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UAE lifts visa requirements on Canadians signalling end of diplomatic dust-up

Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird, right, shakes hands with the United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to Canada Mohammed Saif Helal Al Shehhi after making a statement at the Lester B. Pearson Building in Ottawa May 28, 2013.


Canadian passport holders travelling to the United Arab Emirates will no longer require visas in advance.

The move marks the end of a diplomatic dust-up over Canadian landing rights for UAE-based airlines, which began in 2010.

The dispute eventually prompted the closure of a key Canadian Forces staging base outside Dubai and the imposition of visa requirements for Canadians.

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But Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and his UAE counterpart signalled the end of the visa regime during a meeting in Abu Dhabi April.

In a statement Tuesday, the UAE's ambassador to Canada said he looks forward to continuing to build a strategic partnership between the two countries.

Baird says the removal of visa requirements as of Saturday is an important signal that bilateral relations between the two countries are getting stronger.

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