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Spain: Schengen exemption for UAE nationals could lead to a boom in tourist activity

posted on 01/03/2013: 3581 views

As Germany reaffirms its deep relations with the UAE, lately embodied in the decision to exempt all UAE nationals from the Schengen visa, Spain follows suite in what could be a diplomatic success for the state thanks to the efforts of UAE foreign ministry under the leadership of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister.

A successful and vital diplomacy is dedicated to reinforce the UAEs interests abroad, employing its position and location, thus staying true to the mission of forging strong cooperation and friendship relations with all countries as well as preserving peace and stability in the region and around the world. That diplomacy places the UAE national's welfare at the top of its priorities, the Arabic language "Ittihad" newspaper said in a column published yesterday.

The columnist Ali Al Amoudi, stated that such initiatives by the two countries in exempting UAE nationals from the Schengen visa is the fruition if the ministry of foreign affairs' long-time efforts and an answer to the Emirati nationals' needs for a much facilitated travel to the Schengen countries, usually met by a long undesirable procedures that do not honour the Euro-Emirati relations, especially when the UAE is considered the largest commercial partner, with commercial transactions mounting up to Dh 147 billion in value, while the commercial exchange with Europe altogether is about Dh 220 billion.

Another contributing fact is the considerable amount spent by the Emirati and GCC national tourists as well as the length of total stay in a European country, thus giving them the merit of being exempted from the Schengen visa, a facilitation never given before to any other Arab country. Meanwhile, nationals of 33 European and Western countries enjoy numerous facilitations offered by the UAE, such issuing a visa into the UAE right on arrival, the paper stated.

This initiative is expected to sprout a boom in tourist activity both ways, in addition to a possible increase in European expansion in the region, notably, their exports that rely on the UAE as a transition to reach over billion consumers.

The writer hoped for similar steps to be taken by France and Switzerland, some of the UAE's strongest commercial, touristic and cultural partners. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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