ISLAMABAD-Pakistan’s business community has applauded the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Golden Visa Portal, saying it has made it extremely convenient for investors, entrepreneurs and professionals to apply for long-term visas of five or 10 years.

The UAE Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship launched a purpose-built portal to receive golden visa applications on December 16, 2019.

The website allows business owners to enjoy a wide range of services and facilities along with unprecedented privileges and multiple options to manage and develop their investments. A “Gold Residency Visa” or “Gold Card” grants the holder five or 10 years of residency in the UAE. “It is a great step in this global world where every state is focusing on trade and investment. The UAE wants to attract foreign investors from across the world, including Pakistan,” Mian Anjum Nisar, President, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), said while talking to Arab News.

“The facility previously lacked in the UAE system: People who had invested a lot still could not cherish the benefits of residency in the Gulf state. This step will further improve the business and investment environment in Emirates,” Nisar said.

Director-General, Pakistan Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment, Kashif Noor concurred with him, saying it was a good opportunity for Pakistani businessmen and entrepreneurs.

“Presently only high net worth individuals can benefit from the scheme, yet it can be a good opportunity for wealthy businessmen from Pakistan who have always wanted to invest in the UAE,” he said. He further added that it could also benefit the families of golden visa holders who would be able to obtain long-term visas for their dependents as well. Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), said people all over the world wanted to live and run their businesses in Dubai.

“The UAE is also arranging Expo 2020, so it is a good time to introduce such service as the whole world will be focusing on Dubai for six months. So it is a good strategy to give an attractive message to investors all over the world,” Ahmed said, adding that it would also open plenty of new avenues and opportunities for Pakistani businessmen, investors, and talented professionals. A Pakistani expat, Dr. Hadi Shahid, who has been living in the UAE for last 40 years, said the new scheme would be very helpful for Pakistanis running their businesses in the UAE since they would not have to go for visa renewal every two to three years.