UAE relaxes residency regulations to attract US$150 billion in foreign investment

United Arab Emirates Update

The United Arab Emirates has launched 50 economic initiatives aimed at improving the country’s competitiveness in order to diversify its oil-dependent economy, including attracting US$150 billion in overseas investment within nine years.

Ministers announced some reforms on Sunday-these reforms constitute the Gulf States’ 50 project plan, marking its golden jubilee year. They include relaxing residence rules to attract and retain skilled workers; for decades, the emirate has linked residence and employment together, triggering the departure of expatriates during the economic recession.

The ministers stated that the UAE was established in 1971 and will host a global summit next year to highlight investment opportunities. The goal is to attract US$150 billion for domestic projects by 2030.

Minister of Cabinet Affairs Mohammad al-Gergawi said: “In the past five years, the UAE has opened its doors, ports, sky and economic sectors as a destination for everyone.” “50 projects show the world the next stage of development. Unify economic and investment status.”

Measures announced on Sunday include new visa categories for freelancers and entrepreneurs, allowing skilled workers more flexibility in sponsoring family members, and more time to find work if they are laid off before being required to leave the country .

Other initiatives include the allocation of US$1.36 billion to a National Development Bank to support projects in the UAE, and an additional US$1.36 billion to fund industry adoption of advanced technologies to increase productivity by 30%.

As part of the 14% increase in investment outflows by 2030, the country will also increase its exports to 10 major markets, including China and the United Kingdom, by 10%.

This reform is the latest attempt by the UAE to diversify its hydrocarbon-dependent economy and prepare for a post-oil future. In the past year, the government has shifted its focus from regional geopolitics to economic development, with a view to boosting growth on the country’s path out of the coronavirus pandemic.

These measures come as the Middle East’s largest economy introduces its own reforms to attract foreign investment. The Gulf countries, especially the regional business center Dubai, are facing increasing economic competition from its larger neighbor, Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh threatened Shut out multinational companies If they do not move their regional headquarters to the country and cancel tariff concessions on imports from the UAE, they will get lucrative government contracts.

UAE has announced Social reform Make the country more attractive to expats, who make up 90% of the population of 10 million. These measures include allowing unmarried couples to live together, legalizing drinking, and allowing foreigners to use the country’s legal system for personal matters such as divorce.

Since earlier this year, the country has also allowed foreigners to fully own businesses, abolished the requirement that domestic companies must be majority-owned by UAE nationals, and launched a “golden visa” last year, allowing technical expatriates to extend by 10 Years of residence period.

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