Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, today announced that the UAE would offer Golden Visas to charity and humanitarian aid workers in recognition of their efforts and sacrifices.
The announcement made by Sheikh Mohammed to provide long-term residence visas to humanitarian workers was made on World Humanitarian Day, commemorated every year on August 19 to honour the work done by humanitarian workers and remember those who lost their lives working for humanitarian causes, reported state news agency WAM.
Sheikh Mohammed said, "On World Humanitarian Day, we pay tribute to the selfless heroes in the UAE, as one of the world’s largest humanitarian hubs, to support charity and aid professionals who have dedicated their lives to improving the welfare of underprivileged."
"Aid workers are ambassadors of the UAE and role models instilling pride in us all. Giving is embedded in the fabric of Emirati society and culture, and we aspire to be the most vibrant humanitarian destination in the next fifty years.
"The UAE has always led impactful humanitarian initiatives and empowered those implementing them, and in the year of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee, it aspires to become a world leader of humanitarian efforts in the next five decades.
"Having always paid tribute to hope makers, the UAE extends its commitment to global cooperation to include the humanitarian sector’s pioneers, groups, specialists and workers, so that the UAE can become a second home to these individuals,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed pointed to the UAE having established Dubai International Humanitarian City (IHC) in 2011 as an example of its efforts to lead humanitarian causes. The largest humanitarian destination in the world, IHC is a non-profit, independent, humanitarian free zone authority that hosts over 80 members comprising of UN organisations, non-profits and non-government organisations, and commercial companies.
"Not only is the UAE an economic hub, it is also a humanitarian one nowadays,” he concluded.
The theme for this year’s United Nations World Humanitarian Day is "Race for Humanity" and "Supporting the Real Heroes". It calls for the international community to support workers in the relief and humanitarian fields by providing them with a safe and supportive environment.
Today more than ever, there is an urgent need for volunteers, charity workers and humanitarian work. UN figures indicate that there will be 235 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection by the time 2021 is out, with the rate needing humanitarian assistance reaching one person in every 33 around the world.
The Golden Visa system allows its beneficiaries in the UAE – including expatriates and their families who wish to come to work, live and study in the country – to enjoy long-term residency.
The UAE implemented the Golden Visa system in 2018. It included the granting of a long-term residence visa, for 5 or 10 years, which is automatically renewed for people who fall into any of certain categories including investors, doctors, entrepreneurs, scientists, creators, inventors, researchers in various branches of science, technology and innovation, and outstanding students.
The move to grant the Golden Visa to outstanding charity and humanitarian workers residing in the UAE provides them with a safe haven to continue their work. It will also enhance their ability to communicate with local, regional and global charity and humanitarian organisations, from the most digitally advanced and connected places on the planet.
The institutionalisation of humanitarian work is a significant addition to the UAE’s track record of charitable and humanitarian work and is represented by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), which was established in 2015 to form a support umbrella for a set of initiatives and institutions launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum during the past decade.