Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 17 September 2019

Permanent residency visas reflect the nation's values

Groundbreaking initiative will create and nurture long-term commitment to the UAE

New Gold Card permanent residency visas will be given to exceptional and talented individuals. Alamy
New Gold Card permanent residency visas will be given to exceptional and talented individuals. Alamy

On Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the launch of a new and unprecedented programme. The Golden Card scheme gives selected foreign nationals permanent residency in the UAE. This groundbreaking initiative is the latest in a series of immigration reforms that, it is hoped, will encourage specially chosen people who have made their homes and careers here to stay. Last year, the government pledged to give out five and 10-year visas to talented professionals, academics and long-term investors, but the Golden Card goes even further.

Nearly 7,000 beneficiaries have already been carefully picked to receive permanent residency. Leading business figures have cheered the news. Experts believe that allowing such individuals the right to settle here full-time will boost the nation’s property market. Retaining the skills of highly qualified professionals will also create and maintain a deeper pool of local talent for businesses and government institutions to draw upon. Every year, thousands of people from all over the world are attracted by the many opportunities offered by the UAE, from career advancement within the country’s many high-profile companies to the chance to set up their own businesses. However, their lives here have always been temporary. The Golden Card scheme will encourage a shift in perspective, allowing residents to make a lasting commitment to the nation, and vice versa.

Beyond its economic advantages, offering permanent residency to foreign nationals is a highly symbolic move – one that perfectly illustrates the progressive values of pluralism and innovation at the heart of the UAE’s dynamic, forward-looking society. In Sheikh Mohammed’s words: "The Golden Card is our way to welcome all those seeking to be a part of the UAE’s success story and making it a second home." In recognition of this, people who have played vital roles in this country’s evolution have been recognised by the scheme. As BR Shetty, the founder of NMC Healthcare who has lived in the capital since 1973, says, permanent residency is a “Ramadan blessing, a golden gift to all those who have contributed positively in developing this great country”. His words convey a sense of pride and belonging that the UAE’s Golden Card programme seeks to nurture in many more people, for generations to come.

Updated: May 22, 2019 07:13 PM

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