Closely following in the footsteps of the U.A.E., Bahrain is preparing a draft law to allow a 10-year, renewable residency permit on a self-sponsorship basis for foreign investors.

Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa instructed the Minister of Interior to prepare a draft law to create a new self-sponsorship residency permit for foreign investors, state news agency BNA said. It is still unclear when Bahrain plans to execute this new law.

The announcement follows the similar moves by the U.A.E which announced 10 days ago that it would grant 10-year visas to investors and professionals in select fields, as well as allow 100% foreign ownership.

Talks of extending residence permits of foreigners come as Bahrain and other GCC countries are grappling with a slower pace of growth and the challenges they face in economic diversification.

With oil prices touching $80 per barrel, the Gulf countries are trying to attract foreign capital and investment to sustain their economies over the long term.

Bahrain’s economic growth exceeded expectations as it edged above its 2016 performance during the first 9 months of 2017. Economic growth rate reached 3.6% in real terms, compared to 3.2% in 2016.

In 2017, Bahrain received investments worth $733 million.