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Dubai’s Golden Visa Surge: Over 50% Increase in 2023 Signals Expatriate Boom

Dubai's Thriving Residency Programs Attract Investors, Professionals, and Scholars, Leading to Unprecedented Growth


Dubai, UAE – In a striking revelation, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai has reported an impressive 52% increase in the issuance of Golden Visas during the initial half of 2023 when compared to the same period in the previous year. This significant upsurge reflects Dubai’s continued appeal as a destination of choice for expatriates seeking long-term residency opportunities.

The Golden Visa program, introduced in 2019, offers extended residency privileges that permit expatriates to live, work, or study in the UAE for up to a decade. Eligible candidates encompass a diverse range of individuals, including investors, entrepreneurs, scholars, specialists, outstanding students, and frontline heroes, among others. As of November 2022, Dubai had already granted more than 150,000 Golden Visas to eligible residents, investors, professionals, and other qualified applicants.

This revelation coincided with the GDRFA’s announcement during a recent press conference about the forthcoming “International Conference on Policymaking: The Future of Ports.” The event promises to bring together international experts to discuss critical policymaking aspects in the maritime sector.

Additionally, the GDRFA revealed that Dubai had experienced a remarkable 63% surge in the issuance of residency visas during the same January-June period. Concurrently, tourist visas also recorded a substantial uptick of 21%, indicating a continued influx of foreigners looking to explore the UAE and individuals seeking new opportunities and lifestyles in the Emirate.

One of the driving factors behind this surge in Dubai’s population is the emirate’s stellar performance in managing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as its successful hosting of Expo 2020. This combination of factors has solidified Dubai’s reputation as an attractive destination for foreign investors, professionals, and residents alike.

Since the beginning of 2023, Dubai’s population has expanded by an impressive 72,700 residents, reaching a total of 3.623 million, up from 3.550 million at the start of the year. This dynamic growth underscores Dubai’s resilience and enduring appeal on both regional and global fronts.

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