More innovation in both regulation and technology seems to be the leitmotif of the Dubai Government, and the introduction of the 10-year visa clearly reflects that. While start-ups can reasonably expect further encouragement to help them in their journey, it is the return of investment that will enable start-ups to foster an entrepreneurial spirt and drive growth.
Getting a positive return on investment as a new business can be difficult and very often seems like pushing a heavy rock up a hill when someone’s timing you. Similarly, raising investments is time consuming, and there is the constant fear that you’ll run out of money and be forced to close up. With this new rule, start-ups will have time to prove their mettle, while encouraging investors to fund their businesses.
When an entrepreneur puts time, money and effort in a business, it is fair that they expect a return. In our experience, start-ups need at least three years to get to $1 Million and then at least two to three more to consolidate that growth, and this new move provides for stability during that period. It will not only give start-ups a chance to to align their practises, but also their profits.
It is an acknowledged fact that the new rule will help founders of start-ups to build business and create new jobs. However, it will also be beneficial for investors, who will now have considerable time to track the progress of the start-up and then decide on the investment. In addition, it will also align basic legal requirements ensuring transparency, guarantee investor participation and prevent chances of frauds.
In the UAE, the start-up sector has put itself on the international commerce map. The MENA territory now reportedly boasts over 3,000 start-ups and the last few years have seen several raise more than $1 billion.
This has been possible due to several incubators and initiatives, including the Accelerator Programme from Entrepreneur’s Organisation (EO), that ensure entrepreneurs have the right support they need to grow.
As such, the introduction of the 10-year visa rule is a positive indication and also brings Dubai ahead of other countries that provide start-up visas, which typically are for a five-year period. It makes Dubai the premier start-up destination in the Middle East. We welcome the move that will bring more entrepreneurs to the fold in increasing innovation and change.
One of the core values of a start-up is being a student of opportunity, and this is an opportunity to become a part of the most dynamic entrepot in the world.
Mathew Mazhuvanchery is a member of EO Accelerator, an incubator for start-ups.