Destination UAE

Q1

How are global geopolitical events affecting mobility in your jurisdiction?

Geopolitical instability generally influences mobility. However, emigration does not come exclusively from conflict zones, and can be purely economic.

The immigration policies of the UAE intend to attract skilled professionals. The policy has helped the UAE attract exceptional talent.

The UAE has a safety index of 84.9 and is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Three of its cities are in the top five safest globally. The major attraction that immigrants find in the country is its openness and commitment to pluralism, and it is home to a 90% foreign population,

Q2

Climate concerns are increasingly becoming a decision-making factor in global migration – how is this impacting your jurisdiction?

The entire GCC region is likely to face a climate crisis as many climate-related studies have pointed to the fact that there shall be an increase in temperature up to 5 degrees in the GCC region by the end of this century, meaning that local populations, including in the GCC, will face major health and livelihood challenges in the coming future. As many as 400 million inhabitants of the Middle East will be at risk of exposure to extreme heat waves that may also stoke social and political tensions.

The UAE’s government has been very keen to address global concerns over climate change and has acted to reduce its carbon footprint and the dependence of its economy on fossil fuels. The same is evident from the UAE hosting the recently held COP28 (United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC).

The UAE has been at the forefront of acting on climate policies and has set the target of 2050 for the goal of net zero emissions. However, resource-rich countries like the UAE will experience an increase in the rate of immigration from poorer regions despite their own forecasted climatic challenges. The GCC could potentially receive some of the 143 million climate migrants from Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America, that the World Bank expects could be displaced by 2050.

Q3

How is government policy influencing mobility in your jurisdiction – particularly regarding employment relocation?

The UAE government has introduced massive changes to its labour laws through Federal Decree Law No 33 of 2021. The new law aims to enhance the nation’s labour market’s elasticity, resilience, and sustainability and promote a flexible and competitive business environment for the next 50 years.

Additionally, with these new laws and visa regulations, the UAE is working to create a welcoming environment for foreign individuals and investors, further solidifying the UAE’s position as an attractive destination for living and conducting business.

The law prohibits discrimination, forced labour, harassment and bullying; some of the other new developments in the labour laws that shall apply to private sector employees is the introduction of temporary and flexible work models to allow flexible hiring and working practices.

Furthermore, recent legislative changes have seen an increase in maternity leave provisions, reflecting the government’s commitment to supporting family life and gender equality. Additionally, other initiatives, such as enhanced quality-of-life measures, have been introduced to create a holistic and inclusive environment, making the UAE an even more desirable destination for individuals seeking not only professional opportunities but also a higher quality of life.

Further, the UAE government has made it easier for freelancers to migrate to the jurisdiction by introducing Freelancer Visa. This Visa allows self-employed individuals to sponsor themselves. Workers in the UAE and overseas in specialised fields such as blockchain, AI, and digital currencies can access the freelancer visa.

The new labour law also lays certain obligations on employers, which include providing accommodation, training and other means to ensure the safety and welfare of the employees through insurance, healthcare costs and other entitlements to the employee’s.

Thomas Paoletti

Managing Partner

 

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