At the AIM Startup 2019 event held in April, we inquired experts on their opinions about the recent announcement about the UAE granting long term visas to startups.
What Do You Think About the UAE's Move To Grant Long Term Visas to Startups?
“A lot of startups are looking for good teams and good talent, so attracting talent to come and work for them is a huge challenge for the entrepreneur. So, this visa coming in and allowing startups having longer visas is a great way to attract talent to the region.”
Sonia Gokhale, Co-founder and Partner at Venture Souq
“I think that’s extraordinary; the UAE has started to make some major policy changes over the last 12 months as you have seen, whether its longer-term residency for specific professions and now opening up to startups. I think the realization – as s 47-year-old nation - that we have attracted the world’s best talents, we have attracted the brightest minds in the Arab world and the Muslim world, to be able to retain them and convince them that this is your pedestal to go out and build global solutions to create global impact.”
Danish Farhan, Founder & CEO of Xische
“It’s definitely going to help because the truth is a lot of the entrepreneurs are not locals, they’re expats who come from different backgrounds so sometimes its not so easy to get a visa. It will help but it’s only one step forward, we need to do more than that, for example Dubai housing costs, Dubai visa costs and trade license cost.”
Shane Shin, Founding Managing Partner at Shorooq Investments
“For the next five years, I have a legal presence in this country. I can build my startup, I can get access to the market and do whatever I want, I’m fully protected by local laws and regulations to exercise activity within the country. It is important and will help attract more startups, because this may have been a feedback to many startups that are afraid to operate in the Middle East because they have no control over their own fate when it comes to the legal immigration side, so I think that’s a very strong and strategic move from the government here.”
Sami Abou Saab, CEO of Speed Lebanon