The UAE is a country of endless possibilities and with leaders with a vision to consistently look to the future.

With this in mind, in 2022 alone there have been a number of changes to continue to make the UAE an attractive place to live.

From visa updates to an amendment in labour laws, a host of new rules and regulations were launched this year.

For an overview of all the updates, Emirates Woman has curated a guide to all the changes made in 2022.

New visa system

With visas being a major topic of discussion this year, the country continues to welcome expats from around the globe, especially with all the new visas here. The new system of entry and residence was launched to retain global talents and skilled workers from October 3, 2022. The latest visas introduced include a visitor visa which has increased the duration from 30 to 60 days after the individual has proved sufficient funds. For those who wish to start their own company, a business visa can be granted without a sponsor. Visas can also be granted for internship programmes, study courses and training purposes, and for any-project based work or temporary assignments, candidates can receive a temporary work visa. Now, families also have the option of sponsoring male children until the age of 25, where it was previously granted for 18 years old. The other visas available include a multi-entry tourist visa, a Green visa and a Golden visa for individuals who fall under the categories of entrepreneurs, real estate owners, exceptional talents, scientists & researchers, outstanding students and skilled workers.

Working week shift

Starting from January 1, 2022, this year, the UAE Government Media Office transitioned to a new model with Saturday and Sunday forming the weekend days. Additionally, the UAE government made an announcement that the working week would be a four-and-a-half-day week for Federal employees from Monday to Thursday, 7:30am to 3:30pm with employees working for 4.5 hours on Friday and the flexibility to work from home.

Labour law updates

With only full-time employment possible before, employees now have the possibility to opt for temporary and flexible work, freelance jobs, condensed working hours and shared jobs. This new law allows employees to work part-time, job share, take on temporary work, or work for more than one employer for a specified number of days. Per the new contract, employees can work 40 hours a week and can perform all 40 hours in three if they would like to do so.

Tech-driven Emirati passports

With innovation at the forefront, the government launched the next generation of Emirati passports on September 1, 2022, with technical specifications to promote security and safety for international travel. Designed to enhance the UAE’s international competitiveness to promote security and safety for international travel. The key features include a detail-oriented identification page with a holographic logo and enhanced elements to reduce attempts of forgery. Per the state news agency WAM, these changes are in line with the directions of the wise leadership to consolidate the movement toward a smart government in the UAE.

E-cheques are now the future

Through a partnership between Dubai Land Department and Emirates NBD, cheque payments for rental have been automated using the Central Bank of the UAE’s Direct Debit System (UAEDDS) allowing tenants to make payments through their bank accounts instead of issuing physical cheques. Tenants will also have the option of flexible payment plans and facilitate easy transfer without any added hassle.

Emirates IDs are the new visas

Since May 16, 2022, Emirates ID cards have officially replaced residence visa stickers across all emirates except Dubai. All relevant information is documented and stored within Emirates ID cards to merge residence and identity card applications, instead of processing them separately leading to a number of benefits. This rule now cuts paperwork and the time taken to process applications, with a more detailed outline showcasing a 3D picture, date of birth on the cardholder, and enhanced protection of non-visible data including employment information.

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Images: Supplied & feature image: Instagram @alphaspotting