In a world that is increasingly becoming polarised, it is refreshing to see how inclusive and all-embracing the UAE is. The country, largely home to expats (a statistic is always thrown around, that points to the overwhelming number of ‘outsiders’ who have made this country their home: currently, almost 88 per cent of the population consists of expats), has been welcoming and then incubating professionals for decades. Significantly, it’s not just people from neighbouring countries that move here in search of a better life, but people from all over the world; consequently, the country is hailed as being one of the most cosmopolitan markets in the world where diversity is a given.
Many expats, not unsurprisingly, do not want move back to the countries they came from, and have stayed on well beyond retirement or expiry of work contracts, becoming entrepreneurs and self-starters. There’s something in the eco-system that cultivates the spirit of thinking out-of-the-box and being empowered to take the path less trodden. Today, with the added thrust on technology and innovation, there is scope for cutting-edge work to be done, while one is able to lead a truly evolved lifestyle. Over the past few years, visa norms have been relaxed (the Golden Visa being introduced is a telling case in point, as have been the remote work visa and the freelance visa) and government policies tweaked to attract the best in class. Getting a chance to find a foothold in this country has become an equal-opportunity gambit; there are entry processes that are seamless and user-friendly.
At the ongoing World Government Summit in Dubai, Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General, Advanced Technology Research Council, mentioned how the UAE welcomes nationalities from all around the globe and “will hunt the best talent, even if it is on the Moon and Mars”. “You think we’re looking for water on Mars, we’re looking for talent,” he quipped. “We told them that the UAE can be home and you’re not here for a temporary period — you’re here to be part of this society and the fabric of this country,” Al Bannai added.With the opening up of the country with an eye to get in and then retain the best talent, more and more people are moving to the UAE, knowing fully well that this country is in sync with the future. What’s more, they are here to stay.
He may well be the only leader with the standing to convince Palestinians to accept an imperfect compromise, if it means they can finally live peacefully alongside Israel in an independent Palestinian state