Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

UAE nationals one step closer to visa-free travel to Europe

The Civil Liberties Committee endorsed a proposal to add the UAE to the list of countries whose nationals are exempt from Schengen visa requirements.

ABU DHABI // A committee of the European Parliament has unanimously endorsed a proposal to allow UAE citizens visa-free entry to most of Europe.

The Civil Liberties Committee’s endorsement comes after it received a report last month recommending the UAE be added to the list of countries exempt from Schengen visa requirements.

“The UAE would be the first Arab country whose citizens are exempt from Schengen visa,” Sulaiman Al Mazrouei, the UAE’s ambassador to the European Union, told the state news agency Wam.

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

Mr Al Mazrouei said the approval was an achievement for UAE diplomacy and a reflection of the country’s strong ties with the European Union.

Next, the full European Parliament and Council of Ministers will vote on approval by the middle of next year.

Last month, a report presented to the council recommended the UAE be exempt.

“There is no risk of illegal immigration,” the report author Mariya Gabriel told a meeting of the committee.

“Trips made by UAE nationals to Europe are mainly for business, tourism, studies or health care.”

In May, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed told the FNC the UAE had increased its efforts to win visa-free entry to the Schengen area – a group of 26 countries in western Europe.

“We hope in the next 12 months the EU parliament looks [positively] on lifting Schengen requirements from UAE nationals,” Sheikh Abdullah said.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Supporters of unseen India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, wave as he arrives to file his election nomination papers in Varanasi. Sanjay Kanojia / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world April 24

The National View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world

 Sarah Geronimo. Courtesy: FLASH Entertainment

Sarah Geronimo brings her star power to Abu Dhabi this weekend

Ahead of her Abu Dhabi concert on Thursday night, we take a look at the Filipina singer Sarah Geronimo’s extraordinary career.

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Iranian workers at the Iran Khodro auto plant in Tehran on March 18. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

Iran’s love of cars survives devastating sanctions

Sanctions and energy subsidy reductions might have hurt the Iranian automotive industry. But car makers at one factory are still optimistic, Yeganeh Salehi reports from Tehran

 This comparison image shown on Reddit annotated the objects with vehicles from the movies.

Disney confirms that Star Wars: Episode 7 is filming in Abu Dhabi desert

Disney yesterday confirmed that the filming of Star Wars: Episode 7 is taking place in the desert in Abu Dhabi.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National