Good news to Lebanon was announced yesterday right after the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation announced the lifting of the 3-year travel ban on Emirati citizens traveling to Lebanon. The ban was previously imposed in 2016 as a result of the Syrian conflict and the UAE's concerns over its citizens' safety in Lebanon.
This new decision came as a result of recent talks between Prime Minister Saad Hariri and senior Emirati officials, including Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, at the sideline of UAE-Lebanon investment forum aiming to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries.
According to Emirates News Agency, UAE Ministry's Under-Secretary Khalid Balhoul stated that "the decision came following an extensive follow up by the Ministry to the border security and after obtaining related guarantees from the Lebanese Government."
"The decision to lift the travel ban emanates from the keenness to strengthen UAE's fraternal relations with the Lebanese Republic," he added.
The lifting of the travel ban was highly welcomed by the Lebanese tourism industry expressing hope and high expectations in the return of Emirati travelers, which will support the country's economy.
From his side, Minister of Tourism Avedis Guidanian applauded on Tuesday the decision of the lifting of the travel ban, stating that "this step will lead to the return of Emirati tourists, and will encourage the return of UAE investments, which in turn will increase tourism spending.
Hours after the lifting ban was put into effect, Lebanon started witnessing an increase in the Emirati tourists as the latest news announced that this weekend flights from UAE to Lebanon through Etihad airlines are fully booked.
Back in February, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry released a statement from the United Arab Emirates announcing that the country would soon lift the travel ban on its citizens to come to Lebanon.