The United Arab Emirates embassy in Canada announced it will charge Canadians up to US$998 for visas, pricing that exceeds usual international visa fees.
The embassy posted the new rates on its website, including a 30-day, non-renewable visa that will cost US$249, a three-month visa for US$499, and a six-month multiple entry for US$998.
The fees come into effect Jan. 2, about three months after the UAE announced that Canadians would now be required to get visas. Previously, Canadians, like travelers from the U.S. and 30 other countries, didn't have to apply for a visa and simply had their passports stamped on arrival.
Some 25,000 Canadians live in the Emirates, which is Canada's largest trade partner in the Middle East, according to the UAE. About 200 Canadian companies have operations in the Gulf state.
Melissa Lantsman, a spokeswoman for Canada's foreign affairs minister, said the department was not contacted before the embassy posted the fees on its website.
The UAE's ambassador to Canada could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The UAE's decision to require visas was announced in Nov. amid a bitter dispute between the two countries after Canada's Conservative government refused to grant extra landing rights to two major UAE airlines.
The UAE has pushed Canada for years to win greater access for its state-run carriers Emirates and Etihad Airways, arguing they should be allowed more flights to keep up with demand. The two carriers are growing rapidly by launching long-haul routes that funnel travelers through their hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for connecting flights.
Air Canada has argued against increasing the flights, saying little passenger traffic originates from the UAE. It says the airlines are merely taking Canadians to third countries with stopovers in the Gulf.
The Canadian government's decision to deny greater access to the UAE airlines was based on the assumption that Canadian airlines would suffer, particularly if preferential access were given to Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
Emirates and Etihad each run three flights a week to Canada, from Dubai and Abu Dhabi respectively.
Lantsman told The Associated Press the visa requirement would not sway the government to reverse its decision on landing rights for UAE airlines.
"Canada is a sovereign nation, and we make our decisions based on what is in the best interests of Canadians," said Lantsman.
Since the Conservative government refused the extra landing rights, Emirates officials have ratcheted up the pressure on Ottawa to reverse its mind.
In the past few months, Abu Dhabi barred Canada from using a secretive air base outside Dubai that was expected to play an important role in the drawdown of Canadian troops and equipment from Afghanistan. Canada contributes about 2,900 troops to the NATO-led mission.
A UAE official has said the Emirates lobbied against Canada's bid for a non-permanent United Nations Security Council seat. Canada pulled out of the race after falling behind rivals in an early round of voting in what was seen as a significant setback for the G-7 economic power.