Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, recently announced the UAE “Gold Card”, a UAE initiative to give “permanent residency” to residents. Wonderful news! Our complaints have finally been heard. But wait a minute…
UAE residents are seen cheering on social media for the Sheikh, perhaps under the impression they will be receiving this Gold Card soon, and I hope they do.
However, the first 6800 individuals chosen to receive the Gold Card have a total investment in the UAE of 100 billion dirhams!
Let’s do the math. 100 billion over 6800: an average of 15 million dirhams of investment per individual.
If you’ve moved here and started a family, thinking that it will ever be home, then there finally is a chance, but I hope you have an extra 15 million dirhams lying around to invest.
Sorry to burst your bubble. But this gold card is nothing more than a strategy to support the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020, and to stop the rich expats from pulling their money out. That’s because no one in his right mind would invest in this country tens of millions without at least having the right to live here permanently.
If you thought the UAE cares about it’s expats or considers them “brothers/sisters”, then you are very naive. What more proof do you need other than you being born here or spending 10+ years here without getting a single piece of recognition, and then some random millionaire comes in and gets a permanent residency?
I’m glad about one thing though. The UAE finally admits how much they need the expats, the rich ones, for now. In a way, it’s a small victory towards erasing the “inferior” stamp placed on an expat, in comparison to an Emirati.
Unfortunately, however, I still don’t think that anyone wishing to invest 15 million to get the Gold Card is making a smart move. The UAE is infamous got constantly changing the rules, similarly to what happened with the “99” year visa that was supposedly to be granted to those who paid millions and bought apartments.
The UAE commonly excercise revoking citizenship to those who say or do the wrong thing. If being a citizen doesn’t grant you rights, what kind of rights do you expect from a permanent residency?
There are other countries where you can invest less and get a full citizenship that is unlikely to get revoked and comes with true full rights of a local.