China waives visa restrictions for Emiratis
UAE citizens will be able to visit China without getting a pre-entry visa from January 16
The UAE and China have signed a memorandum of understanding to exempt Emiratis from obtaining pre-entry visas to visit the country as a tourist.
Starting January 16, 2018, UAE citizens can visit China without getting a pre-entry visa and stay for up to 30 days per visit, state news agency WAM reported.
It is the latest boost to the UAE passport which remains the most powerful in the Middle East.
According to Arton Capital's latest ranking, the UAE passport is ranked 26th globally with a visa-free score of 126.
Ahmed Saeed Elham Al Dhaheri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for UAE, said that the move by the Chinese Government reflects the stature attained by the UAE.
He added that it also contributes to strengthening bilateral relations and opening new avenues for growing tourism and trade between the two countries.
The UAE and China established diplomatic relations in November 1984. The UAE opened its embassy in Beijing in March, 1987 and also opened consulates in Hong Kong in April 2000, Shanghai in July, 2006, and in Guangzhou in June, 2016.
China opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi in April 1985 and its consulate in Dubai in November 1988.
Two-way trade between the UAE and China has already crossed $35 billion in the first nine months of the 2017 as the global powerhouse looks to boost trade links with the country.
The two countries are looking to build on bilateral economic relations which totalled $46.3 billion in the whole of 2016, officials said at a recent seminar at the Dubai World Trade Club.
“Chinese companies are now participating in the UAE’s development activities in a bigger way as bilateral trade has crossed $35 billion in the first nine months of the current year and is expected to surpass last year,” said Lei Jin, economic and commercial counsellor at the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai.