Laws encourage medical investors, innovators and specialists


The UAE government has tasked the ministry of economy to implement the resolution and submit a detailed study in the third quarter of 2018.

The new visa would allow investors, innovators and talented specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields to stay in the country for up to 10 years.

A separate student visa will allow those studying in the country to stay for five years, or 10 years in exceptional cases. The government will also review the current residency system to extend the visa period for dependent students after completing their university studies.

The minister of economy says that a long-awaited investment law allowing 100% foreign ownership would be ready by the end of 2018. Now foreign companies can only operate in the UAE by partnering with a local entity unless they are based in certain free zones.

The investment law will only apply to key sectors chosen by the government but will include manufacturing and service industries.

Previous attempts to allow 100% foreign ownership have been met by opposition from the consultative Federal National Council and other bodies due to concerns it will negatively impact Emirati businesses.

A committee will decide on the industries to be fully opened to foreigners under the law, and the decision will be based on factors such as the ability to create jobs and transfer technology. It will also recommend industries and companies that could be added to the list.

The plan is an attempt by the UAE to bolster a slowing economy and stay ahead of other Gulf neighbours racing to emulate Dubai’s success in finding sources of revenue beyond oil.



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