New 10 Year Visa Announced for Investors and Professionals in the UAE

United Arab Emirates

The UAE recently announced that it would issue 10 year visas for professionals and investors and allow 100% ownership in mainland companies.

These changes come as part of a plan to encourage foreign investment and attract talent and will be implemented at the end of 2018 as part of reforms focusing on fostering growth in professions and industries that meet the UAE’s specific needs.

Speaking at a seminar in Dubai, the Chief Economic Advisor at the Department of Economic Development, Dr Raed Safadi said key criteria of the new law will be to attract investors and bring in all kinds of talent (source).

Technology entrepreneurs, influencers, high-end individual investors and specialists in the areas of science, space, and medicine would be eligible for the 10-year visa.

Replying to a question about the eligibility of doctors, engineers and architects to be part of the 10-year programme, Dr Al Mulla, Executive Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, said he didn’t expect all these categories will be eligible.

“However, some specialists could be included in certain fields like medicine and so on but I don’t think it will be overall for everyone,” he added.

It is expected that the new reforms will be focused on those professions and industries that meet the UAE’s strategic needs.

Moreover, professionals holding a master’s degree or equivalent, a certain minimum salary bracket and certain designation – directors, etc. – could also be considered, he added.

On the possible eligibility for 100% ownership in the mainland, Dr Al Mulla said we still need to await full details.

“But from what we have seen, the government is looking for global companies with global means like Google to start with. Those multinationals whose businesses are spread all over the continents. I think technology entrepreneurs, for example, Tesla and so on, are the type of companies that will be part of 100 per cent foreign ownership. I think once they try it and see how it works, then they may start expanding it to other companies and industries. But to start with, it will be these multinationals.” (source)

Full details are yet to be released, but it is believed the move will attract foreign investors and boost the economy. It will also give people a sense of security about their future in the UAE so watch this space!