OPN UAE permanent residency-1558530249740
Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

The momentum has been building since March when the UAE announced sweeping reforms in its visa system and it has culminated with the launch of the Gold Card permanent residency — another milestone in the UAE’s unstinting efforts to be the destination of choice for top talent from across the world. By granting the Gold Card residency to distinguished individuals and exceptional talents whose contributions have greatly accelerated the pace of its success story, the UAE is taking its relationship with its expatriates to a new level.

The visa reforms announced earlier this year for investors, professionals, researchers and outstanding students — with tenures of five or ten years — were in the vanguard of the UAE’s push for 21st century excellence and the Gold Card has gone further ahead of these reforms. Already, the first 6,800 expatriates from more than 70 countries have been identified for the Gold Card, whose current investments in the UAE are estimated at Dh100 billion.

The tales of expatriates heading to the UAE to realise their dreams are legion and the country has been the regional, and arguably even an international, lodestar for decades. As a regional powerhouse and a global poster example of excellence in nation-building, the UAE has helped transform the lives of millions of expatriates and the revised visa tenures and the Gold Card are the strongest reaffirmations of the evolving symbiosis between the UAE and its expatriate community.

The economic, intellectual and societal payoffs for a host country that offers permanency of stay to expatriates who have contributed immensely to its growth are indisputable.

As entrepreneurs and High Net Individuals (HNIs), UAE expatriates have built business empires and created jobs, impacted consumer spending and the availability of goods and services and been magnets for drawing international skill sets and innovators. As specialists and knowledge bearers, they have helped expand and enrich UAE’s knowledge economy. Now, with the comfort derived from the knowledge of long-term stability, it will ensure that expat savings remain within the country, all of it ploughing back into the national grid. Many expatriates have spent their entire lives in the UAE, their roots are deeper here than in their home countries. So this opportunity to forge a permanent bond with the country is indeed historic. In fact, the Gold Card initiative is a great incentive to pursue dreams in the UAE more vigorously.