CW In Focus | Understanding the UAE's, Saudi Arabia's new visas

Construction Week video explores the nitty-gritty of the UAE's Gold Card and Saudi Arabia's Privileged Iqama

The UAE and Saudi Arabia both saw the announcement of major visa updates during May 2019, but what do the UAE's Gold Card and Saudi Arabia's Privileged Iqama visa systems mean, and how might they affect your employment and residency status in the Gulf countries?

Announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai on 21 May, the Gold Card permanent residency scheme for certain investors, and others with “exceptional competencies” in the fields of medicine, engineering, science, and the arts.

Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet – chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – also approved its Privileged Iqama special residency system in mid-May.

Touted as the kingdom’s version of the Green Card, which permits foreign nationals to live and work in the US, the new scheme will allow highly skilled expats and owners of capital funds to live and work in Saudi Arabia without the need for a local sponsor.

In this episode of Construction Week in Focus, Jack Ball, senior reporter at Construction Week, runs through these updates, aimed at attracting foreign investment and top talent across a variety of fields.

Construction Week In Focus is a twice-weekly bulletin of the Middle East's top news from the real estate development and contracting sectors. The series is hosted on Construction Week's YouTube channel, alongside weekly series published by its sister titles. The latter includes MEP Engineered by MEP Middle EastFM Live by facilities management Middle East, and Heavy Metal by PMV Middle East.

Subscribe to the Construction Week YouTube channel for the latest from the region's construction sector.

Construction Week In Focus episodes are published each Sunday and Wednesday. Heavy Metal episodes are published on Mondays, and FM Live updates are presented on Tuesdays. MEP Engineered rounds off the week each Thursday. All videos are published at 4.30pm Dubai time. 

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