Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The UAE Cabinet has given a go-ahead for visa on arrival for Indian passport holders with United Kingdom and European Union residency visa.
This move comes after Indians with valid American visa and Green card were given UAE visa on arrival from May 1 of this year. The decision to have a simplified visa process is to advance the UAE-India relations in economic, politics and trade, according to officials. This also puts forward UAE’s vision to be the leading country in attracting global tourism.
The UAE-India trade has grown to around $60 billion (Dh220 billion) per annum. This makes India the second largest trading partner of the UAE. Last year, the country’s exports to India totaled $27 billion (Dh99 billion) while Indian exports to UAE were at $33 billion (Dh121 billion).
India invests about $70 billion (Dh257 billion) in the UAE through 45,000 companies. The UAE, on the other hand, is investing $10 billion (Dh36 billion) in the Indian sectors of energy, metallurgical industry, services, technology and construction. The UAE companies that invest and operate in India are the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (ADNEC), Emaar, and Dubai Ports World (DPP). Dubai Ports World has operations at six major ports in India.
According to the last year’s statistics, the number of Indian tourists to the UAE touched 1.6 million while 50,000 UAE tourists visited India. With 1,000 flights per week, 143 flights operate a day between the two countries.
Bilateral ties between India and the UAE got a boost when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country in 2015. This was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Gulf nation in 34 years. This was reciprocated by UAE with the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to New Delhi in February 2016.
Shaikh Mohammad was also the chief guest at India’s Republic Day ceremony this year. This led to the signing of 14 wide-ranging agreements, including a strategic comprehensive partnership and deals on defence and maritime cooperation.