How Abu Dhabi is beckoning global talent for its long-term future
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How Abu Dhabi is beckoning global talent for its long-term future

How Abu Dhabi is beckoning global talent for its long-term future

The emirate’s growing favourability among tourists, families and investors can be attributed to its focus on inclusion, innovation and diversity

Abu Dhabi has garnered a reputation as a hub of tourism, leisure and commerce, undergoing rapid change and development over a relatively short period of time to attract tourists, investors and residents from all over the world.

The emirate has made such strides in recent years that it is now consistently ranked among the best global destinations to live and conduct business, as evinced by its position on the 2021 Global Liveability Index — earning the top spot in the region for the second year in a row.

The emirate’s growing favourability among tourists, families and investors can be attributed to its focus on inclusion, innovation and diversity — with it being home to more than 2.2 million residents of over 200 nationalities — as well as its burgeoning industries, startup ecosystem and infrastructure. In spite of the attractiveness of these offerings, distinguishing factors and opportunities, the UAE leadership and local authorities are working to enact a range of policies and have launched several programmes to create various residency options to attract, and retain  the world’s most talented professionals, creatives and investors.

Established to safeguard the UAE’s long-term future, these initiatives will serve to bolster the local economy, boost the emirate of Abu Dhabi’s prospects and advance its various sectors and industries; all the while enabling gifted people from all over the world to realise their dreams and considerable potential. In order to attract global talent and investment, an emphasis has been placed on making success in Abu Dhabi as accessible as possible to all. This accessibility is built on ease, convenience, streamlined processes and openness.

For instance, as a result of collaborative efforts between various government entities, business setup fees in the emirate have been reduced to Dhs1,000. This reduction in costs will not only improve licensing, but encourage entrepreneurship and foster a sustainable business community. Similarly, requirements to start a new business in Abu Dhabi have also been lowered by 71 per cent, creating more business avenues for foreign investors to explore. While these reductions will prove productive in creating an even greater talent and investment pipeline to Abu Dhabi, it is the launch of the Golden Visa in the emirate that is garnering the most interest.

Launched in February 2021, the ‘Thrive in Abu Dhabi’ programme was established to encourage international residents working, studying, excelling and investing in Abu Dhabi to set down roots in the emirate with their families and support its development through long-term residency. Issued for five or ten years — depending on the category — Golden Visas enable applicants to live, work and study in Abu Dhabi without the need of a national sponsor.

The long-term Golden Visa is ideal for those who have made an outstanding contribution to the country, have exceptional skills or work in key priority sectors:

  • Investors (general and real estate)
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Outstanding students (High school and university graduates)
  • Special talent (Doctors, specialists in engineering and science, scientists, creative intellectuals and artists, inventors, executive directors, specialists in priority educational areas, specialists in the field of early childhood and child development education, sportsmen and PhD holders)

Candidates interested in applying for the Golden Visa in Abu Dhabi can take advantage of the eligibility tool on the Abu Dhabi Resident Office’s (ADRO) website. Applicants will find the various Golden Visa categories available to them simply by answering questions on their professional background, recent investments and/or academic history. The requirements and documentations to support a Golden Visa application varies based on the visa’s category. Applicants can find a full list of these requirements and methods to apply through ADRO’s website.

To apply for the Golden Visa in Abu Dhabi, applicants can visit the following:

  • TAMM Centre (located at Baniyas Tower), 40 Al Sough Street – Zone 1, E11
  • One Stop Shop, Incubator Building, Entrance 3, Masdar City – Khalifa A

Additionally, applicants can also apply online through the Federal Authority for Identity & Citizenship (ICA) website.

For applicants already in the UAE, once all required documents are successfully submitted, the initial approval will take up to 48 hours. After the cancellation of the applicant’s current visa and a completed medical assessment, the Golden Visa will be issued within three to five working days. Interested applicants residing outside of the UAE (non-UAE residents) are encouraged to directly get in touch with the Abu Dhabi Residents Office ([email protected]).

All in all, the Golden Visa aims to create life-long opportunities for the most talented and ambitious people in the world, bringing them all together to accomplish their life and professional goals, while making Abu Dhabi the best place in the world to live.

Sameh Al Qubaisi is the executive director, executive affairs office at Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED)

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