Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 November 2019

Golden Cards have triggered a mentality shift

The scheme is encouraging local and international investment and ripening the UAE property market

 Abu Dhabi to collaborate with US based EPRI on research and innovation. Victor Besa / The National.
 Abu Dhabi to collaborate with US based EPRI on research and innovation. Victor Besa / The National.

Just two months after Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, unveiled the Golden Card programme, the UAE’s very first permanent residency scheme is already starting to bear fruit. Buoyed by the programme, an impressive eight in 10 UAE residents and investors are now planning to grow their investment portfolios in the country, according to a recent poll by Lootah Real Estate Development.

The beneficiaries of this ambitious scheme are awarded 10-year visas that are automatically renewed, with the aim of stimulating foreign investment, retaining local talent and developing the property market. Last month, Sheikh Mohammed announced that 6,800 people from 70 countries will receive the visa, many of them business people and entrepreneurs who helped shape the UAE we know today. They include Yusuff Ali, Lulu Group’s managing director and BR Shetty, founder of NMC Healthcare, who have both called the UAE home for more than four decades. Permanent residency is a way for the nation to give back to accomplished individuals who have contributed to its success story, rewarding their loyalty and encouraging them to keep living, working and investing here. At the same time, the move is growing confidence among overseas investors. A heartening one quarter of non-investors polled said the scheme has encouraged them to contemplate investing in the UAE for the first time.

Nearly two out of three UAE residents now plan to invest in property, mostly in Dubai. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, chief executive at Lootah Real Estate Development believes that this will drive the property market “to a boom”, as renters become buyers and settle here for the long-run. Permanent residency is proving to be a winning strategy to ripen the property market and diversify the economy. It follows a raft of impressive social and economic reforms, designed to prepare the nation for its post-oil future. But most importantly, Golden Cards are spurring a mentality shift, giving successful residents the sense of longevity and belonging they need to plan their futures in the UAE.

Updated: July 11, 2019 04:03 PM

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