High-achieving teenagers hope a golden visa will open doors to new opportunities for them when they begin their careers.
Pupils who score 95 per cent or above in their final exams will be granted a 10-year stay, as will their immediate family members, the UAE government announced on Monday.
Dubai teenagers who earned 45 points – a perfect score – in the International Baccalaureate said the rule would help them return to the UAE and give something back to the community that raised them after they study abroad.
Turkish twin sisters Naz and Nil Karadede, 18, attended Deira International School.
Naz will study philosophy, politics and economics at King’s College London this autumn.
She said she would love to secure a golden visa and live in the UAE.
“I would want to come back here and work in the field of public policy,” Naz said.
“Dubai has a lot of opportunities. I have lived here since I was two years old and Dubai is my second home.
“As UAE residents, we are fortunate to get opportunities and education that most children across the world do not have access to.
“It would be my way of giving back to the community that raised me and helped me become who I am today.”
Nil is also excited at the possibility of a golden visa.
She will study medicine at Trinity College Dublin and aspires to become a cardiac thoracic surgeon, and hopes to work in a UAE hospital in the future.
“Heart disease has become prevalent around the world and this visa would enable me to work in a country which gave me the opportunity to reach my goals,” Nil said.
“We grew up here and have been at this school for 15 years; so, I would definitely love to give back to this community that has given me so much.”
She said the golden visa would help their long-term plans and cut down residency costs for the family.
On Tuesday, 37 IB graduates in the UAE were awarded 45 points.
Globally, 1,155 children out of 170,000 earned the maximum score.
Tala Daher, 17, attended Uptown International School and has lived in the UAE for more than a decade.
She plans to begin an integrated master’s degree in architectural engineering at the University of Sheffield, England, in September, and hopes to work in the Emirates after completing her studies.
“The chance of getting a golden visa and living in the UAE is a great opportunity,” said Tala, who is Jordanian.
“As high-achieving pupils, we can achieve our dream careers here.”
She said winning 10-year visas for her parents and 14-year-old sibling offers stability to the family.
Chetan Nair, 19, who went to Gems Wellington International School, will go to Stanford University to study computer science but hopes to build his future in the UAE.
“I think the golden visa is a great initiative to provide hardworking pupils with an added incentive,” Chetan said.
“I grew up in Dubai and have seen how much potential the place has.
“My parents and younger sister are here, and I would love to be a part of this city’s future.”
Durga Chandrashekhar, 18, who is Indian, will attend the American University of Sharjah to study space sciences.
“The scientific community is booming here. With the Mars mission, there are a lot of opportunities and openings for scientists,” she said.
“I know that wherever I go, I will have this home base to come to, and this security is really rewarding.”
She attended Uptown International School.
Sidharth Hariharan, 17, who is also Indian, attended Gems Modern Academy. He hopes to return to the Emirates after completing a degree in maths at Imperial College London.
“The UAE has a clear focus on scientific thought. Its knowledge economy appeals to me,” he said.