The United Arab Emirates cabinet approved a new system allowing remote workers to reside in the Gulf state while working for employers abroad.
Dubai’s ruler and Vice-President of the UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum 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 been mainly linked to employment inside the country, with workers sponsoring families.
Dubai is facing increasing pressure from other business centers including Saudi Arabia, which is pressuring foreign companies to set up regional headquarters in Riyadh.
Many foreign workers in need to support demand in Dubai’s real estate, service and retail sectors left the country last year after companies ended their jobs.
Dubai’s real estate market has been revitalized by major property sales in the past few months, as buyers have taken advantage of a decade of low prices, ease of financing and an open economy to operate despite the pandemic.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry said on Sunday that sales in the retail sector in the UAE are expected to grow by 13% this year to reach $58 billion by the end of 2021.
The Institute of International Finance expects that the recovery of the UAE’s non-oil economy will be modest during the current year 2021.
The Institute of International Finance said that the real non-oil GDP will expand by about 3% in 2021 and 2022, after shrinking by 5% in 2020.
In light of optimism about economic openness after the Coronavirus pandemic, the Institute of International Finance expects growth to accelerate by about 4% in 2023, with the number of tourist arrivals expected to increase by 40% this year, from the very low level witnessed in 2020.
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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