Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s decision to grant one-year residency visas for citizens of countries affected by conflict has been praised by residents who say the move reflects the UAE’s humanitarianism values.

The UAE Cabinet formally announced the new policy on Monday after a Cabinet meeting chaired by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Cabinet said the move was made in line with the UAE’s vision of providing help to those in need irrespective of which country they come from.

As per the new visa rule, citizens from countries that are experiencing conflict or natural disasters will be eligible for a one-year residency visa and also exempt from visa fines. The UAE is home to a large number of expats from countries like Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, to name a few, which are affected by conflicts. “This is a wonderful and wise step that reflects the UAE’s good leadership on ensuring the welfare and happiness of not only its citizens, but also their residents,” said Ihab Ashour, a Palestinian resident who works as an engineer.

“This new policy allows residents to not risk the safety of their relatives by allowing them to stay in the country, which will keep them safe and away from harm and danger. This will provide them with both a physical and psychological security as well as raising morale. We thank the UAE leadership for their role in helping these people to endure through their hardships,” he added.

 The decision by the UAE Cabinet is a very wise one and carries with it a humane policy in dealing with people who are affected by conflict.”

 - Dr Salem Al Saidi | Yemeni doctor

Dr Salem Al Saidi, a doctor from Yemen, also praised the new policy and said: “The decision by the UAE Cabinet is a very wise one and carries with it a humane policy in dealing with people who are affected by conflict.

“Helping other people is not something new or strange for the UAE, it is something the country has always been doing. Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, built this country around the principles of good and helping others. I wish for the best for the UAE leadership and country for this great decision,” he added.

Fadi Al Masri, an Egyptian-Palestinian resident, said the new move reinforced the sense of belonging residents have towards the UAE.

“The UAE is a compassionate nation that embraces people from all around the world, it is a country that always works to try and alleviate the suffering of others. This step reflects the leadership’s understanding and wisdom about the suffering faced by some expatriates because of the political instability in their own countries.

“This generous decision also strengthens the sense of belonging we have to the country even though we are not from the UAE,” he added.