The United Arab Emirates – The Projects of the 50

The United Arab Emirates has announced the “projects of the 50” as a new economic initiative to boost the country’s development and competitiveness both domestically and internationally. Since its founding in 1971, the country has developed rapidly and now its vision is for the next 50 years.

Now the country has unveiled 13 of its 50 new projects, which include:

Modernization of visa and work permits: The key change introduced as a part of the new project is the restructuring of the entry and residency system existing in the UAE. The new schemes include the package Green Visa and Freelance Visa.

The Green Visa: separates the work permits and residence permits. It allows sponsoring highly skilled individuals, investors, entrepreneurs, top students and graduates to sponsor themselves. It will also allow the sponsorship of young people by their parents until the age of 25 instead of 18. The mandatory period of 30 days to leave the country upon the loss of a job or retirement now has been extended to 90 – 180 days. You can also approach immigration lawyers to know more about the latest amendments. 

Freelance Visa: Another visa scheme includes the Freelancers Visa, which is the first federal scheme of its kind. It enables self-employed workers to sponsor themselves. The new regulations also include the introduction of the Golden Visa which includes CEO specialists in science, engineering, health, education etc. Other specific regulatory changes include an extension of business trip permits from 3 to 6 months, sponsorship of parents under the visa of direct family members and a one-year residency extension for humanitarian causes.

Comprehensive economic partnership agreement: The UAE government has announced to undertake a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with eight key global markets. The aim of the agreements is to achieve AED 40 billion annual increase in its current AED 257 billion trade volume with these markets. Through the agreement country also aims to double the size of the national economy over the next 10 years.

UAE Data Law: The UAE Data Law aims to protect the privacy of institutions and individuals and also empower the individual to control how their personal data are used, stored and shared. UAE Data Law is the first federal law drafted in partnership with major technology companies.

100 Coders: 100 coders program aims to attract 3000 coders every month to the workforce of the country and to facilitate the establishment of programming companies in UAE by providing incentives and benefits through which it can increase the number of coders from 64,000 to 100,000 within 12 months.

PyCon Summit: It is another digital initiative the UAE going to host. It will be the largest programming summit to be held in the Middle East. The summit helps to connect a global community of programmers with the public and private sectors as well as academic institutions. The summit will bring together experts, specialists, talents, and leaders from all over the world to showcase the latest trends and development in the programming and digital economy.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Network: the UAE government launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network to promote the adoption of advanced technologies in the national industrial sectors. The project aims to establish and grow the national companies equipped with the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This platform brings together the national companies to transfer knowledge, and share best practices in the industrial sector on the latest digital trends.

Enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE business environment: in this project, the UAE government has launched three initiatives designed to strengthen the UAE’s ability to keep pace with the ever-developing global economy.

Invest. ae: it is a new electronic portal which acts as an umbrella for all investment-related local entities, and state economic entities and presents all investment opportunities across UAE. This portal provides a wide range of information on the local investment environment, and business and bank account setup services.

Emirates Investment Summit: It is a global summit which connects investment funds with the public and private sectors to create investment opportunities and seeks to build lasting partnerships between the public and private sectors.

10×10: The 10×10 program aims to achieve an annual increase in the country’s export by ten per cent in ten key markets. This project also aims to achieve a 14 per cent growth in increasing foreign direct investment.

AED 5 billion to support Emirati projects: The “Project 5Bn” launched by the UAE government is to support Emirati projects in priority sectors. Emirates Development Bank will allocate the 5 billion to help industrial development, adopt advanced technologies etc.

National In-Country Value Program: Adoption of the National In-Country Value Program at the federal level will make easier the redirection of procurement and contract expenses to the local economy. The program aims to create a demand for local products and services by redirecting 42 per cent of procurement of federal government and major UAE companies to local products and services.

Tech Drive to support Fourth Industrial Revolution: “Tech Drive” is another AED5 billion worth program launched by the UAE government to support advanced technology adoption in the industrial sector. Established in partnership with Emirates Development Bank and aims to achieve an AED25 billion contribution to the GDP and raise productivity by 30 per cent with the support of entrepreneurs in the industrial sector.