Emiratis can now visit all EU countries without a Schengen visa [Aljareeda]. The decision will be approved by the EU Parliament and go into effect mid next year.
Kuwait still has the strongest Arabic passport, which allows you to enter the most number of countries without a visa. But to be able to visit the EU without a visa, now that trumps our tough passport any day of the week. And twice on Sunday!
Some countries like the UK and Spain do exempt Kuwaitis, but only for special and diplomatic passport holders. Regular Kuwaitis still have to wait in line, apply in person, get bio-metriced, pay huge fees, get approved (or denied), and be questioned for hours at entry points.
Foreign embassies and countries are taking this visa thing too far. One Kuwaiti has been waiting for his student visa from the US for more than a year now, tried the UK but got declined, and is now considering studying in Australia. If you think this is normal and expected for young males, then how about an NBK board member who had his US visa application declined and had to miss his son’s graduation. There are many sorry stories like this, belonging to legitimate Kuwaitis who don’t deserve this low kind of treatment. We’re not immigrants, and we’re not unknowns. The M.O. of Foreign Affairs has to work better and harder, and start standing up for us.
I had a fascinating incident a couple of years ago, and would not wish to have a repeat. And I also remember the days when we used to get visas upon entry, to the UK and other European countries. They truly were Kuwait’s golden days.
A member of the EU parliament told KUNA that this decision can open doors for other countries, like Kuwait, to request the same treatment. So at least that’s something to look forward to. But do you think Kuwait will make a request? I honestly don’t think so. The MOFA doesn’t care about regular people, only about special and diplomat passports.
Yay to the UAE on this wonderful development, but damn shame for Kuwait. We are falling behind everyone in everything. Oh how painful the mighty have fallen. I will end this post with “God Bless Kuwait”.