New, expanded visa options fuel surge in UAE job creation: Report

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The United Arab Emirates has recorded a three percent rise in new jobs during the third quarter of 2022, mainly driven by the country’s new and expanded visa options, according to a new report.

The new and expanded visa options include the highly sought-after Golden Visa, the five-year green residency and multiple permit changes which came into effect earlier this month.

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“The new visa options will support anyone seeking employment in the UAE and those looking to conduct freelance activities, as well as individuals working on temporary assignments,” the report stated.

Other key announcements have contributed to this rise in job creation, according to the Cooper Fitch report.

A new 303-km rail link connecting Oman and the UAE, as part of the Etihad Rail project, was announced last month and is expected to enhance logistics and mobility between the two Gulf countries.

The $3 billion deal, inked in late September, will primarily connect Sohar to Abu Dhabi.

The passenger trains are designed to reduce travel time from Sohar to Abu Dhabi to 1 hour 40 minutes, and from Sohar to Al Ain to 47 minutes, traveling at a maximum speed of 200 km/h. Meanwhile, the freight trains will run up to 120 km/h.

The UAE has also been gaining a lot of traction since Qatar announced it will be operating flights from Doha in conjunction with 13 airlines, including UAE-based flydubai, Air Arabia, and Etihad Airways to accommodate an influx of visitors ahead of the FIFA World Cup which is set to kick off in Qatar next month.

During the third quarter of 2022, the UAE Central Bank forecasted growth of 5.4 percent for overall real GDP, “driven by increased oil production,” the report stated.

“While the nation’s continued post-COVID recovery and the evolution of the Russia-Ukraine conflict will undoubtedly shape the UAE’s longer-term economic trajectory, its Central Bank projects that oil-related GDP will grow by 8.0 percent and 5 percent in 2022 and 2023, respectively,” it added.

Among GCC countries, Saudi Arabia recorded the highest growth rate in job creation, followed by Qatar and the UAE, due to an uptick in activity in the three nations, with many highly anticipated events in the region like the World Cup.

Released at the end of every quarter, the firm’s GCC Employment Index report reviews new employment activity across the Gulf region, with a particular focus on changes in the number of new jobs based on proprietary data.

Qatar witnessed a 7 percent increase in job creation compared to the previous quarter, perpetuated by the influx of international companies and talent looking to meet demand before, during and after the World Cup.

However, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman registered slight contractions in job creation during the summer period.

“Even so, it is worth noting that the Central Bank of Bahrain announced its highest economic growth in 11 years at 6.9 percent in Q2 2022, driven by the country’s non-oil sectors. Given this news, we expect activity to pick up in Bahrain as we move into the final quarter of the year,” according to the report.

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