A couple of months back, the UAE government stated that it would issue 10-year visas for investors and also approve 100 percent foreign ownership in the country as this would bring up the best talent in the world and also attract foreign investors to directly invest in the country.
Do you think the 10-year visa will change an expatriate’s commitment to the UAE?
Yes, it will give expats much more commitment to the UAE as they know they can potentially stay here for a 10-year term, without worrying about visa renewals and medical testing for them and their families. It will allow expats to potentially put their roots down in the UAE as a 10-year period can provide the stability needed to raise a family and develop a career in Dubai. It also provides the right mindset and certainty for expats to be confident and committed to the country.
Do you think it will lure more people into the job market here?
Yes, potentially it will bring more people into the job market as they know they can develop in their profession for 10 years without worrying about their visas. Also, as more entrepreneurs start their businesses in the UAE due to the 10-year incentive, this in itself will create job opportunities and lure individuals into an expanding job market.
Also, do you think people will have a longer-term, rather than a short-term approach to the UAE?
Yes, as families will be able to plan their future better and with greater certainty through a 10-year visa, which is critical when you consider kids schooling.
Will the UAE become less of a transitional posting – with expats staying longer than the usual two/three years?
As the visa has many conditions, for certain individuals it will always be a transitional post. However, for other individuals especially expat families it will lose that tagline of a transitional posting and move to a mid to long-term posting of 10-15 years.
How will this affect the struggle to find and retain talent in the country?
It will actually be able to keep the talent in the country rather than these expats going back to their home country and should also create new talent coming in as expats would feel more confident to come to the UAE to work as there is greater certainty on their time period of stay for them and their families. Also, as Outstanding students will be eligible for a long-term this encourage professionals to settle in the Emirates long term and retain the talent in the country.
What sectors do you think will benefit from this ruling – eg property?
Yes, the real estate sector will be one of the main beneficiaries, however, it is not limited just to real estate. As entrepreneurs, executives and specialists working in medicine, science or research will be granted Visa. So, this will have a multiplier effect across industries and create much more opportunity for individuals.
How will the property sector benefit?
The property sector will benefit as new investors will come in and purchase assets due to the 10-year visa option. This will create new demand in the market as international investors will see the UAE as an attractive option to invest as it provides long-term residency and will put it in part to other countries that offer residencies like St Kitts and Portugal.