Canada and United Arab Emirates agree to enhance cooperation

News release

May 29, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

Canada and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) have a deeply rooted relationship, and yesterday the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, hosted a successful bilateral meeting with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the U.A.E.’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The ministers discussed their desire to build on existing relations to expand trade and investment between Canada and the U.A.E. They also discussed Middle East regional security issues.

In addition, Minister Freeland and Sheikh Abdullah discussed the need to coordinate a global response to the Rohingya crisis. Minister Freeland debriefed Sheikh Abdullah on Canada’s strategy, unveiled on May 23, 2018, to respond to the Rohingya crisis.

The ministers also noted the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation on consular affairs. The MOU will establish a joint committee comprising representatives of the two countries who will meet regularly to discuss consular matters and help to resolve ongoing consular issues and cases.


“I was glad to hold constructive discussions today with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah to find solutions to global and regional crises. Canada and the United Arab Emirates have a strong and long-standing relationship, and I look forward to continuing to build on this important friendship and to cooperating even more closely with the U.A.E. in the near future.’’

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • During the U.A.E. delegation’s visit to Canada this week, discussions between Canadian officials and the delegation also touched on cooperation in the areas of innovation, education, youth and space.

  • During this visit, the Government of Canada also announced its intention to lift the visa requirement for U.A.E. citizens on June 5, 2018. This decision is based on a comprehensive and rigorous evaluation of the U.A.E. against Canada’s visa policy criteria, which found that the U.A.E. meets Canada’s criteria for a visa exemption.

  • In December 2017, Canada and the U.A.E. signed a defence cooperation arrangement to help advance shared interests, including increased personnel training opportunities, defence engagement and the promotion of regional stability.

  • The U.A.E. is home to an estimated 40,000 Canadians, and 150 Canadian companies have an operational presence there.

  • The U.A.E. is Canada’s largest export market in the Middle East and North Africa and is Canada’s 16th-largest export market globally.

  • On May 24, Canada announced its intention to become a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency, which is hosted in Abu Dhabi. The U.A.E. is recognized as a regional leader in efforts to combat climate change.

Associated links


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaFP
Like us on Facebook: Canada’s foreign policy - Global Affairs Canada

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: