The first set of projects include new and amended visa schemes, comprehensive global campaigns to attract foreign investment, national initiatives to support emerging Emirati companies and boost the quality of national products, partnerships with major economies across the world, and programmes to support the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in all sectors. All of these projects seek to establish the UAE as a global nation and a testbed for technologies and innovation.
The first set of ‘the Projects of the 50’ include:
Modernisation of visa and work permits
Among the package of new regulations is the introduction of the ‘Green visa’, which expands the self-residency status to investors, entrepreneurs, highly skilled individuals, top students and graduates, and the federal freelancers visa for self-employed workers based in the UAE and overseas in specialised fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and digital currencies.
The new regulations also include expanding the ‘Golden visa’ eligibility to include managers, CEOs, specialists in science, engineering, health, education, business management and technology, while the pathway has been smoothed for highly-skilled and highly-specialised residents, investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, pioneers, leading students and graduates.
New visa schemes include:
A Green visa distinguishes between work permits and residencies, enables highly-skilled individuals, investors, entrepreneurs and top students and graduates to sponsor themselves. A Green visa will allow the sponsorship of young people until the age of 25 instead of 18, extending the grace period for leaving the country upon job loss or retirement to 90-180 days instead of 30, and the sponsorship of parents.
It is the first federal scheme of its kind and enables self-employed people to sponsor themselves.
Other regulatory changes to visa rules
Other specific regulatory changes include:
- extension of business trip permits from three months to six months
- sponsorship of parents under the visa of direct family members
- ·one-year residency extension for humanitarian cases
- extension of children’s age limit on parents’ residency from 18 to 25 years
- extension of grace period upon job loss or retirement to 90-180 days.
Economic agreements with eight global markets
The UAE Government announced it will be undertaking comprehensive economic partnership agreements with eight key global markets. The agreements aim to achieve an AED 40 billion annual increase to the UAE’s current AED 257 billion trade volume with these markets. The agreements fall under the UAE's global economic partnerships strategy, which aims to double the size of the national economy from AED 1.4 trillion to AED 3 trillion over the next 10 years.
The countries with which deals were signed are distinguished by large markets that constitute 10 percent of the world’s GDP, with an economic exchange among these countries worth USD 80 billion. Besides being home to 26 percent of the world’s population, the eight countries possess large markets with high demand for goods and services, in addition to strong trade and economic relations in their respective regions.
UAE Data Law
The UAE Data Law is the first federal law to be drafted in partnership with major technology companies. The law will empower individuals to control how their personal data is used, stored and shared in a move that aims to protect privacy of individuals and institutions and limit entities’ use of personal data for profit.
100 Coders Every Day
This programme aims to attract 3,000 coders every month to the country’s workforce, increasing the number of coders from 64,000 to 100,000 in 12 months, and to facilitate the establishment of programming companies in the UAE through a set of incentives and benefits.
The UAE will host ‘PyCon Summit’, the largest programming summit to be held in the Middle East. The event, set to take place in the second half of 2022, will help develop digital talent and expertise, inspire innovative technology projects, and connect a global community of programmers with the public and private sectors, as well as academic institutions.
The summit will bring together experts, leaders, talents, specialists and interests in the field from all over the world, and hold workshops, panel discussions and training sessions to showcase the latest trends and developments in programming and the digital economy.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution Network
As part of the ‘Projects of the 50’, the UAE Government launched the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network to promote the adoption of advanced technologies in the national industrial sector. The project aims to establish and grow 500 national companies equipped with the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and technologically advanced workforce.
The network is designed to provide a platform that brings together 15 leading national companies in technology adoption to transfer knowledge, share best practices and train 100 CEOs in the industrial sector on the latest digital trends. Through the network, the Smart Industry Readiness Index will be developed to support the digital transformation of 200 industrial companies after evaluating the efficiency of digital operations.
Enhancing the competitiveness of the UAE business environment
As part of ‘Projects of the 50’, the UAE Government launched three initiatives designed to strengthen the UAE’s ability to keep pace with the ever-evolving global economy. They are as follows:
The 10x10 program aims to achieve an annual increase in the country’s exports by 10 percent in 10 key markets: China, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Poland, Luxembourg, Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia.
Through an integrated system of incentives and benefits, the project will work to achieve a 14 per cent growth in cumulative foreign direct investment (FDI) outflow by 2030, and a growth of FDI directed to the targeted countries of 24 percent by 2030.
A new electronic portal, Invest.ae, has been launched to act as an umbrella for all investment-related local entities and 14 state economic entities and present all investment opportunities across the UAE. The portal provides comprehensive information on the local investment environment, as well as business and bank account set-up services. It highlights entrepreneurial success stories.
Emirates Investment Summit
The UAE will host the Emirates Investment Summit, a global summit that will connect investment funds with the public and private sectors to create investment opportunities that will attract AED 550 billion in FDI over the next nine years. Scheduled to take place during the first quarter of 2022, the Summit seeks to build lasting partnerships between public and private sectors.
In-Country Value Program
The National In-Country Value Program at a federal level, will facilitate the redirection of procurement and contract expenses to the local economy.
By 2025, the program aims to create a demand for local products and services by redirecting more than 42 per cent of procurement of the federal government and major UAE companies to local products and services, gradually implementing the program through 45 federal entities and 15 major national companies and increasing local suppliers from 5,000 to 7,300.
It aims to contribute to advancing the economic and social development of the country by redirecting more than 50 per cent of the spending of government agencies and national companies on purchases and services to the national economy by 2031. It will seek to raise the procurement volume from AED 33 billion to AED 55 billion by 2025 and to provide competitive financing solutions to local suppliers.
Project 5Bn will involve the allocation of AED 5 billion to support Emirati projects in priority sectors. The AED 5 billion is part of the Emirates Development Bank’s April 2021 allocation of AED 30 billion to help accelerate industrial development, adopt advanced technology and support entrepreneurship and innovation by 2025 – all to support its wider mission of increasing productivity, enhancing the industrial sector’s contribution to GDP and creating job opportunities for the UAE’s citizens.
Tech Drive program
The ‘Tech Drive’ program worth AED 5 billion will support the adoption of advanced technology in the industrial sector. Established in partnership with the Emirates Development Bank, the fund will support the industrial sector’s shift towards the application of the Fourth Industrial Revolution over the next five years. It will also provide programmes and incentives to support entrepreneurs in the industrial sector, aiming to achieve a contribution of AED 25 billion to the GDP and raise productivity by 30 per cent.
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Updated on 23 Sep 2021