UAE visa
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Pioneers of charity and humanitarian work have become the latest recipients of the UAE Golden Visa, in recognition and appreciation of the vital efforts they do for a country that has been for years the world’s largest donor of development assistance in proportion to its gross national income.

The announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on the occasion of World Humanitarian Day is not just to thank and reward those involved in the humanitarian work but also to encourage others to engage in this noble mission.

Aid workers, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted on Wednesday, are “ambassadors of the UAE and role models, instilling pride in us all”. They are also a mirror to the nature of the UAE culture of helping the less fortunate. As the Vice-President pointed out, since its establishment in 1971, the UAE has contributed Dh320 billion in foreign aid to more than 180 countries across the world.

In 2003, Sheikh Mohammed founded the Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC), the largest humanitarian hub in the world. It is the only non-profit, independent, humanitarian free-zone authority hosting a community of around 80 members comprised of UN organisations, non-profits and non-governmental organisations, in addition to commercial companies. Ten years ago, it was relocated to its current strategic location near Al Maktoum Airport and close to Jebel Ali Port. More recently, it has become one of the leading global centres for UAE and international aid in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition, in 2016, the UAE launched a five-year foreign assistance policy, identifying priority partner countries and global themes, such as transport and urban infrastructure, government effectiveness, empowerment and protection of women.

Since then, the UAE remained on top of the world donors of humanitarian aid and development assistance. And as we celebrate the nation’s Golden Jubilee, Sheikh Mohammed noted, the UAE will continue to develop “impactful humanitarian initiatives” and recognise and empower “those implementing them”.

Therefore, granting humanitarian and aid workers the Golden Visa is the country’s ultimate recognition of “the hope makers” — the humanitarian sector’s pioneers, groups, specialists and workers, “so that the UAE can become a second home” to these exceptional individuals, Sheikh Mohammed said.

The UAE has been built by the founding fathers on the principle of tolerance, coexistence and helping the less fortunate. The Golden Visa initiative is the country’s way to recognise and embrace those who share this vision and dedicate their time and talent to contribute to the realisation of this vision.