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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 25 May 2018

Visa-free travel to China for UAE nationals begins

Two countries agreed on exemption last month

Emiratis can now enjoy visa-free travel to China. Photo by Joerg Farys
Emiratis can now enjoy visa-free travel to China. Photo by Joerg Farys

Starting on Tuesday, China will exempt UAE nationals carrying ordinary passports from obtaining pre-entry visas, with the possibility of staying for up to 30 days on each visit.

The exemption came as a result of a deal which was signed recently in Abu Dhabi by Ahmed Saeed Elham Al Dhaheri, assistant under-secretary for consular affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and Ni Jian, China's ambassador to the UAE.

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Mr Al Dhaheri said that the move by Beijing reflects the stature of the UAE and contributes to strengthening bilateral relations and opening avenues for growing tourism and trade between the two friendly countries.

"The UAE has become a model for good governance, moderation and peaceful co-existence and a symbol for achievement and excellence at the international levels," he said.

He also noted that the welfare of the UAE citizens features as a priority in the wise leadership's vision.

The UAE and China established diplomatic relations in November 1984. The UAE opened its embassy in Beijing on March 19, 1987. It also opened consulates in Hong Kong in 2000, Shanghai in 2006 and in Guangzhou in 2016.

China opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi in April 1985 and its consulate in Dubai in November 1988.

The UAE and China are connected by strong and developing economic and commercial relations, and the size of their commercial exchange in the first half of 2017 reached around US$20.25 billion, with $13.97bn accounting for China’s exports to UAE while $7.871bn accounted for the value of imports from the UAE.

The number of direct flights by UAE national carries to China is currently around 60 a week.