Dubai Government’s new initiative to attract coders with “Gold Visa” grant

Due to the high demand for computer programming, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the launch of a new initiative under the supervision of the UAE Artificial Intelligence Office on July 10, 2020. The National Programme for Coders is aimed at developing expertise, innovation and talent in coding and it involves collaboration with giant tech firms. These include Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Nvidia and LinkedIn among many others. A number of universities will also participate in the initiative including Khalifa University, Higher Colleges of Technology, University of Sharjah and the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, just to name a few.

gold visas for coders in dubai

The goals of the latest programme include attracting and training more than 100,000 coders, increasing government support for startups from AED 1.5B (USD 408.4M) to AED 4B (1.08B) as well as establishing 1,000 companies within the next 5 years. The next phase of The National Programmes for Coders includes inviting IT experts from across the world to find innovative solutions to 100 economic, health, technological and services issues and assist in accelerating the adoption of modern technologies. Besides this, the UAE is planning to organize 10 hackathons.

According to the predictions of Justin McGuire, co-founder & CEO, the UAE will roll out around 50,000 new technology vacancies over the next several years. At the moment, demand exceeds supply regarding computer programmers and the tech industry focuses on niche skills such as AI, ML and data analysis. As a rule, the country outsources its coding needs, and locally-based software engineers will facilitate these operations significantly. Thus, the UAE is expected to become a leading global digital hub by addressing the shortage of talent in IT sectors.

The National Programme for Coders also requires leaders to encourage women to join the software development field. Bringing a female perspective into the app design and product is essential as the practice of many tech companies shows. It is expected that a number of female-led start-ups will increase as a result of the innovative initiative.

Since the start of the pandemic, various universities and colleges in the UAE have received multiple queries about tech programmes both from freshmen and working professionals. For instance, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus has witnessed a surge in the demand for programming courses including machine learning, artificial intelligence and deep learning.

The other good news is that the newly launched programme includes granting golden visas to the best 100,000 coders worldwide. Entrepreneurs and start-ups specializing in computer programming based in any location across the globe can apply for the visa through The Office of Artificial Intelligence in the UAE government or the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. Application eligibility extends to graduates of software, electric and hardware engineering, artificial intelligence, big data, data science, information technologies and computer sciences. This initiative will also have a positive effect on the UAE real estate market as up to 100,000 tech talents will relocate to Dubai.

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