UAE citizens will from Tuesday be able to visit China without obtaining a pre-entry visa.
An agreement signed between the two countries last year comes into effect on January 16, allowing UAE nationals travelling with regular passports to stay in China for up to 30 days.
This followed the UAE’s granting of visa on arrival entry to Chinese passport holders in 2016.
Ministry of Foreign affairs assistant undersecretary for consular affairs Ahmed Saeed Elham Al Dhaheri said the memorandum between the tow countries reflects the stature attained by the UAE and strengthens bilateral relations.
“The UAE has become a model for good governance, moderation and peaceful co-existence and a symbol for achievement and excellence at the international levels,” he said.
Government figures released in December showed the UAE had seen 800,000 Chinese visitors over the past year from 600,000 in 2016.
However, only 10,000 Emiratis have visited China in 2017, according to the country’s embassy in Abu Dhabi.
China opened a Middle East visa application centre in Dubai in September in an attempt to speed of applications.
Dubai has air links to 13 Chinese cities, as well as Hong Kong, with more than 100 weekly flights. China is the city’s biggest trading partner and the UAE’s second largest trading partner thanks largely part to oil exports.
The two countries are also working on trade links as part of the One Belt, One Road initiative including at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi.