On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates announced the creation of a new category of visas, the latest in a series of initiatives aimed at luring talent and stimulating economy.
The new ‘Green Visas’ will enable expatriates to apply for jobs without the sponsorship of an employer and will cover children up to the age of 25. Additionally, the administration said that it will enable jobless individuals to remain in the nation for up to 180 days, a significant change given that the majority of visas are related to employment contracts.
Foreign citizens account for more than 80% of the population in the UAE’s seven sheikhdoms and have long been a vital part of the economy. Oil-rich Gulf states have been obliged to consider extending foreigners’ residency rights in order to attract investment and diversify their economies.
Previously, the UAE revealed a plan to award five- to ten-year visas to wealthy property investors, entrepreneurs, and “specialised talents and researchers.”
The United Arab Emirates is strengthening its economic relations with Asia and Africa as part of a bigger strategy to attract $150 billion in foreign investment and recast itself as a worldwide financial and business centre.
The UAE, which has long been the Middle East’s business and financial hub, will pursue economic ties with eight countries, authorities said during a Sunday press briefing. These countries include South Korea, Indonesia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Turkey, where relations with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have improved significantly in recent months following years of regional political tensions.
The Gulf state has been competing regionally with neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is implementing an economic strategy aimed at attracting international investment and luring multinational corporations to establish regional headquarters in the country. The majority of multinational corporations now headquarter their Middle East operations in Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven sheikhdoms.
UAE Economy Minister Abdulla bin Touq said the UAE is targeting 550 billion dirhams ($150 billion) in inward foreign investment over the next nine years and intends to be among the top ten global investment destinations by 2030. It will prioritise investments from Russia, Australia, China, and the United Kingdom.
Uber Technologies Inc’s acquisition of UAE-based ride-hailing business Careem for $3.1 billion in 2019 was one of the most prominent inward investments in recent years. This transaction piqued the interest of regional and worldwide venture capital firms, and desire for funding Middle Eastern businesses has increased in recent years, spurred by the region’s increasing adoption of mobile technologies.
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