Significant Achievement for the UAE Diplomacy

  • 1 March 2014

The European Parliament vote, on Thursday, which abolished the Schengen visa requirement for citizens of the UAE, is indeed a significant achievement for the country’s diplomacy. This has become possible because the country’s diplomacy has managed to present a distinctive image to the world and demonstrated its vitality, ability to act and influence, plan and integrate, and the significant achievements it has made in larger national interests, both in the UAE and abroad.

The decision underlines several important factors. The country’s wise leadership, under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may Allah protect him), always gives top priority to UAE citizens. The decision brings numerous advantages for UAE nationals as it will facilitate freedom of travel across EU countries, save them time, effort and money, and end the complicated procedures involved in obtaining these visas. It will also allow Emirati students greater opportunity to get closely acquainted with European universities and choose appropriate courses for their education.

The UAE’s diplomacy has proved that it is competent in dealing with issues of national concern. The fact that it garnered 523 out of 577 votes shows the effort made by the UAE’s diplomacy, under the leadership of Foreign Minister His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to convince the EU countries to vote for this decision and invest in building relations with them. The UAE impressed upon them the fact that such a step would enhance relations, not only between the UAE and the Schengen zone but also with both the Arab and Islamic worlds. It also demonstrated what the UAE has achieved for its citizens. These factors greatly influenced the decision.

This is not the first time that the UAE’s diplomacy has achieved a major triumph. It played an influential role in Dubai’s successful bid to host Expo 2020 last November, and in Abu Dhabi hosting the headquarters of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2009. What makes the decision of the European Parliament more significant is that the UAE is the first Arab country whose nationals are exempted from obtaining the Schengen visa. This shows international appreciation of the UAE and shows the good reputation it enjoys at regional and international levels.

Such a major achievement has not come out of nowhere, neither has it been easily achieved. It is the result of wise policies and a prudent leadership that has made all efforts possible to build its image abroad. The country has succeeded in presenting the image of wisdom, moderation, co-existence, peace and openness all over the world. It has also become a successful model at the domestic level and has focused its efforts in the service of the UAE citizens. All this has led to the UAE reaching this unique landmark and leading a development experience that many seek to imitate.

The UAE has proved over and over again that it is indeed the land of happiness. Its nationals have the right to feel proud of their wise leadership that leaves no stone unturned in taking care for them, either at home or around the world, making them feel loyal to the nation and providing a decent living that matches the highest global standards. Moreover, citizens always remain on top of the list of priorities for the ongoing and future development programs.