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UAE seeks to cement position as ‘permanent hub’ for foreign talent in new economy sectors

Country has made headway in building a knowledge-based model that has improved its global competitiveness, Economy Minister says

The UAE is considering initiatives to solidify its position as a permanent centre for global talent working in new economy sectors, from renewable energy to artificial intelligence.

The Economic Integration Committee, which is chaired by Minister of Economy Abdulla bin Touq, is working on developing economic legislation and adopting initiatives that will help the new economic sectors to increase their contribution to gross domestic product and create more job opportunities, state-run news agency Wam reported on Monday night.

The Emirates has made a “tremendous breakthrough” in building a knowledge-based economic model, diversifying its economy and improving its global competitiveness, Mr bin Touq said.

The committee also reviewed the policies of the country’s anti-money laundering and countering-terrorism financing system and the National Strategy Development Project in co-operation with the economic clusters.

The UAE leads the Arab world in terms of attracting and retaining talent, while Switzerland is the top destination globally, according to the 2023 IMD World Talent Ranking released in September.

The Emirates is ranked 22nd among 64 economies, thanks to an increase in scores for criteria such as the quality of life, management remuneration, health infrastructure, quality of education and labour force growth, according to the index by the World Competitiveness Centre.

In recent years, the Emirates has undertaken several economic, legal and social reforms to attract skilled workers.

The government’s overhaul of visa programmes has boosted opportunities for foreign workers to live and work in the country. This includes a a revamp of the 10-year golden visa to simplify eligibility criteria and expand the categories of beneficiaries.

The UAE introduced a green visa to provide five-year residency to skilled workers without requiring them to have a sponsor or employer.

It also unveiled an unemployment insurance programme for federal government and private sector employees, to which all workers must subscribe.