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Reciprocity is the need of the hour

There should be mutual cooperation between the UAE and Europe on visit visas.

Gulf News

When it comes to visas, the call for reciprocity should be taken seriously. It is in fact accepted wisdom that countries should apply similar rules and offer concessions to countries that welcome their nationals with on-arrival entry visas. But unfortunately this is not what the Emiratis are experiencing.

The UAE nationals are increasingly complaining that it is taking them too long to get visit visas for certain destinations - mainly Europe.

The delays are often unjustified, unnecessary, tedious and they interfere with travel plans. And when the process spans several weeks, one begins to wonder about how things are done on the other side.

In a globalised setting where free movement of goods, services and people is the norm, the fact that some countries are making it extremely difficult to get entry visas may hinder cooperation amongst states and actually exposes a hypocritical side.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said recently that the UAE was working on securing visas on arrival for Emiratis in 34 countries, whose citizens can obtain visas on arrival here.

This is a welcome step and once successfully implemented, will make a huge difference for our nationals. And it would also make the word reciprocity mean exactly that.