UAE Seeks To Lure Top Foreign Talent

The UAE government has approved a new visa system designed to attract top foreign talents in fields such as medicine, science and research to the country, Bloomberg reports Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as saying.

“The United Arab Emirates is the land of opportunities,” Sheikh Mohammed said after a cabinet meeting. Attracting top talents will “add to our economy and future,” he said. He didn’t provide further details.

Under the current law, the UAE. doesn’t offer permanent residency to foreign workers.

Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the vice president of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai, ordered that committees be set up to identify “the vital sectors that will be open for specialised visas, and to draw a plan to attract the most notable, exceptional regional and international talents,” according to a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.

Native citizens of the UAE represent only about 20 per cent of the total population. Roughly one quarter are other Arab and Iranian, one half South Asian, and the remainder other expatriates including Westerners and East Asians. In total, about 90 per cent of the total workforce is expatriate – mostly from India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

Currently, business visas for the UAE are applied for through a business-related sponsor, such as an employer or a local Emirati company. Single-entry business visas are valid for a maximum stay of 30 days within the two month period following the date of issue.

Multiple-entry visas also entitle the holder to a maximum stay of up to 30 days, but remain valid for six months. If necessary, it may be possible to have a business visa extended, for visits lasting longer than 30 days (to a maximum of 90 days), at local immigration offices.