File photo of a UAE residence visa being readied by an official for placement in a passport Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE residents have welcomed the new entry and residency visa rules in UAE, saying this a major step to enhance the quality of life for expats and their businesses.

Existing Golden Visa holders said there was now more clarity to the rules and regulations laid by the government regarding their long-term residencies.

Adam Long

British expat Adam Long, 42, managing director and owner of SOLE Agency, a music and entertainment booking agency, said: “When I received the golden visa, I was not sure of all the benefits. The obvious benefit was a cost saving to my family based here in Dubái. Instead of renewing our visas every three years, we will now do it every ten years. But with the latest news, there is greater clarity.”

Rays Rahaf Raef Kobeissi

Lebanese expat Rays Rahaf Raef Kobeissi, 35, entrepreneur and founder of Rays Your Mental Health, said the new system of 10 different types of entry visas will help expand her business in a big way. “The ease of organising visas to get people into your business has greatly improved. Not just that, all my doubts are cleared,” said Kobeissi who also holds a Golden Visa.

“When you run a business with a mission and a vision, such news from the government is really big. I am grateful to live in the UAE,” she added.

Danabelle Gutierrez

Filipina expat Danabelle Gutierrez, 38, who is an author, actress and photographer, said the announcement has opened up new possibilities for many. Born in Las Piñas and raised in Cairo, Vienna, and Muscat, Gutierrez now lives in Dubai. She has been granted the Golden Visa. “It came a saving grace in my life. I was out of a full-time job and I needed a visa to stay back. I can now sponsor my mother who currently lives in Austria,” she said.

Dr Mike Cheetham

Dr Mike Cheetham, global business director of Hotpack Global, said: “The UAE government’s decision on visa reforms will make foreigners feel more welcome. People will now see the UAE in a different light, not just as a place to work short-term, but as a destination to make a home for themselves and their families. With the influx of new consumers, the manufacturing and retail sectors will benefit immensely. We are going to see a massive boost in spending. Overall, these laws are a blessing for professionals and entrepreneurs alike in the UAE and are sure to get people more excited to invest in the country.

Rakesh Wahi

Rakesh Wahi, chairman - CMA Investment Holdings, Co- Founder - Transnational Academic Group & Curtin University Dubai, said: “Our family has been residents in Dubai for the last 33 years. As we get older, it provides comfort to us being able to live here through our retirement and have a degree of certainty regarding succession and on investments.”

Ali Shabdar

Ali Shabdar, regional director of Zoho Corp, said the influx of new immigrants will stimulate the economy significantly. “It will create new jobs, expanding the available talent pool, and increasing demand for products. All sectors of the economy are going to benefit from this and will provide ample opportunity for investors to take advantage of the massive growth potential that these new laws have brought to the UAE,” he said.

Dr Mostafsa Al Guezeri

Dr Mostafsa Al Guezeri, managing director of Hitachi Energy in UAE & Oversight Countries, said with the announcement, the UAE is going to see an increase in its productive workforce. “The increased population will cause a surge in the demand for sustainable development in the energy sector. The changes that these new laws are going to bring about are something to look forward to as they are going to usher in a new era of prosperity for the country as it becomes even more connected with the rest of the world. We commend the vision of the UAE leaders.”