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The full benefits from the back-to-back launches of new residency visas is starting to filter through UAE's economy. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE’s issuance of longer term residency visas and those for remote working have bene the biggest motivating factors in attracting tech experts. The benefits from doing so are starting to show up in the local economy and within the tech sector.

And to address inflationary pressures, UAE is now offering select startups office space with two years of free rent and health insurance for employees, all the while making it easier for talent to attain work visas. It also established incubators such as Dubai’s Area 2071 and recruited venture capital firms to establish local offices.

Before the pandemic, the global shortage of tech workers was expected to reach 4.3 million by 2030. “The pandemic has heightened demand for digital services - Dubai recognized this appeal very early on in the game, attracting tech experts from four corners of the world,” said Faisal Hamady, Managing Director and Partner at the consultancy Boston Consulting G. “A major catalyst in talent attraction is Dubai’s ongoing visa offerings which are a first in the region and further grounded the hub as one of excellence.”

Policy mix

BCG, which studied Dubai and other global tech hubs, said a right mix of policies could enhance a region’s appeal as far as top talent is concerned. “We identified three other key lessons that those other cities and nations can learn from the leading tech hubs we studied,” said Rami Mourtada, Partner and Director, BCG. “These include developing and executing a strategic plan, building on existing strengths, and leveraging anchor companies to build broader hubs.

“With the right mix of policies that leverage existing strengths and enhance their appeal to digital talent and leading tech companies, cities and nations can nurture dynamic tech hubs that will become vibrant centers of international business.”

UAE also launched several initiatives to attract talent in verticals such as agritech, as well as Dh1 billion fund to support New Economy companies. And with the longer term in mind, the government encouraged international universities to establish local campuses to attract top students and encourage the children of current residents to remain in UAE for their higher education.