The First Arab Country to Gain Visa-Free Access into Canada

Canada helps lift the United Arab Emirates passport power to the Top 15 

As of June 5th, 2018, Emirati citizens will no longer need a visa to visit Canada for up to six months. This is a major step for UAE’s Race to the Very Top, with the UAE’s Passport Force Initiative.  

In addition to Canada, UAE has visa waivers coming in force from Brazil and Guyana, resulting in a total visa-free score of 151 by beginning of June, pushing it on the 14th rank on the Passport Index’ power ranking shared with Cyprus. 

In 2017, the UAE announced a daring goal: position the country’s passport on the list of the five most important passports in the world by 2021. Having the tallest, biggest, and the best is part of their DNA, and being granted visa-free access into Canada is a key step in achieving this goal. 

The UAE has strong ties with Canada, with nearly 40,000 Canadians living and working in the nation, and some 150 Canadian companies with strong operational presence in the UAE. Additionally, the UAE is Canada’s top export market in the Middle East and North Africa with recorded exports of C$1.79 B in 2016. 

“Trade ties between the UAE & Canada are robust and evolving steadily” stated His Excellency Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori, Minister of Economy, UAE. 

Emirati citizens, like other visa-exempt travelers, will need an electronic travel authorization (eTA) to fly to, or transit through a Canadian airport. The eTA allows Canadian officials to screen travelers for admissibility before they board their flight to Canada.  

“The United Arab Emirates is a key strategic partner and lifting the visa requirement will help reaffirm the strong relationship between our two countries. It will also promote increased tourism, cultural, academic and study exchanges, as well as foster new business, trade, and investment opportunities”, confirmed The Honorable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. 

Over the last decade, the UAE passport has seen immense growth in its global visa-free score and is amongst the list of nations that has experienced the fastest growth in the world. Having gained the trust and respect of over 35 countries in the past decade, UAE’s passport power is slowly but surely reaching the summit.  

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