The UAE's startup industry is upbeat about the 10-year residency visa for investors and specialists and sees it as a step to ensure long-term investment and sustainability. The sector was vibrant in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, with venture capitalists hailing it as the most lucrative industry.
Leading local venture capitalists have already given the verdict for the current year, with deals set to close higher than 2017 (which saw $560 million invested in 260 startups across the Mena). The first quarter has already seen 62 deals closed and the amount invested is $35.54 million, according to Magnitt research.
Fawaz H. Zu'bi, founder and CEO, Silicon Badia, an active investor in Middle East startups, said: "The UAE has been working hard to promote and develop a creative and innovative ecosystem that requires the presence of highly capable professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as an engaged enterprise market that helps this development gain speed. We, however, know that the secret is not in the decision as much as it is in the execution and interpretation. A successful implementation will bring huge gains for the Emirate and instill further trust and confidence in the country. A sustainable ecosystem can develop as long as investors, entrepreneurs and foreign employees are able to feel grounded in a country they can consider to be their own."