Economic experts and business analysts called the UAE's decision to issue Golden Card a bold step that will make the country a haven of talents.
Sharif El Badawi, partner, 500 Startups, said this is a paradigm shift in how working people and investors plan long-term. "With such a change, the UAE will establish itself as a primary destination for investors, their families and employees. Not just a career-driven pitstop, but a place people can call home. I'm thrilled to see this kind of forward thinking continuing in the UAE at the speed we see it happening, and can't wait to witness the effectuation of these new policies and programmes.
"The Golden Card will invite more professional individuals and versatile talent into the region along with attracting the interest of investors. Being an entrepreneur, I am eager to see the different opportunities that this change brings up.
"When they initially announced the 10-year visa for investors, the country instantly saw a rise in the real estate market. I am sure a permanent residency will attract a lot more attention due to the stability, which is one key aspect an investor would look for in an economy," she added.
Dr Dilshaad Ali, CEO of Avivo Group, said the Golden Card will provide an opportunity for greater wealth creation and for investors and professionals to further consolidate the country's position as an attractive business and knowledge hub.
Anita Yadav, head of fixed income research at Emirates NBD, said initially existing businessmen with their investments in the UAE will convert their status and obtain Golden Card. She pointed out that this decision will prepare ground for growth in innovation and technology sectors.
Shailash Dash, financier and entrepreneur, said this is a very good and much-awaited news following the similar announcement made by Saudi Arabia. "I think Golden Card news will help attract significant amount of capital and skilled resources if the policy is implemented properly," Dash said.
Imran Farooq, Group CEO of Samana Group, said the permanent residency will strengthen Dubai's position globally and play a key role in attracting larger investment.
Shan Saeed, chief economist at IQI Global Malaysia, said the initiative will bring in more sophisticated and smart investors to Dubai and will really provide a boost to the real estate market in the short and long run.
Ammar Kanaan, group general manager of Central Hotels, said that it will have a positive impact on the market now and in the future.
"This will definitely make it more hospitable and inviting for people to come, invest and stay in Dubai. The areas being covered will help to keep the talent in the UAE. We also hope it will include professionals from the hospitality and tourism industry that is one of the pillars of economy," Kanaan said.
Chiara Boccascino, director for Fly High Dubai Helicopter Services, said it is a very significant development for the business and professional community and will greatly aid the flow of investment which in turn will boost the country's robust economy.
Laurent A. Voivenel, senior vice-president, operations and development for the Middle East, Africa and India for Swiss-Belhotel International, believes that this initiative will facilitate greater investment and growth of business in the UAE as well as attract outstanding talent.
Sofya Shamuzova, CEO of Stars Dome Group and Outlet Mall, said following the welcome move of the 10-year visa, this was something that most business professionals saw on the horizon of things to come.
"Hats off to the visionary leadership of the UAE and a further commendation to their impeccable timing to introduce such a system," Shamuzova said.
Jerome Droesch, CEO of Cigna for Mena, believes that rewarding the outstanding talent in the UAE will help create sustainable future generations, skillful human resources and reinforce further the attractiveness of the country.
Issam Kassabieh, senior financial analyst at Menacorp, said it is definitely a big step forward and a milestone in transforming UAE from a temporary stop for professionals and students etc. to a permanent stop.
Shane Shin, founding managing partner, Shorooq Investments, praised the proactive, collaborative and innovative approach by the UAE government.
"As an expat resident, this further affirms my confidence that the UAE has been and will continue to be one of the best places in the world to live, work and build an everlasting career that I hope to shape the ecosystem (particularly the startups and investor community). Thank you UAE!," said Shin.
(With inputs from Issac John, Muzaffar Rizvi, Sandhya D'Mello, Rohma Sadaqat & Waheed Abbas)
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