ABU DHABI // Emiratis can now travel to Bangladesh without first having to obtain a visa.
The Bangladeshi ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Imran, said his government had decided to grant UAE nationals visas on arrival.
“Now Emiratis can travel without any hassle,” said Mr Imran. “Their visas will be stamped at the airport. When they reach at the airport they will be granted the visas.”
About 1,000 Emiratis travel to Bangladesh each year, and Mr Imran said he hoped the initiative would lead to an increase in the figure.
“This will also improve the people-to-people contacts between the people of both countries,” said the ambassador, adding that the embassy and consulate in the UAE would still issue visas if requested.
“We don’t want to entirely shut the facility here but we want to facilitate them as much as we can.”
A visa costs Dh670 for a single-entry, three-month visit.
Mr Imran said he hoped the development would improve bilateral trade.
Bangladesh imports crude oil and other petroleum products from the UAE, and exports clothing, textiles, vegetables, fish, and steel products to the Emirates.
Bilateral trade volume has increased significantly in recent years to US$967 million (Dh3.55 billion) in 2012-13, which includes $251.25m in Bangladeshi exports.
“The UAE is one of the major foreign investors in Bangladesh. There has been flow of nearly $2.9bn investment from the UAE to Bangladesh,” said Mr Imran.
He said several charities in the UAE had funded cultural centres in Bangladesh.
“The deeply-rooted relations between Bangladesh and UAE are based on trust and confidence,” said Mr Imran. “There are ample opportunities to further expand and consolidate the relationship.”