UAE rolls out plan to invest in economy

Dubai, Sep 05 (AP):
The United Arab Emirates announced Sunday a major plan to stimulate its economy and liberalise stringent residency laws for expatriates, as the country seeks to overhaul its finances and attract foreign residents and capital.
The country’s plan to lure foreign talent reflects a growing contrast with the other oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf that are becoming increasingly protectionist.
Although many of the Emirati ministers’ promised overhauls remained vague at a press conference, their intentions to boost spending after the devastation of the pandemic and loosen laws to draw more residents was clear. Abdulla bin Touq, the minister of the economy, pledged that the Emirati government would pour some USD 13.6 billion into the economy over the next year. He laid out a raft of investment opportunities for countries to boost development by 10 per cent in the coming years. We are confident that these projects in the support of investment will make (the UAE) one of the most competent economies in the world, he proclaimed at the government’s first large in-person press conference since the pandemic. The UAE for years since its independence has tied employment to residency status, giving employers outsized power and forcing people to immediately leave the country once they lost their jobs. The new plans give residents more time to seek other jobs after termination, allow youth over age 15 to gain employment as they live with their parents, and enable widows and divorced couples to live longer without visa restrictions in the country. UAE would be issuing two new kinds of visas, Green Visa and Freelancer Visa. Green visa holders can sponsor their parents, can sponsor their sons until the age of 25. Once expired, holders have a 90-180 days grace period. It will be granted to top achievers including students, investors, businessmen and those with specialised skills. Freelance visas will be granted to owners of independent businesses, or self-employed individuals. Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications said that Digital economy is the future and the UAE is going to be a big player in exporting digital talent. 100,000 golden visas for technology talent is going to be a game changer in attracting talent. We are going to have the highest share of female coders in the UAE. He also said that the UAE will add 3,000 coders per month to the workforce in the national economy, at a rate of 100 coders per day. The UAE is also drafting a technical information law, the first in the Middle East to regulate and develop the language of the future.

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