ABU DHABI // The first Mexican Embassy in the UAE was inaugurated yesterday by their secretary of foreign affairs, Patricia Espinosa.
Many Mexican residents and officials attended the event, including the country's ambassador, Francisco Alonso, and Mohammed Abushahab, director of the Department of American and Pacific affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"We have about 3,000 Mexicans living and working in the UAE," Mr Alonso said. "There are a lot more who are not registered, as well as Mexicans who have dual passports."
During the launch, Mr Abushahab described the relationship between Mexico and the UAE as a "very important one".
Mrs Espinosa said the UAE and Mexico were in talks to lift visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders.
"We discussed with Sheikh Abdullah [bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister], a number of issues, including the lifting of visa requirements for diplomatic and official passport holders in Mexico and the UAE," she said.
Mexican diplomatic passports are issued to diplomats, top-ranking government officials and diplomatic couriers while official passports are issued to individuals representing the Mexican government on official business.
Mrs Espinosa commended the Mexican community in the UAE.
"We have had a large growth in numbers since we launched our consulate [in Dubai] a few years ago," she said. "And we have seen a large number of Mexican tourists. The majority were honeymooners who wanted to experience something new."
Diplomatic relations between Mexico and the UAE were first established on September 12, 1975.
For many years, consular affairs for the UAE were handled at the Mexican Embassy in Beirut and UAE affairs in Mexico were handled by the Saudi Embassy.
A consulate was opened in Dubai in 2007, while the UAE launched its embassy in Mexico City in August 2010. The embassy in Abu Dhabi, in the Bain Al Jisrain district, opened in December but the official launch only took place yesterday.