Dubai — Sponsor-free visas, pensions and other measures can help boost the economy and attract global talent, the Dubai Economic Council has said.

The government advisory body and Deloitte, in a recent policy package, has recommended state pension schemes for expatriates, sponsor-free visas for skilled workers, easing of foreign ownership and trading restrictions for companies in free zones to support business activity in mainland Dubai.

The Council has also advised doing away with caps on mortgage amounts, easing criminal implications of bankruptcy and bounced cheques, simplifying residency rights processes and making travel procedures easy within the GCC.

It suggests a package of five policy initiatives to sustain the growth of the financial sector and to spur foreign direct investments (FDIs).

The advisory body said the government support is important for the creation and growth of SMEs and start-ups, improvement in trading capability, development of the financial services industry, enhancement of capital market activity, and formalising a regulatory framework. Analysts and consultants supported the Council’s proposals and said that these are definitely a step in right direction and would help Dubai reach the level of top global leaders like Singapore and Hong Kong. They said the proposal to introduce state pension funds and sponsor-free visas for highly-skilled expatriates will change the dynamics of the job market which depends heavily on expatriates.

“Dubai has excelled in many areas ahead of countries like Singapore or Hong Kong to which Dubai is generally compared; there is always scope to improve further,” Atik Munshi, managing partner at Crowe Horwath, told.

Regarding issuance of visas for highly-skilled expatriates without the need for a sponsor, he said the only distinction between residence visas currently in place is the validity of visas for investors or employees for three and two years, respectively… see more

source: khaleejtimes