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Canadians face up to $1,000 UAE visa fees after row

Move follows row over air rights for UAE airlines.

December 29, 2010 4:26 by

Canadian nationals will have to pay as much as $1,000 in visa fees to travel to the United Arab Emirates from next month, the latest development in a diplomatic row over landing 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.

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 failed to gain 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.

UAE’s efforts to gain more landing rights in Canada has been criticised by Air Canada , which has accused Emirates of wanting to steal away connecting passengers that help make its routes profitable.

(Reporting by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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  1. SR on December 30, 2010 7:03 am

    Well done, I think this is a great move.It’s about time the likes of Canada and USA are treated the same way they treat others.

  2. george on December 30, 2010 7:59 am

    well done UAE !!

  3. Dismanirie on December 30, 2010 9:25 am

    Generally speaking, I fully support reciprocity when it comes to visa charges. If a UAE national has to pay $250 for a single entry visa to Canada or $1,000 for a multiple, then Canadians should pay the same amount for UAE visas.

    However, what has a commercial dispute involving an airline seeking to expand its fifth-freedom rights into a highly regulated market got to do with your average Canadian?


  4. Famo on December 30, 2010 10:34 am

    The tables have turned!! I hope other fellow countries follow suit

  5. ed on January 2, 2011 6:29 pm

    I think that it is ridiculous that Air Canada that has not direct flights to UAE has the ear of the Canadian Govt on restricting flights. If Air Canada was serious about this market have them purchase planes and offer the same service that Emirates and Etihad offer.
    I for one that have been doing business in the Mid East since 76 and live in CAlgary would dearly love to be able to have a direct flight to UAE from Calgary
    I refuse to fly air canada to the mid east

  6. Andrew on January 3, 2011 4:43 pm

    And why on earth Famo would other countries “follow suit”. The UAE was demanding open skies in return for Camp Mirage, which is now being shut down.

    Sounds like the quid pro quo argument is gone, so slapping expensive visas on the Canadians now just looks vindictive and petty.


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