Healthcare and hospitality could emerge as the top beneficiaries of the recent UAE government’s move to issue ‘Green Visas’, with its employee-friendly norms seen leading a surge in specialist talent inflow into the country, helping to further shape these sectors, industry insiders said. The latest initiatives on visas, allowing sponsorships of parents and adult children,
Healthcare and hospitality could emerge as the top beneficiaries of the recent UAE government’s move to issue ‘Green Visas’, with its employee-friendly norms seen leading a surge in specialist talent inflow into the country, helping to further shape these sectors, industry insiders said.
The latest initiatives on visas, allowing sponsorships of parents and adult children, as well as the extended period for finding alternate jobs, are also predicted to significantly expand the sustainable job sectors that can support the middle class, which, in turn, will drive the country’s economy further.
“With the increasing number of ageing adults choosing to live in Dubai, we can expect a rise in demand for advanced quaternary care services, which will be well-supported by specialist healthcare talent who could now be opting for Dubai [after the announcement on Green Visas],” Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, told Arabian Business.
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“We expect this [latest initiative] to also encourage healthcare start-ups from other markets to consider Dubai as a hub for introducing innovative solutions, which can further strengthen the healthcare delivery system,” added Dr Moopen.
“We see this as an opportunity that would help in further shaping the healthcare sector. We also expect this to plug the talent gap which the rising demand for quality healthcare is creating,” he said.
The UAE announced last week the new class of visas – ‘Green Visas’ – which will allow expatriates to apply for work without being sponsored by an employer, and include children up to the age of 25 on their permits.
The government also said it will allow people who have lost their jobs to remain in the country for up to 180 days from the earlier 30 days.
The Aster Group top executive, who is considered as a doyen of the healthcare industry in the UAE, said: “Not only does it (extension to six months) provide flexibility to top talents who are looking to build a long-term career in the UAE, but also assures him or her of a promising future with their families by their side.”
Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare.
Dr Moopen said one of the main concerns that every expat faces is regarding their ageing parents who have to be left behind in their home countries, and also the adult children who have to migrate for higher studies or to find local employment.
For the hospitality sector, especially food and beverage (F&B), the prospects of the new Green Visa initiative helping the industry to hire the best talents and thus bring down the current high employee turnover rate, saving millions of dollars annually for the industry, is what makes it extra appealing.
“With the introduction of the new visas, two significant advantages I predict for the F&B and hospitality industry – one regards to the six-month period allowed for employees to find a new job or change the status enabling both employees and the employers to get the best match; and second this helping the industry to save millions of dollars annually lost because of the high annual employee turnover,” Panchali Mahendra, Dubai-based managing director of Atelier House, a hospitality advisory, development and operations management firm, told Arabian Business.
Mahendra said the earlier time crunch to find a job often resulted in poor or compromised career choices, with often dissatisfied employees leaving the country, leading to industry players regularly losing talent and end up hiring the next best.
“This dissatisfaction has led in the past to higher attrition levels in the country – as close to 30 percent in certain years – which is very high,” added Mahendra, who played a pivotal role in Atelier, bringing the internationally-acclaimed Michelin star restaurant Marea to Dubai, and also launching some boutique ethnic brands in the F&B sector.
Panchali Mahendra, Dubai-based managing director of Atelier House.
The short-term career choices resulted in huge losses for the industry by way of recruitment and legal costs, insurance and training, impacting the P&L (profit and loss) of companies negatively.
“With the six-month extension now, employees and employers in the industry are in a more stable and positive zone to find the right candidate for the right job and vice versa. This initiative will definitely bring the employee turnover rate lower in the industry,” she said.
Mehendra also said this long-term initiative is bound to increase the quality for valuable and sustainable job sectors that support the middle class, which ultimately drives the economy, including the F&B sector.
The Atelier top executive felt Green Visas could give the F&B sector yet another reason to cheer as the latest initiative would add to Dubai’s continued appeal for millionaires – safety, healthcare services, luxury shops and restaurants, beaches, tax benefits and a top financial centre.
The UAE is estimated to have attracted 2000 millionaires in the last year as per market research by New World Wealth.
Mahendra, an ardent advocate of women empowerment, has also appreciated the extension of divorcee and widow visas, as this would not only give time to think, grieve, stabilise, but also will help them to find their bearings.