How UAE Golden Visa, changes to company laws have made Dubai a destination for life for residents

This city creates plenty of jobs and opportunities, and has very high success rates, says panelist at World Government Summit

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 2:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 13 Feb 2023, 2:34 PM

Dubai is no longer a transient city where people used to stay for a few years because new initiatives, such as the golden visa and company laws, have created a sense of belonging and people now look to retire here, top executives say.

“In Dubai, people used to stay on average four to six years and now with the amendments to the golden visa and the company laws, people are setting rules and the average span has increased. A lot of people are thinking of Dubai as one station in their life as they have decided to retire here,” said Hawazen Esber, CEO, Development, Majid Al Futtaim Group, during a panel discussion.

The UAE allowed 100 per cent foreign ownership in mainland companies and also expanded the scope of a 10-year golden visa for a variety of categories including scientists, outstanding students, entrepreneurs, professionals and businessmen. These two initiatives are being termed as game changers for the country’s future economic growth and for attracting the best talent.

Amit Kaushal, Group CEO, Dubai Holding, said the golden visa programme, amongst others, allows the understanding of a longer generational aspect of living. “People want to put down their roots and you start to see movements between single-family and multifamily.”

During the panel discussion, he also highlighted the importance of the emirate’s infrastructure. And pointed out that the emirate is looking 10-20 years ahead in its planning for the city’s development.

Hawazen Esber said Dubai is a city that creates plenty of opportunities, jobs, innovation, tourism and shopping. “The biggest issue with governments is the rate of success. And what we see in this part of the world is an extremely high rate of success. This is what makes Dubai attractive and it will remain,” he said.

Esber added that cities have urban master plans, but the challenge is the execution level.

“What makes also Dubai very special is the closeness or the integration of the private sector,” he added.

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