The United Arab Emirates has announced the first phase of its plan to kick the country into high gear, and the first announcements are huge.
The country announced a green visa, which will permit residency for pioneers, entrepreneurs and other professionals in the green space.
Green visa holders will be able to sponsor their children’s visas until they turn 25, which is more than the usual age of 18. They will also be able to sponsor their parents.
There will also be a country-wide freelance visa, making it easier for residents to stay in the country and have more flexibility with their work rather than being tied directly to one employer.
Also, the UAE is attempting to attract 100 coders every single day—offering a total of 100,000 Golden Visas to the best coders in the world –to turn the country into a community of coders.
“We want to be home to the best talent — one of the Silicon Valleys of the world,” said Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. “We want to export technology to the world and have the UAE’s data law become the gold standard for the world.”
Foreign residents make up more than 80% of the population of the UAE’s seven sheikhdoms and have been a mainstay of the economy for years. Oil-rich Gulf states have been forced to consider long term residency for foreigners as they seek to attract investment and diversify.
The UAE has previously announced a plan to grant visas of five to 10 years to wealthy property investors, entrepreneurs and “specialized talents and researchers.