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3-year travel ban to Lebanese Republic ended

In 2016, the UAE banned its citizens from traveling to Lebanon. Citing concerns over the political climate in the Lebanese Republic, both the UAE as well as Saudi Arabia have voiced concerns over this country. Lebanon is located next to war-torn Syria and is home to the heavily-armed Hezbollah group backed by the two Gulf states’ main adversary, Iran.
Based on what Lebanese officials are calling positive talks and on the support for Lebanon from Abu Dhabi, the UAE has lifted its 3-year travel ban today. Additionally, the Beirut government is seeking help from the UAE from the country’s economic crisis.

Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Hariri led a delegation to Abu Dhabi where he stated he was hopeful the UAE would invest funds into his country’s central bank. He added that Lebanon is hoping for investments in food, oil, gas, infrastructure, and renewable energy.

Lebanon currently has one of the world’s highest debt burdens coupled with slow growth and a decaying infrastructure. Because of today’s announcement, dollar bonds issued by Lebanon rose.

In return, Beirut has promised to implement reforms that have been long delayed. All of what lead up to this has caused a loss of confidence by international investors, so the support of the UAE will be a strong shot in the arm for positive economic reform.

Central bank Governor Riad Salameh said that Lebanon has “numerous possibilities” as it looks for assistance, but presently it is counting on support from UAE.