Canadians wishing to travel to the United Arab Emirates will have to pay stiff visa fees of up to $1,000, according to the Middle East country's embassy in Ottawa.

A new fee structure posted on the embassy's website says that Canadians must fork over $250 for a 30-day visa, $500 for a three-month visa and a whopping $1,000 for a six-month, multiple-entry visa.

Canada had been one of more than 30 countries whose citizens could travel to the U.A.E. on a free one-month visa. The new fees, which are unusually high by international standards, appear to represent the latest episode in a diplomatic row over landing rights for U.A.E.-based airlines in Canada.

The oil-rich country's two national, government-owned air carriers have been seeking permission to increase the number of flights to and from Canadian airports. Frustration regarding the course of those negotiations has apparently led the U.A.E. government to take a number of retaliatory steps.

Dubai expelled hundreds of Canadian troops from a semi-secret military base on its soil earlier this fall. The Canadian military had enjoyed rent-free access to Camp Mirage for the past nine years. The base served as a key transit point for troops shuttling to and from Afghanistan. Relocating to a new base may cost more than $300 million.

The new visa regulations were first announced in early November, as Canadian troops were vacating Camp Mirage.

At the time the U.A.E.'s ambassador to Canada, Mohamed Abdulla Al Ghafli, told the Canadian Press that the decision to institute visa fees was "based on a policy of reciprocity." He cited Canada's own fees for Emirati travellers, which range from $75 to $150.

Weeks later, the U.A.E.'s economic minister, Sultan Al Mansouri, said that Canada's relationship with his country had been "destroyed" by the airline dispute and by remarks made by Canadian officials.

"There have been some statements made from the Canadian side, which were sometimes very fiery statements," Al Mansouri was quoted as saying in Abu Dhabi's The National newspaper. "This is not the way relationships between two countries are handled."

In late November, then transport minister John Baird defended how Ottawa handled the landing-rights negotiations, arguing that "literally tens of thousands of jobs" were at risk at home.

Don Martin, the host of CTV's Power Play, called the pricy fees "a slap on the wrist" but said it's unlikely Ottawa will retaliate.

"I don't know really what you can do. I mean, we are a nation of free-traders. We don't want to start erecting tariffs to specific countries just because they irritate us," he said. "All they can really do is say, ‘hey your airlines aren't getting any more access because you're not exactly high on our best-friends-forever list.'"

More than 25,000 Canadian live and work in the U.A.E., which is Canada's largest trading partner in the Arab world according to Al Mansouri.