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UAE government

UAE approves new system to attract remote workers, multiple entry tourist visas

Published: Updated:

The federal cabinet of the United Arab Emirates approved a new system allowing professionals to reside in the Gulf state while working remotely for employers abroad, while introducing a multiple-entry tourist visa “for all nationalities.”

The virtual work visa was launched by the emirate of Dubai in October.

The UAE has taken several measures to attract wealthy foreigners as the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices have hit its economy, particularly that of business and tourism hub Dubai.

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Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Dubai’s ruler, said in a Twitter post on Sunday that a new work visa would cover such professional workers. He added the cabinet had also approved a multiple-entry tourist visa for all nationalities.

“We are working with clear objectives to boost our economic status globally and provide the best quality of life to our citizens and residents,” he said.

Residence for foreigners, who make up a majority of the UAE’s 9 million population, had thus far been mainly linked to employment inside the country, with workers sponsoring families.

Many foreign workers, needed to support demand in Dubai’s real estate, services and retail sectors, left last year after firms slashed jobs.

Dubai’s realty market has been re-energized by prime property sales in the past few months, with buyers taking advantage of decade-low prices, easy financing and an economy open for business despite the pandemic.

Meanwhile sales in the UAE retail sector are expected to grow 13 percent this year, to reach $58 billion by the end of 2021, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Sunday, as the Gulf state banks on a vaccination drive and its hosting of the Dubai Expo world fair which starts in October to boost demand.

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