India, others seek visa-on-arrival for diplomats

ABU DHABI — Members of the diplomatic corps from countries that are not in the list of 33 countries whose citizens obtain visit visas on arrival have urged the Foreign Affairs Ministry to allow diplomats transiting through Dubai and other UAE airports to enter the country without having to obtain visa prior to arrival and issue them visa on arrival.

By Hakam Kherallah And N. Srinivasan

Published: Thu 11 Aug 2005, 10:15 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:13 PM

The Indian Ambassador to the UAE, C. M. Bhandari said he had approached the UAE Foreign Ministry to grant special treatment to diplomats transiting through Dubai.

"We have received a positive response," he said.

Bhandari said many diplomats sometimes wish to stay for a while in Dubai or other cities in the UAE to shop or to see friends or relatives.

"Diplomats are not likely to overstay or violate rules as they have their jobs to return to. That is why this special treatment is required," he said, adding that the UAE will also benefit as diplomats and their families will go on shopping sprees and spend money in local marketplaces.

At least two diplomats from Asian countries conceded that they were not aware of such a regulation.

"The visa regime should have bilateral provisions to provide for diplomats to visit each other's countries, to say the least," said an Asian envoy who is of the opinion that "the chances of misuse of official prerogative is minimal in the case of diplomats who are still in active service."

He said: "In fact, we carry fond memories of some countries where we have served and it will be worthwhile to visit these countries to revive the taste buds of our memories."

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