Technology ecosystem Hub71 has been selected by the Abu Dhabi Residents Office, a division of the emirate's Department of Economic Development, to endorse exceptional technology talent for the Entrepreneur Golden Visa programme in the UAE capital.
Hub 71 will review and evaluate entrepreneurs and issue endorsement letters for the programme based on requirements set by the department and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, or ICA.
Once entrepreneurs obtain a letter of endorsement from Hub71, ADRO and the ICA will handle inquires relating to final visa approval and the issuance of golden visas for entrepreneurs, it said on Sunday.
“We are calling on change makers within our community, locally and globally, with bright ideas and a bold vision to advance sectors of national importance and make a positive difference to our society, embracing the growth opportunities the UAE presents,” said Ibrahim Ajami, interim chief executive at Hub71 and head of ventures and growth at Mubadala Investment Company.
Innovation, entrepreneurship and advanced industries are priorities for the UAE as part of its ambition to create a knowledge-based economy in line with the UAE Centennial Plan 2071, according to Hub71.
Hub71 is a flagship initiative of the Dh50 billion Ghadan 21 economic stimulus programme. It was set up in 2019 by the Abu Dhabi government, Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Microsoft and SoftBank to boost the start-up ecosystem in the capital.
The technology ecosystem has positioned the emirate as an innovation centre and attracted start-ups in sectors that are crucial to the country’s growth, such as agriculture, technology, health care and renewable energy.
More than 15 local, regional and international venture capital funds are based at Hub71, with assets under management worth more than $1.72bn.
The Entrepreneur Golden Visa is valid for five years and allows founders who are foreign nationals and UAE residents to make the Emirates their long-term home amid hopes that they will build and scale up technology and innovative solutions, Hub 71 said.
In addition to the entrepreneurs, spouses, children and up to three executive directors can also be covered under the visa, enabling them to live, work and study in the UAE without a national sponsor.
The technology ecosystem will review applications from founders operating in technology sectors such as FinTech, health and education technology, e-commerce, artificial intelligence and Big Data.
“Abu Dhabi provides entrepreneurs with the infrastructure, resources and support from both the public and private sectors to enable [them] to succeed in a growing market where innovation is central to its long-term future,” said Mr Ajami.
To be eligible for the golden visa, entrepreneurs must own a successful project in the UAE with a minimum value of Dh500,000. Projects must relate to one of the following industries – information and telecoms technology, financial services, health care, tourism, aviation, defence, petrochemicals, education, agriculture and food manufacturing.
For entrepreneurs whose projects are focused on other industries, Hub71 has the authority to endorse their application as an organisation accredited by the Department of Economic Development, said Hub71.
The long-term visa system has been rapidly expanded to a wide range of residents in recent months, from scientists and academics to businesspeople and public figures. Last week, the UAE announced its plan to award 100,000 golden visas to the world's best coders.