(Editor’s note: Though we’re still expanding in Europe, Dispatches’ strategy is global with operations in the Middle East and Asia. Tamanna Sajeed is an editor and journalism student in Dubai.)
In a bid to future-proof the country, the United Arab Emirates is now offering 100,000 Golden Visas to coders from around the world. Officials with the National Program for Coders said that both residents and non-residents could apply for the Golden Visa under the special category, according to a release from the Dubai Media Office.
Those eligible for the visa include:
- Distinguished experts and talents who achieved success in various areas of coding
- Those who work for pioneering international technological firms
- Graduates of software engineering, computer sciences, hardware engineering, information technology, artificial intelligence, data science, big data and electrical engineering
Coders of all nationalities and age groups can apply for the coveted 10-year residency visa through the Artificial Intelligence Office in the UAE Government or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
The announcement came just a day after His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, tweeted that the UAE had launched the National Program for Coders in collaboration with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco, IBM, HPE, LinkedIn, Nvidia and Facebook.
“The goal is to train and attract 100,000 programmers and create 1,000 major digital companies within five years,” said Sheikh Mohammed. He added that the plan is to ensure more than double the investment directed to startups, taking it from 1.5 billion dirham (350 million euros) to Dh4 billion, or about 922 million euros.
Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, confirmed the National Program for Coders would support golden visa holders with promising insights and opportunities to work on integrated projects in the IT sector. Dubai has been at the forefront of the UAE’s recent push towards digitizing all spheres of life.
Sheikh Mohammed announced the establishment of the Dubai Digital Authority in late June. Several existing departments – Dubai Smart Government, Dubai Smart Department, Dubai Data Corporation, Dubai Statistics Center and Dubai Electronic Security Center – will now be united under the new authority’s purview.
The entity’s objective was, as Dubai’s ruler succinctly put it, to digitize life in Dubai. “The size of our digital economy exceeds Dh100 billion ($27 billion), and we aim to double this number in two years,” he tweeted. “Our directive to all Dubai departments is to join our digital team in its mission to make Dubai the first digital economic capital in the world.”
About the author:
Tamanna Sajeed is a freelance journalist and copy editor at Khaleej Times, the UAE’s oldest English-language newspaper. Tamanna is from Kerala, India, but has lived in Dubai since she was a year old. She started writing for newspapers when she was 13 and has not stopped since.
When not volunteering or perfecting her garlic bread recipe, you can spot Tamanna wherever local metalheads are found.
Email her at [email protected].