Government Entities In Dubai Signed A Special Visa Agreement: A Step-forward For UAE To Attract Foreign Investors, Expatriates, And Travelers

On January 12, a strategic agreement was signed between The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) entailing facilitation of residency permits for investors and also granting special visas. These agreements are an integral part of the insight of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to present Dubai as one of the top destinations for tourism, residency and investments especially foreign investments.

The agreement was signed by Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, director-general, GDRFA-Dubai, and Helal Saeed Al Marri, director-general, Dubai Tourism. The agreement also focuses on promoting online services to issue ‘Golden Visas’ for investors and retirement visas for retirees. The visas under this agreement also include the ‘Distinguished Guests’ and ‘Virtual Working Programmes’. 

The ‘Distinguished Guests’ are people who visit Dubai frequently like businessmen, VIPs, and managers. They are provided special service whereby they can enter the Emirates multiple times in a limited period of time. Dubai also launched virtual working programs in November 2020, which provides remote working professionals to live in Dubai and promote it as the world’s leading tourism and business destinations. The program was also developed in line with UAE setting up a global model to tackle the COVID-19 virus. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri said that the agreement came after some difficult times during which Dubai was able to maintain its reputation to effectively deal with the impact of the pandemic. 

Back in September 2020, Dubai Government initiated a new five-year renewable retirement visa that allows resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and over to live within the Emirates. Also in November 2020, the Vice President of UAE sanctioned a deal to expand the categories of the golden residency visas for talented professionals and students which now include: Ph.D. holders, doctors, engineers as well as outstanding graduates with a GPA of 3.8 or more. This is a step forward to position UAE as one of the advanced and developed countries in the world. 

The two entities, GDRFA and Dubai Tourism have decided to work together to boost the programs within the agreement and provide effective information required to issue visas and permits. The agreement also aims to increase the long-term attractiveness of the UAE to expatriates. 

The agreement also encloses cruise ships and yachts which will allow the smooth operation of entry and exit procedures for crews and passengers. The two entities will have more discussions on acknowledging the requirements of the cruise ship and yacht owners. 

Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, the director-general of GDRFA-Dubai praised the efforts of Dubai Tourism to strengthen the global position of UAE and promote it as a spectacular destination for travelers and investors. Al-Marri said: “As we continuously strive to innovate in showcasing the city as a must-visit destination, spurred on by new trends in global travel and the significant shift that we are now seeing in the way people choose to work, our partnership with GDRFA will help further enhance the initiatives launched by Dubai Tourism including the Retire in Dubai and Virtual Working programs aimed at reinforcing Dubai’s status as the lifestyle and tourism destination of choice and the leading hub for remote work, entrepreneurship, and investment.” He also added that Dubai offers the perfect residency option for entrepreneurs, investors, and other professionals with its modern lifestyle, world-class infrastructure, state-of-the-art healthcare system, and a diversity of tourism experiences.

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