Brussels: The European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs has voted with overwhelming majority in favour of listing the UAE among nations to be granted visa-free access to Schengen countries.

Sulaiman Al Mazroui, UAE Ambassador to the European Union, said that the vote is a huge diplomatic achievement for the UAE, and reflects the strong relations between the UAE and European Union.

“If approved, the Schengen visa waiver would ease travel for the UAE citizens to the Schengen states. The UAE would be the first Arab country whose citizens are exempt from the Schengen visa,” said Al Mazroui on Monday.

“Today’s vote is a huge step towards finalising legislative requirements and moving to negotiations and subsequent waiver implementation,” he added.

He dedicated the achievement to President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

Al Mazroui praised the pivotal role played by the ‘friends of the UAE’ group at the European Parliament and the UAE ambassadors to the EU states.