The UAE cabinet this week approved the regulatory framework for the issuance of long-term residence permits to select groups of people, including investors, and professional talents in specialist fields including medicine, science, research and technical fields.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted out the announcement following a cabinet meeting approving the National Space Strategy 2030 in addition to the long-term visa framework.
We also adopted the framework of long-term visas for investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and professional talents. The UAE’s residency departments will start receiving applications. The UAE will remain a global incubator for talents and a permanent destination for pioneers. pic.twitter.com/IL7U2aVApt— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) March 11, 2019
This is good news for oil and gas professionals; of the first 20 people to receive 10-year visas, all of them winners or finalists for the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinction, eight are directly linked to the energy sector.
The long-term permits target investors and innovators, which could attract global talent to the UAE. For local oil and gas companies, that could be a relief, as the industry struggles to attract and retain skilled professionals. According to the Global Energy Talent Index 2019, hiring managers' biggest concern is the energy skills gap.
Issuing five-year visas for students in the UAE, and 10-year visas for exceptional students, could encourage expatriate students to remain in the country after graduating, and the UAE Ministry of Education found in its Majors in Demand report 2019 that engineering was the degree with the highest demand in the nation.
Attracting skilled professionals to the UAE with the promise of long-term residency could mean more diverse viewpoints to help solve some of the industry's biggest challenges. That includes lowering its carbon footprint, increasing efficiency, and addressing the industry talent gap.
Watch: Why the oil and gas sector needs diversity, now more than ever before