The ongoing battle between Canada and the UAE has escalated to a stage that the UAE will require Canadians to apply for a visa effective Jan. 2011, see below;
As a business person holding the magic Canadian passport I was always able to travel from Muscat, Oman to Dubai or Abu Dhabi either via air or land without the requirement of a visa. However, those niceties end in January with the imposition of a visa and a full layer of bureaucratic red tape.
It appears this all stems from a dispute over landing rights for Emirates Air and Ethiad, the two flag carriers for Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.
We have already seen the Canadian military unceremoniously discharged form the base we occupied in the UAE effective this month.
A simplistic view suggests that Air Canada holds too much sway in Ottawa with respect to our Foreign Affairs decisions. For instance, they have frustrated the efforts of Turkish Airlines to extend landing rights in Montreal and Toronto.
One wonders what kind of a Lobby is exercised by Air Canada in Ottawa that silences the moderate voices of Peter McKay and Lawrence Cannon in favour of John Baird and the real Foreign Minister, Harper.
What do you believe will be the outcome of another dispute we have entered into in the Middle East, who will the USA support? What will be the negative impact on business growth in Canada since the UAE is our largest trading partner in the Middle East?