Foreign investors and professional specialists such as doctors and engineers will be able to receive UAE residency visas which will be valid for 10 years. These specialists can come from various professional fields such as medical, scientific, research, and technical fields. It also includes innovators and entrepreneurs. Non-resident students in UAE are given a 5-year visa while exceptional students are given a 10-year visa. Furthermore, global investors are also allowed to have 100 percent foreign ownership.
What is the background for this new law?
This new law on 10-year visa is in line with the theme of the most recent Ministerial Resolutions, Centennial 2071, UAE’s Vision 2021, and the updated Commercial Companies Law. Vision 2021 and Centennial 2071 these two projects cater largely to economic development, business resilience, and innovation especially for SMEs.
This is because the UAE is aiming to position itself as a hub for innovation and leadership. It is being spearheaded by government initiatives. The priorities of the country are meant to include creation of world-class healthcare facilities, having a competent knowledge economy, and implementing first-rate systems of education.
What are the target professions for the 10-year visa law?
The UAE and Dubai are giving more consideration to highly skilled employees. The professions that have been identified to receive a visa of up to 10 years are medicine, engineering, academics, scientific innovation, and research. All these are technical fields that attract the white-collared workers. Exceptional students and innovators from the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) disciplines are also given the visa. The purpose for this is for each of these authorities to stay updated on the global technological trends and to introduce their knowledge to the citizens and residents so they would benefit well from it.
What will be its impact on the property market?
The expats are more focused on the short-term property developments. They tend to channel their money into property or savings schemes found abroad. This is why in 2017 expats were able to remit Dh164.3 billion to the UAE. Such funds can be spent within the local economy if they are given the option to stay in the country permanently for retirement.
How important is 100 percent ownership of foreign companies set up in Dubai and the UAE?
Companies from anywhere in the world can set up business in the UAE but only in free zones. But the sad part is that not all companies can do business in a free zone, like majority of shops and restaurants. Majority of them are based in the UAE. This is under the local law. Such companies are often owned by an Emirati partner by 51 percent. These are the ones that will benefit most from this new law.