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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Long-term residents will help shape the UAE's future

Visa pioneers have a vital role to play in next phase of the nation’s evolution

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences. Chris Whiteoak / The National

With excellent living and working conditions and a warm welcome for people of all faiths, the UAE has been able to attract expertise from around the world to help it to achieve its goals. Now the awarding of the first of the country’s new long-term residency visas to winners and finalists of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinction signals that the focus has shifted to retaining it.

It is barely eight months since the Cabinet announced an overhaul of the visa system that would allow specialists in medical, scientific and technical fields to stay in the UAE for up to ten years. With the affixing of the coveted pink residency visa in the passports of 20 experts in fields ranging from nanotechnology to aerospace engineering, the new system is now very much up and running.

The objective is clear: to boost the country’s role as an incubator of talent and innovation and, equally importantly, to foster creative thinking in young people in the Emirates– a vital part of the drive to transform the UAE into a knowledge-based economy equipped to forge a competitive future in a post-oil world.

This initiative means that some of the most talented scientists and academics will be able to plan long-term projects. By giving young academics and scientists the opportunity to interact with leading experts from around the world, the scheme will help the UAE to make its research and development capabilities.

This month also saw the launch of the National Experts Programme, under which talented Emiratis will be mentored by experts in fields deemed vital to the nation’s future prosperity.

As witnessed by the launch last year of the first satellite designed and built entirely by Emirati engineers, the UAE is on track to excel in some of the most demanding of disciplines. Now, for the first recipients of the new visas and for the country with which they have chosen to share their expertise, the opportunities are endless.

Updated: January 17, 2019 06:08 PM

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