UAE launches new initiatives to lure foreign investors

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a number of initiatives to attract investors in an effort to address the challenge from Saudi Arabia, which is relocating several regional headquarters from the UAE.

To diversify the country’s economy, UAE has eased residency rules to lure $150 billion worth of foreign investments by 2030.

On September 5, UAE ministers unveiled some of the reforms — which form the Gulf state’s projects of the 50 programme that marks its golden jubilee.

It includes the liberalization of residency rules to attract and retain skilled workers; new visa categories for freelancers and entrepreneurs; grant funds to support Emirati projects and for the adoption of advanced technologies in the industry, in an effort to increase productivity by 30 per cent.

The changes also come amid growing economic competition with neighbouring Saudi Arabia to be the region’s trade and business hub.

Saudi Arabia-owned media companies are gradually moving their offices and employees from the UAE to the kingdom as part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s campaign to transform the Saudi capital into a regional hub for business, media and entertainment.

Cracks in relations between the Saudi Arabia and the UAE began to appear in 2019 when the UAE withdrew most of its military forces from Yemen, leaving Saudi Arabia alone in its war against Iran-backed Houthis. The Emirates is also found to support a rival government in Yemen, local media reported.