Talented professionals, students and investors, in priority sectors are being encouraged to set down roots with their families in Abu Dhabi as part of a new programme that supports the emirate’s strategy to develop key areas such as culture, healthcare, research and development (R&D) and real estate.
“Thrive in Abu Dhabi” highlights the long-term visas and paths to citizenship available for expats working, creating, studying, excelling or investing in priority sectors that empower them to build their futures in a safe and welcoming environment.
Creative talent are encouraged to be part of a global arts and culture hub, join the emirate’s dynamic media and entertainment industry, or support the development of understanding the past.
The creative visa builds on Abu Dhabi’s five-year Culture Sector Strategy for Abu Dhabi, unveiled in November 2019 by the Department of Culture and Tourism.
It covers five strategic objectives: preserve and sustain Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage; increase awareness of, and engagement with, cultural heritage and the arts; stimulate creativity as a driver for education and social change; build and enable capacity in Abu Dhabi’s culture sector; contribute to economic growth and diversification.
Students with a PhD or promising scientific ability at either high school or university level can expand their horizons and ensure career paths by studying at one of a collection of world-class academic institutions in Abu Dhabi, including NYU Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne Abu Dhabi and Khalifa University.
Students can learn the skills of the future, including in specialist areas such as AI, at the new Mohamed bin Zayed University for Artificial Intelligence, or coding at the innovative coding school 42 Abu Dhabi. They can participate in pioneering research in areas related to COVID-19 and AgTech at UAE University, or focus on tolerance and coexistence at the world’s first university dedicated to human fraternity, the Mohamed bin Zayed University for Humanities.
The programme invites innovators to turn their idea into reality – with access to funding and incentives – as part of a dynamic R&D ecosystem.
In 2020, Abu Dhabi launched the Middle East’s first research council, the Advanced Technology Research Centre (ATRC). It includes the Technology Innovation Institute, whose seven pillars are quantum research, autonomous robotics, cryptography, advanced materials, digital security, directed energy and secure systems.
As part of Abu Dhabi’s accelerator programme, Ghadan 21, the Department of Education and Knowledge has launched academic research grants to award AED40 million in competitive research funding to support R&D.
Investors, including entrepreneurs, can tap into major opportunities by expanding their business in key sectors including five ‘growth sectors’ identified by ADIO – financial services, ICT, health services and biopharma, AgTech, and tourism – as well as real estate.
Start-ups are receiving significant support, with Abu Dhabi emerging as a global start-up hub, particularly for future technologies such as FinTech, AgTech, HealthTech and EdTech. Ghadan 21 has accelerated the ecosystem’s development by supporting start-ups and SMEs through initiatives such as Hub71, a global start-up ecosystem that is now home to more than 100 start-ups, Ventures Fund (managed by ADQ) and SME Credit Guarantee and SME supply chain financing initiative.
Those who excel in areas such as sport, healthcare, science, education or engineering are enabled to accelerate their careers in a global trade hub with a rapidly diversifying economy and fast-growing private sector.
For more details about Thrive in Abu Dhabi, the long-term visas and paths to citizenship and the government departments leading each category, visit
https://tamm.abudhabi/en/Golden-Visa or call +971 2 666 4442 (outside UAE) or 800 555 (within UAE).