UAE citizens will be able to travel visa-free in European Schengen area from tomorrow, 7th May, when the visa waiver agreement from 2014 enters into force. Emiratis will now enter countries from the zone with only a valid passport, without having to worry about visa application and travel restrictions.
The visa-free travel to Schengen countries is now available to all UAE nationals, who are allowed to stay for three months, according to the visa waiver decision. Europe is traditionally one of the most popular business and leisure destinations for Emiratis, but now easy access is expected to significantly increase the number of visitors from the UAE. The visa waiver, which goes into effect on Thursday, May 7, allows citizens from the country to enter the Schengen area with only a valid passport, which will be stamped upon entry. In contrast, citizens of the European Union enjoy lack of any restrictions – they can move across the EU with their ID only.
The visa waiver comes less than three years after the first step to acquiring Schengen visa-free status was made. In December 2012 the UAE was added to the European Commission list of proposed countries and territories whose citizens would be exempt from the visa restriction. Then, in early 2014, the Gulf nation, together with more than 15 other countries, was allowed a visa-free status. After ratification of the agreement, now it finally enters into force.
This is a great opportunity for UAE nationals, who can now travel for leisure, family or business purposes to Europe for up to three months. Travel restrictions are minimized, visa isn’t required, and planning trips are made much easier just before the summer, when a lot of Emiratis will fly to Spain, Italy or Germany on vacations. In fact, Europe is indeed one of the favourite travel destinations for UAE nationals because of its historical cities, amusement parks, thousands of museums, art galleries, and shopping destinations.