The UAE has announced a long-term residency for environment advocates. Called ‘Blue Residency’, the 10-year visa will be granted to individuals who have made “exceptional contributions and efforts in the field of protecting the environment”.

Applicable fields include boosting the air quality and green technology.

“The sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, as he chaired a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The new Blue Residency is part of initiatives that the country has launched to mark 2024 as the year of sustainability. The sustainability drive was extended into 2024 after green themes dominated last year - when the country invited residents to join in the collective efforts to adopt sustainable practices.

The UAE typically issues residency visas that have a validity of two years. In 2019, the country announced a 10-year residency scheme called Golden Visas for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates and humanitarian pioneers, among others. Three years after, the country announced a five-year residency called green visas for skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs.