The UAE has set out its plan to provide 100,000 golden visas to the best computer programming talent both in the UAE and across the globe.
On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said the Emirates has signed a deal with a host of technology giants, including Google, Facebook and Amazon, to train 100,000 young people in computer programming.
Golden visas - which deliver long-term residency to recipients - will be granted to entrepreneurs, owners of enterprises, and start-ups specialised in coding.
The National Programme for Coders has now launched the application process.
The scheme is available to both residents of the UAE and people based overseas.
The move is part of an ambitious strategy to create 1,000 digital companies to boost the Emirati economy and increase government support for start-ups from Dh1.5 billion ($0.41bn) to Dh4bn.
“We launched a national programme for coders with Google, Microsoft, Amazon AWS, Cisco, IBM, HPE, LinkedIn, Nvidia & Facebook with aims to train 100,000 coders, establish 1,000 tech companies that will go global, & increase start-up investments from Dh1.5 billion to Dh4 billion,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.
"The new programme represents a new step towards establishing our digital economy. The world is rapidly changing and the fast-growing digital economy will create new types of jobs. To thrive in the ever-evolving world, we must be ready to quickly cope with the emerging trends."
Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working System, said the UAE would welcome expertise from all corners of the globe who can accelerate the country's development.
He said offering a golden visa would attract the best talent from home and abroad and allow them to play a key role in the nation's future.
Coders of all nationalities and age groups may apply for the UAE golden visa through The Office of Artificial Intelligence in the UAE government or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.
Applications are to be submitted by the government agencies responsible for issuing golden visas for qualified coders.
Application eligibility extends to: distinguished experts and talents who achieved success in various areas of coding, those who work for pioneering international technological firms, graduates of software engineering, computer sciences, hardware engineering, information technology, artificial intelligence, data science, big data, and electrical engineering.