KARACHI: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani has expressed gratitude to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government for establishing “Asia’s largest” visa center in Karachi, according to a statement from the UAE’s consulate in the metropolis. The visa center inaugurated in November 2021 and officially launched in April 2023, aiming to improve customer service and facilitate the entry of Pakistanis into the UAE through electronic gates at the ports. This move is likely to strengthen the close diplomatic and defense relations between the two countries.
With over 1.5 million Pakistanis residing in the UAE, constituting 12.5 percent of the country’s total population, Pakistani expats in the UAE have remitted a whopping $5.10 billion back home in 2022. Gilani, who paid a special visit to the UAE visa center, praised the Emirati government for providing job visas and other facilities to Pakistanis and expressed his hope that the love of the honorable founder of the UAE toward Pakistanis would continue to grow with each passing day.
The UAE’s Consul General Karachi, Bakheet Ateeq Al Remeithi, welcomed Gilani at the consulate and reaffirmed that the Emirati government and people would always stand by their Pakistani brothers. The UAE’s financial support of $1 billion to Pakistan, as confirmed by Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar last month, is likely to help the South Asian country revive its $6.5 billion IMF loan program and alleviate its worsening economic crisis.
The establishment of the visa center is likely to benefit Pakistani travelers, businesses, and investors who seek to explore the UAE’s vast economic opportunities. The move expected to boost tourism, trade, and bilateral relations between Pakistan and the UAE, creating a win-win situation for both countries.