse, Canada gives Qatar Airways landing rights after negotiating for three days (through a WEEKEND!) and yet the UAE requests it for 5 years and doesn't get it?

I am a Canadian and I am glad that the UAE, as tiny as it is, is slapping Canada around. Canada today is not the Canada of Chretien and Trudeau; it is not the understanding and neutral state it was.

We had this coming our way since 2006.

Canadian Visa said...

That was so sad, I hate the feeling of being stranded. It cost you a lot from the food to your lodging. I wish it will never happen to me.


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