KARACHI: United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador Hamad Obaid Alzaabi has revealed that the UAE Consulate will open a visa centre in Karachi, which will become operational in the first week of September this year.
Another visa centre in Islamabad would also become functional in the first week of October and would provide all facilities in Pakistan, he said.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Friday, the UAE envoy said, “Everything will be here including medical insurance, check-ups, contracts, etc to facilitate visa issuance from the visa centre in Karachi, which will be the biggest visa centre of Asia.”
The entire team for the centre would come from the UAE, he said.
The ambassador said relations between Pakistan and the UAE had always been very strong but there was a need to further build the ties by exploring opportunities and potential areas for enhancing trade and investment.
“Governments of the UAE and Pakistan are working very hard to narrow the gap, find opportunities and tap the potential for trade and investment,” he added.
“We are trying to find new areas of cooperation where we can work together and are also examining the challenges so that these could be addressed by the UAE authorities.”
He informed businessmen that the UAE was now offering Silver Investment Visa for five years and Golden Investment Visa for 10 years, which were being issued under specific criteria and depending on the size of a company and the amount being invested.
Alzaabi stressed the need for establishing a legal framework between the UAE and Pakistan in order to encourage and save investments made in either country.
Acknowledging the KCCI president’s suggestion of striking an agreement between chambers of the two countries, he said it was important to have a framework so that there was no gap and business potential could be gauged.“We are ready to support you and whatever you need, we are always there at the UAE consulate in Karachi to assist you.”
Speaking on the occasion, KCCI President Junaid Esmail Makda expressed the intention of signing a memorandum of understanding with the UAE Chamber in order to improve trade and investment ties and bring business communities closer to each other.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2019.