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Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda Abolishes Visa Requirements for UAE Citizens

24 January 2017

Antigua & Barbuda Abolishes Visa Requirements for UAE Citizens
Last week, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, announced that the visa requirements for citizens of the United Arab Emirates will be eliminated for those traveling to the Caribbean twin islands. In other words, visa-free travel will be afforded to UAE citizens going to Antigua and Barbuda, and should take effect within the next 30 days.

UAE Minister of State Reem Al Hashimy was in Browne’s office during a visit to Antigua and Barbuda when the announcement was made. Browne also offered the UAE free land on which to build an embassy on the island, which he called a “gift from the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda.”

Browne also mentioned that Dubai was an inspiration for Antigua and Barbuda. He said, “We’re very impressed with the fact that Dubai does not have any mineral resources, petroleum, gold, bauxite. But notwithstanding, individuals in that country, residents and citizens, enjoy living standards that are second to none.”

In order to emulate the success of Dubai, the islands have big future plans that include building 10,000 new hotel rooms over the next five years and eventually establishing a direct flight from the UAE. With 10,000 more rooms, Browne said that the islands could attract a million more tourists creating a billion dollars in additional revenue for the nation.

Antigua and Barbuda is one of a number of Caribbean countries that offers foreign nationals direct citizenship in return for an investment into the islands’ economy. Property developers are ever more targeting Middle Eastern investors who are in search for second passports that offer visa-free access to countries like Canada and the UK.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program offers applicants the opportunity to receive the security of a second passport for an investment starting as low as US$200,000 for a family of four. The new open borders policy, however, goes beyond just the need for passports. Allowing visa-free travel to a country’s citizens establishes a level of trust between the nations. UAE citizens will now have easier access to a growing economy in the Caribbean, which will bring forth investment opportunities even for those who are not looking for a second passport.

Could Antigua and Barbuda really become the “Dubai of the Caribbean” as Browne aspires? Strengthening ties with the UAE, one of the richest countries in the Middle East, through open borders and the promise of land for an embassy is definitely a power move for the up-and-coming islands of Antigua and Barbuda.

For more information on the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), please click here.

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