UAE amends Golden Visa, introduces new Green Visa and long-term entry permits
The UAE Cabinet announced, on 18 April, the introduction of new executive regulations that expand eligibility to the existing 10-year Golden Residence Visa, create a new five-year Green Residence Visa, and bring in extended entry permits for tourists, visitors, jobseekers and students. The new rules are scheduled to come into effect in September of this year.
New Investment Law to treat Saudi and foreign investors equally
The Saudi Ministry of Investment announced, on 7 April, that it is drafting a new Investment Law that will provide for the equal treatment of local and foreign investors in respect of direct investments in the Kingdom. The Law aims to support the principle of competitive neutrality and fairness and ensuring equal opportunities in the treatment of direct investments made by public and private investors.
Bahrain launches new Golden Residency Visa programme
The Bahraini government launched a new Golden Residency Visa programme for residents and non-residents, as well as their families, on 7 February. Applications for the visa can be submitted online with immediate effect.
UAE agrees free trade deals with Israel and India, opens talks with Turkey
The UAE and Israel concluded negotiations for a free trade agreement on 1 April, which includes 95% of traded products that are to be customs free – immediately or gradually – covering food, agriculture, cosmetic products, as well as medical equipment and medicine.
Sovereign Saudi Arabia: Big 5 Saudi reinforces KSA’s growth vision
With some USD173 billion worth of projects under tender in the GCC, of which USD80 billion are in Saudi Arabia, the Big 5 Saudi Construction Leadership Summit – a leading construction platform for the latest technologies from world-leading brands – returned to Riyadh in March, for the second consecutive year.
UAE: compliance with VAT regulations rises in Q1
The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said, on 21 April, that the number of VAT registrants had increased to 367,157 in in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 358,468 in Q1 of 2021, an increase of 2.42%.
Dubai real estate sector continues to attract investors
Dubai’s property market is set to consolidate gains this year from a rebound that started in 2021, according to a report by S&P Global Ratings. Properties are relatively affordable with prices 25% to 30% below 2014’s peak, despite a significant uptick in 2021.
Saudi National Development Fund to inject USD152 billion by 2030
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched, on 14 March, the strategy for the Saudi National Development Fund (NDF), which is intended to inject SR570 billion (USD152 billion) into the Kingdom’s economy by 2030 and triple the share of non-oil GDP to SR605 billion over the same period.
Dubai Expo 2020 closes but legacy to continue
The pandemic-delayed Dubai Expo 2020 closed on 31 March after eight years of anticipation, an estimated USD8 billion in investment, 240 million hours of labour and six months of festivities.
Saudi’s fast-evolving landscape presents substantial opportunities to market entry
Saudi Arabia has adopted an increasingly global and reformist mindset to transform into a highly competitive business economy, in line with the government’s commitment to achieving the Vision 2030 blueprint.
Expo 2020 Dubai awards USD1.8 billion in contracts to SMEs
Expo 2020 Dubai awarded AED6.8 billion (c. USD1.8 billion) of contracts to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), more than a quarter of all Expo 2020 Dubai contracts in terms of value. The total represented a significant contribution to a vital sector of Dubai’s economy and exceeded a commitment made in 2016 to award at least 20% of all direct and indirect spend to SMEs.
Saudi reopens to unvaccinated visitors
The Saudi health ministry announced the lifting, on 23 March, of key COVID-19 travel requirements for those entering the Kingdom. Visitors arriving in Saudi Arabia no longer have to show proof of vaccination are not required to take a PCR test before departure or to quarantine when they arrive.