Canadians headed to the United Arab Emirates will have to pay as much as $1,000 for new visa requirements starting in January.


Canada has been involved in an escalating spat with the United Arab Emirates since refusing its two state-run airlines more landing rights in Canadian airports.

The move is the latest development in a swelling diplomatic dispute between Ottawa and the U.A.E. over airline landing rights at Canadian airports that also saw Canada evicted from a key military base in Dubai.  

The U.A.E. embassy in Ottawa announced on its website this week that Canadians would be charged $250 for a 30-day single-entry visa, which must be obtained prior to travel.

Meanwhile, a six-month multiple entry visa would cost $1000, with a maximum stay of 14 days during each visit, the embassy said.  

Canada was previously among the 30 nations granted visa waivers by the U.A.E., but the embassy announced in November that Canadians would be required to obtain a visa ahead of travel to the country starting on Jan. 2.

Opposition critics have slammed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government for its handling of relations with the U.A.E. — a key Mideast trading partner that had provided the Canadians with free use of the once-coverted military base known as Camp Mirage to stage operations in Afghanistan.

A spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon indicated Tuesday the looming visa requirement would not change the government's decision.

"Canada is a sovereign nation, and we make our decisions based on what is in the best interests of Canadians," said Melissa Lantsman.

With files from The Canadian Press