Friday, March 16, 2012

Breakthrough in Canada-UAE relations: Not the most important development in international relations, I realise





















It is, however, very good news for tens of thousands of citizens of both countries living in the opposite country (like me!) not to mention a boost for all the business people are trying to do.

You can read more here in The National's full story, but essentially a row over UAE airlines' landing rights two years ago sparked the situation to deteriorate, and the UAE slapped a bunch of visa restrictions on visiting Canadians including a steep $250 Canadian fee just to visit. But apparently that all changed earlier this month, when the UAE's foreign minister, Sheikh Abdullah, paid a visit to Quebec's cosy Chateau Montebello and went dog-sledding with his counterpart in Canada, John Baird (who many people blame for the situation in the first place, but oh well). It's the image of these two frolicking on a sled being dragged through some dazzling white powder that is giving me cause to grin.

The ball was already rolling, after Baird paid a low-key visit to the UAE in November, while apparently the UAE has been doing some lobbying of its own of late, in the form of hiring a Canadian firm to get its message across to the government.

There is no word yet on the visa fee being dropped, however, but we can be hopeful.

UPDATE: Commenter Moe is in the know: he says look for the visa fee to be lifted this month or next.

4 comments:

Moe said...

Sources in the UAE foreign affairs tell me that the visa restriction will be lifted in March / April.

If that happens, you read it here first. If it didn't happen, chalk it up to 'inshallah' and normal speed of carrying out political acts haha

Anonymous said...

It would be great if this happened, I'm planning on going this summer! Canada needs the UAE, in fact the UAE should just buy Air Canada.

Anonymous said...

Any update regarding this situation would be appreciated (i.e. visa requirements removal for Canadians)

Zuhair Khan said...

UAE is trying to create good relations with other countries by inviting the foreign delegates of the other countries so often as recently Malaysian Ambassador to UAE, Ahmed Anwar Bin Adnan also visited UAE. UAE is leaving no stone unturned to boost bilateral relations with major countries and deep-rooted brotherly relations with Islamic countries.