On 6 May the EU and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a short-stay visa waiver agreement at a ceremony that took place in Brussels. On behalf of the EU, the agreement was signed by representatives of the Latvian Presidency of the Council and the European Commission. For the UAE, Ambassador Sulaiman Hamid Almazroui, signed the agreement.
The new visa regime provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to the territory of the UAE and for citizens of this country when travelling to the EU, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.
In order to benefit from visa-free travel, citizens from the EU and the UAE must be in possession of valid ordinary, diplomatic, service/official or special passport. Visa-free travel applies to all categories of persons and for any kind of purposes of travel (for instance tourism, cultural visits, scientific activities, family visits, business etc.), except to persons travelling for the purpose of carrying out a paid activity.
The agreement will now be sent to the European Parliament with a view to obtaining its consent before it can be concluded. However, it will apply on a provisional basis as from 6 May 2015.
Ireland and the United Kingdom will not be subject to the application of the agreement, in accordance with the protocols annexed to the EU treaties. The visa regime to these member states remains subject to their national legislation.