By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor
ABU DHABI, UAE — In a sign of growing ties between Guyana and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), nationals with diplomatic, private and regular passports can obtain a visa on arrival at airports in Guyana, Abu Dhabi announced on Monday.
The press statement read: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced that citizens of the United Arab Emirates with diplomatic, private and regular passports can obtain a visa to Guyana upon arrival at the airport.”
It is expected that the UAE will also announce that citizens of Guyana will receive visa upon arrival at airports in the Emirates soon. Qatar and Bahrain have already granted visa on arrival to nationals of Guyana.
The announcement was made by Ahmed Alham Al Dhaheri, assistant under-secretary for consular affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, who said that the UAE’s embassy in Brasilia received a diplomatic note from the Guyanese embassy in Brazil announcing the decision to grant UAE citizens visas upon arrival in Guyana.
The initiative of the government of Guyana reflects the international position that the UAE has adopted and highlights the development of bilateral relations between the two countries and opens up new horizons for the country’s citizens for tourism, investment and trade, which contributes to strengthening the bonds of partnership and relations between the two friendly countries, the press release said.
Since the Qatar embargo, Gulf countries are competing for influence in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Latin America. Qatar recently granted Guyanese nationals visa waiver on arrival.
Guyana, home of the 15-member CARICOM Secretariat, can expect more concessions from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Guyana has been looking to open a trade mission in Dubai, and this may become a reality since Guyana will soon be a major oil and gas producer on the international scene. Guyana is expected to produce 500,000 barrels of oil per day when ExxonMobil production begins.
Both Qatar and the UAE are willing to subsidize Guyana opening a trade mission in Doha or Dubai.
Meanwhile, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay have also granted UAE nationals visa on arrival.