U.A.E. slaps visa charge on Canadians - Macleans.ca

U.A.E. slaps visa charge on Canadians

New $1,000 fee seen as response to diplomatic spat


As the latest twist in the ongoing diplomatic spat between Canada and the United Arab Emirates, Canadians who want to travel to the U.A.E. will have to pay as much as $1,000 in visa fees. The federal government denied expanded landing rights for U.A.E. airlines flying to Canada last year, which prompted the U.A.E. to cancel the Canadian military’s access to a base in the Persian Gulf state, which had been used to support Canada’s troops in Afghanistan. Now, the U.A.E. is taking Canada off the list of more than 30 countries whose citizens didn’t need a visa to visit. The U.A.E. includes Dubai, a wealthy hub for travel and tourism in the Arab world. Its bid for more landing rights for its airlines in Canada split Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet last year. Defence Minister Peter MacKay reportedly favoured coming to terms with the U.A.E. in order to maintain that key military base, known as Camp Mirage.


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U.A.E. slaps visa charge on Canadians

  1. Canada is right in maintaining their stand.Why must the demands of the UAE be met simply because they asked? What guarantee does Canada have that should they give them more landing rights, they will not demand exclusive rights?Give them an inch they take a mile.If every country demands a similar right, will Canada be able to meet it?If they think they have anything to offer, they should partner with Air Canada instead.

    I guess Dubai is off my bucket list- blackmail is never okay!

    • Dude, if Air Canada expects open skies policy from the rest of the world and cannot compete either on price nor on service, then maybe Air Canada should close down its operations. The only way to compete is free trade and all the UAE government asked was more cities they could fly to and more flights.. Emirates flies to JFK daily twice a day and I take that route as Emirates Airline is FAR superior then any North American airlines and cheaper too. For a consumer, the model should be lower costs and better service and sorry man, if Air Canada cannot compete, then they should get out..

  2. Reroute UAE's airline outside Canada's airspace to send them a clear message that blackmail just does not work.

  3. Just slap the same fees on UAE nationals coming to Canada. Also give low priority to Emirates Airlines landing rights

  4. Its less Terrorist heading to Canada. don't even allow them to obtain Canadian visa.

  5. Are there not any responsible adults in charge of the Emirates?

    • About the same as in charge of Canada, apparently.

      Do try to remember that they gave us Camp Mirage for all those years for absolutely nothing. Then, when they finally decided they should get something in return and started a bargaining process, they were met by absolutely no counter offer besides "no". They had earned some goodwill, I mean to say, we could have said, "one" and eventually we'd have settled on three or four. So now they're frustrated and angry, we're out a good military base and both sides seem headed to more bad results. Heck, Americans couldn't have negotiated worse than this (see Civil War cotton).

      • How do you know all this? Been reading some new wikileak?

        My point is that none of us have much idea of what's really happening behind the scenes.

        • Well, that's really strange that you pick on the one dissenting voice for not knowing what's happening behind the scenes, when I presume the five posters above me didn't have spies in place.

          We do know for a fact that Camp Mirage cost us nothing in terms of rent or barter for a decade or so. We have been told that " The meeting confirmed for Canada that the UAE was not willing to consider alternatives to what they wanted, the source said." and we do know that "“Our position is that the UAE, under the current bilateral agreement, has enough capacity to serve the size of the local market,” Air Canada chief commercial officer Ben Smith said Thursday." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/uae-

          You are absolutely right that we don't have the negotiations video. But that doesn't make my interpretation of what's going on more wrong than anyone else's.

      • "Do try to remember that they gave us Camp Mirage for all those years for absolutely nothing."

        Wouldn't the base be considered the UAE's contribution to the War in Afghanistan. After all, it's our guys dying over there, but if the whole region goes to Hell, Canada will be a lot safer place to be than the UAE.

        Secondly, I was actually FOR Canada granting the UAE extra landing rights, HOWEVER, it sounds like this $1000 is much higher than is typically charged, which means it is purely vindictive and therefore the UAE has just lost any moral high ground in this disagreement.

        • The UAE is part of NATO? I'm not sure the region will go to hell from the region's point of view, itself. Granted, it will be hell for the West. But I don't think the Taliban really made life different in the UAE when they were in power, and I certainly don't remember terrorist attacks there.

          Yes, the $1000 does sound purely vindictive, and the UAE shows itself not to be boy scouts. But that is after the negotiations.

  6. It's a good start. They should keep all their people out of Canada and we will keep all of ours out of theirs. Naturally this won't rest well with Harpoon Sickdickie, the angry journalistic jihadist with the Toronto Star.

    • You mean Haroon Siddiqui from India?

      • What does being from India have to do with whether or not the man is muslim, or at the very least an islamic sympathizer?

        • Oh…you mean you're just Islamaphobic in general?

  7. I see none of you know anything about the UAE, our biggest trading partner there.

    This was a major screw-up on our part.

    • They are not our biggest trading partner

  8. @Emily – there are friendlier countries to do business in – like China and India. We only do less than 2 billion worth of trade with the UAE.

  9. More landing rights equals more competition which means lower prices and better service. But it seems that as Canadians we are content to have the government in bed with Air Canada – one of the worst airlines in the world.

  10. Sounds like Blackmail and Extortion to me. I thought only Revenue Canada did that to Canadians.

    • Sounds like ordinary business dealings to me. We get something, they get something.

  11. Air Emirates are like a huge dinosaur eating up everything that gets in it's way. This dinosaur must be stopped before it's too late otherwise they will eat other airlines out of the market and the passengers will pay the hefty price for it in the future. It will cost other countries many millions of jobs and only the UAE will benefit from it if it goes unhindered.
    It's been clear for some time now that the Airline has been thriving from UAE subsidies, this giving it an unfair position in the world market. It's staff are paid poorly (about a quarter of European and North American rates), this giving it an extra advantage in the market.
    Good move Canada – Don't Fly Emirates.

    • You are obviously ignorant of the facts that Air Canada , with the continued help of the Canadian Government, has eaten " several " airlines out of the market and hence " no competition ! " We pay the highest prices for the poorest service. I've dealt with the Competition Tribunals …. As to staff salaries…… AC staff has long been overpaid.
      Signed … ex-airline employee….. pused out of the "competing " market !

  12. I see many uneducated people who know nothing about geography, culture, business and ethnics… There should be other reasoning than profound comments here to decline landing rights.. Lufthansa, British Airways, Ukrainian Aerosvit, Russian Transaero, Pakistani and Indian airlines, and many others have landing rights, why? If we follow the logic in comments then close the borders, put locks, and don't allow anyone fly to Canada or use its airspace.. if airspace is used at all..

  13. For Canadians travelling to the UAE and Dubai visit http://www.dubaivisacanada.net to apply for your visas to Dubai or call 1-855-885-5050