The success of national economies, much like the success of individual companies, is predominantly dependent on the ability to correctly predict future talent requirements and put into place timely measures to harness that talent.
In fact, the three crucial driving forces of socio-economic growth predicated on human skills — Incubation, Retention and Entrenchment — are what determine the degree of actualisation of future potential.
The UAE’s decision last November to initiate a long-term visa system for investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, specialised professionals, creative talents of culture and arts and outstanding students came into effect last week, providing a boost to these driving forces of growth.
The new system, with visa durations of five or 10 years to be renewed automatically, enables foreigners to live, work/invest and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor, and with 100 per cent ownership of their businesses in the UAE.
The curation of the human skills categories under the new system deserves full-throated appreciation and acknowledgement as it reveals the acuity of the UAE leadership in identifying the bricks and mortar of economic fortification and social dynamism.
The arc of inclusion, undeniably, augurs well for the dividends to come as it nods in the direction of rapid and sustained growth through critical stimuli: outstanding students, who are the incubators of innovation, and investors, researchers and specialised talents in key fields, who are the disrupters providing the forward momentum.
The new visa system with its extended provision of residence is a bold, and visionary, departure from norm and is set to dramatically strengthen the historical symbiosis between the UAE and its expatriate population who come seeking greener pastures here.
It includes, in the relevant categories, provisions for the stay of spouse and children, ensuring that the indispensable components of a strong economic and social order — stability of contribution and cohesive family culture — are firmly in place.
As His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said in November, while announcing the initiative: “The UAE has been and will remain a destination for talents...and a land to fulfil the dreams of all pioneers.”
In nurturing this pioneering spirit, the UAE’s new system marks another milestone on its path to create conducive conditions for its people to grow and prosper in its world-class environs.