Rise of New Economic Plans in UAE

September 06, 2021

According to government officials, the UAE plans to launch 50 new economic initiatives over the next nine years in order to boost the country’s competitiveness and attract 550 billion dirham’s ($150 billion) in FDI. The projects announced on Sunday were investments in technology and the creation of new visas to attract residents and skilled workers.

Over the last year, the Gulf state has taken several steps to attract investment and foreigners in order to help the economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The changes also coincide with the region’s growing economic rivalry with Gulf neighboring Saudi Arabia for the role of trade and commercial hub. These projects, the UAE and the Emirates Development Bank will invest 5 billion dirham’s in industrial technology and technology-heavy sectors, said Sultan al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, during a press conference.

“The UAE’s desire for the next 50 years is to become a global player across various industries,” Sarah al-Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, told Reuters. “We’ve been aiming for the area for the past five decades. We are now working hard to ensure that many of our sectors are globally competitive.”

Officials said on Sunday that two new visa categories will be created to attract and retain foreigners with desirable skills: one for freelancers and one for entrepreneurs and skilled workers. Foreigners in the UAE typically have renewable visas that are only valid for a few years and are tied to employment. According to officials, the new “green visa” for skilled workers will allow more flexibility for sponsoring family members and more time to find a new job after one employment ends. Last year, the UAE expanded a “golden” visa system that grants 10-year residency to more categories, a move that Dubai claimed could boost economic growth by up to 1%.

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