Call for decision on UAE labour card and residence visa changes to be reversed

by Ray Clancy on March 22, 2011

New visa requirements for UAE withdrawn

Business representatives are calling for a controversial ruling by the United Arab Emirates that effectively reduced expat residence visas to two years to be changes.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce is leading the call for change after the Ministry of Labour announced in December that labour card validity would be reduced from January this year, which has had a knock on effect on residence visas.

‘As the private sector, the position is that we are not that happy with this change and we would like to see a change back to the old times,’ said Dubai Chamber director general Hamad Buamim.

‘We have put a paper to the Ministry of Labour and we are meeting the minister to talk more about this,’ he told Arabian Business.

He also pointed out that the ruling added an extra cost and burden on businesses and revealed that the issue has been discussed at a meeting last week attended by all the UAE chambers of commerce.

He added that the Dubai Chamber of Commerce would prefer labour card validity to be extended rather than shortened.

He is hopeful that the UAE governments will listen to the arguments. ‘All the governments in the UAE listen quite well. HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said once that even if there is a law that we pass today, if it is wrong, we are ready to relook at it tomorrow,’ said Buamim.

‘So I believe that the prime minister stated this clearly, and it empowers us, as one of the entities responsible for the private sector to challenge such laws. Most of the laws and policies we have discussed ahead of time. This wasn’t a law, this was actually a ministerial decision, and I believe that they looked at it from certain perspectives that we as the private sector, we don’t agree with,’ he added.

In December, the Ministry of Labour defended its ruling by saying that it would lower the time that private sector workers are obliged to spend with one employer and that it would create a positive impact on the labour market.

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce is the body charged with overseeing the interests of the private sector in the emirate.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen March 24, 2011 at 2:34 am

I have been informed by my potential new employer in Dubai that there are different levels of Residency Visas and that it is better to have senior managers visa than one that stipulates just sales, can anyone guide me on this ?


addyj672 March 27, 2011 at 8:35 am

Senior Managers visa has some facilities with it like no need of NOC for driving license and may be some other benefits…


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