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UAE Introduces ‘Blue Residency Visa’ for Environmental Protection Advocates

By Faridat Salifu

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a new long-term residency program known as the ‘Blue Residency visa. It is 10-year visa designed to be given to individuals recognized for their contributions to environmental protection and sustainability efforts.

This initiative is part of the UAE’s broader strategy to designate 2024 as the Year of Sustainability. The emphasis on sustainability in 2024 follows a previous year marked by environmental themes, encouraging residents to engage in sustainable practices.

The Blue Residency program aims to attract advocates of environmental initiatives, including members of international firms, organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), global award recipients, and notable activists and researchers dedicated to environmental causes.

Eligible candidates can apply through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security. Additionally, relevant entities are authorized to nominate individuals for this long-term residency.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, stated, “The sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment.”

David Mackenzie, General Manager of the recruitment agency Mackenzie Jones, highlighted the benefits of the UAE’s 10-year visa program: “The biggest benefit of a ten-year visa is that it has made it possible to live here without needing to be under the sponsorship of a company. It gives you so much freedom.”

Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, described the Blue Residency visa as groundbreaking.

“The blue residency visa aims to attract global environmental leaders to contribute to the UAE’s sustainable economic and social development,” the Sultan said.

“It underscores the nation’s dedication to leveraging advanced technologies and artificial intelligence to create impactful solutions.

Al Jaber also emphasized that the Blue Residency visa builds on the legacy of the COP28 conference held in Dubai last year.

“The conference was a paradigm shift, showcasing the UAE’s unwavering commitment to multilateralism, international cooperation, and developing a united global approach to the challenges of climate change.

This visa will build on that good work and will help further establish the UAE as a front-runner in the development of technologies, such as artificial intelligence, that can help address climate change,” he added.

The introduction of the Blue Residency visa marks a significant step in the UAE’s commitment to sustainability and environmental protection, attracting global leaders to contribute to its sustainable development goals.


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