Permanent residency scheme aims to attract wealthy individuals and ‘exceptional talents’ to Gulf state
The United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday it has launched a permanent residency scheme to attract wealthy individuals and highly skilled workers to the oil-rich Gulf country.
The “Golden Card” program is open to investors and “exceptional talents” such as doctors, engineers, scientists and artists, said U.A.E. Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who is also Dubai’s ruler. “We want them to be permanent partners in our journey. Residents are an indispensable part of our country,” he said in a statement.
A first group of 6,800 investors with investments totaling 100 billion dirhams ($27 billion) were being given permanent residency, he said.
It is the first such scheme in the Gulf, where foreigners are generally only given limited duration residence permits under the “kafala” sponsorship system.
Foreigners account for 90 percent of the population of around nine million in the U.A.E., the Arab world’s second-largest economy which has seen rapid development in recent years.