Dubai ruler unveils gold card permanent residency system
A gold card will be issued to investors and entrepreneurs granted permanent residency in the UAE, it was revealed on Tuesday.
In a tweet, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the gold card system would see an initial batch of 6,800 people being granted their new status.
The first batch of investors would hold total investments of AED100 billion ($27 billion), the ruler added.
The UAE's new permanent visa is intended to generate foreign investment and attract top engineers, scientists, and star students.
"We launched today a permanent resident system named 'Gold Card' in the UAE. It is a permanent residency for investors and for exceptional workers in the fields of health, engineering, science and art," Sheikh Mohammed said on Twitter.
"Gold Card permanent residence will be awarded to exceptional and talented individuals and to whoever contributes positively to the UAE’s success story. We want those people to be permanent partners in our journey. All the residents of the UAE are our brothers and part of our large family."
It is the first such scheme in the Gulf, where foreigners are generally only given limited duration residence permits under the "kafala" sponsorship system.
Foreigners account for 90 percent of the population of around nine million in the UAE, the Arab world's second-largest economy which has seen rapid development in recent years.