Ireland to allow UAE citizens visa-free entry

Published:  31 Jan at 6 PM
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The decision by Irish lawmakers to allow UAE citizens visa-free entry is clearly linked with an expected increase in business between the two countries.

From next Wednesday, UAE visitors to Ireland will no longer be forced to apply for a visa but can enter the republic without any restrictions. The move is believed to be a key to creating more business connections with the Emirates and its estimated 10,000 Irish expats. Already, 230 Irish companies are doing business in the region, and the new move will also put Ireland on the same footing as Britain as regards a visa-free policy for UAE citizens.

Regular travellers between the two regions will appreciate the cancellation of visa requirements, and the move will especially benefit the existing long-term air links via Dubai-based Emirates and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad. Ireland’s Country Manager for Etihad Enda Corneille told the media the visa relaxations will be a game-changer as it’s got the potential to increase traffic to capacity on the routes. Dubai’s Enterprise Ireland CEO Joe Breslin agrees, adding there’s now huge scope for increased trade between Ireland and the UAE and the university education sector will be in line for more interest from UAE students.

UAE expats are expected to welcome the news, with Ireland attracting some 50,000 Emiratis every year and the families of those who’re working in Ireland will find it much easier to plan a visit. Ireland’s bloodstock industry is also likely to benefit, as a number of the country’s world-famous racehorses are owned by Emiratis but stabled and trained in Ireland.
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