UAE: How remote work visas will help expats, employers

Top Stories

Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Dubai - Expatriate business leaders in the UAE have called the cabinet ruling a breath of fresh air for corporations.


Dhanusha Gokulan

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 21 Mar 2021, 8:09 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Mar 2021, 9:00 PM

The Federal Cabinet has approved a new system allowing professionals to reside in the country while working remotely for employers abroad, a scheme Dubai launched by itself in October.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said in a Twitter post on Sunday that a new work visa would cover such professional workers. He added that the Cabinet had also approved a multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities. “We are working with clear objectives to boost our economic status globally and provide the best quality of life to our citizens and residents,” he said.

However, expatriate business leaders in the UAE have called the cabinet ruling a breath of fresh air for corporations. They said it removes the need for companies to open up offices in the UAE to hire people within the country, thereby reducing operations costs while garnering gainful employment.

The decision to give work visas to UAE-based employees working for companies located outside the UAE is a brilliant idea, said Rizwan Sajan, founder chairman of Danube Group. “It will help foreign professionals to work for international companies based in other countries to live in and work from the UAE. This means those companies do not need to open up offices in the UAE to hire people in this country. Benefits include flexibility in operations, and it will help businesses save cost and help reduce the cost of employment.”

This will help the UAE attract more foreign talents and help the country to become a talent hub,” he added.

Large-scale companies said it would reduce expenses incurring from business travelling. KK Thomas, group HR Head at Hotpack Global, which employs 2,250 employees in 12 different countries, said: “Remote work visas will be an opportunity for families divided by their work locations to live together. This, in turn, will improve their overall performance. It also can be benefited by global corporates to have their work presence in the UAE, without having a physical office.”

Business heads have also called the reform a forward looking one. Anish Mehta, the chairman of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India in Dubai said: “The reforms are a trend setter. It opens a new trend which other countries will follow.”

Countries participating in Expo 2020 to benefit

Business leaders have hinted at the benefits these progressive visa regulations will bring to countries participating in Expo2020.

Jyoti Bhatia, HR director at Conares, the second-largest steel manufacturer in the Middle East, said: “This decision will support the participating countries in Expo 2020 to deploy their resources effectively for an exhibition of this massive statue. This can help all participating nations to utilise their fullest potential at the event that hosts millions of expected visitors from around the world to provide them with the best experience.”

The reforms will also help the country to recover from Covid-19 triggered economic recession, according to Imran Farooq, the CEO, Samana Developers. “The new UAE remote work visa will shore up inward remittances to the UAE through those professionals who want to live in the UAE for quality of life but work for the companies that are situated abroad.

“The remote work visa will give a cushion to the economy impacted by Covid-19. The new visa will attract an educated workforce which will have a ripple effect on the UAE’s economy and society alike,” he explained.

“The new population of qualified professional, along with their families, will boost demand for residential real estate and tourism sectors when the professionals will be sponsoring their families,” said Farooq.

Lal Bhatia, Chairman, Hilshaw Group, said the main premise of Hilshaw Group’s investment strategy is to compliment the ‘Remote Work Visa’ for which “we are investing in ready to move real estate and further retrofitting it to suit the needs of individuals and families to support a productive ‘work from home’ environment.

“The addition of the long term multiple entry visa is another remarkable addition to ease the access for international business and tourism and will further support the short term rental industry,” he said.

More news from