Feb 11, 2009

Dubai Continues to Attract Expats

DUBAI - Global recession or not, Dubai continues to be a favourite destination with expatriates, a top official said. M

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD), said that Dubai was still experiencing a healthy number of incoming residents in 2009, after years of boom inflows.

“It is true there are residence visas that were cancelled but at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of new ones that were issued. There is still a sort of balanced situation as far as the labour market goes,” Al Marri said.

“This has to do with the supply and demand in the labour market.”

According to figures available with DNRD, 1,088 visas were issued per day in January this year. This is just under 1,000 fewer than in the same period of 2008.

However, the DNRD chief did not deny that the global financial crisis has had some negative impact on the labour market in Dubai. .

“Like all cities in the world, Dubai has had its share of the global meltdown. Lots of major private companies in the US, considered to be one of the strongest economies in the world, have had to cut some jobs. Likewise, companies here have had to take that difficult option at that particular stage to slash their manpower.”Major General Al Marri added: “Still, one should not just see the bad side of the coin. Even under the financial crisis, we are still issuing new residence visas, which means that there are new job opportunities.”

The DNRD official praised the strong resilience of Dubai. “Our economy has always been dynamic. This is proven by the influx of people to Dubai in the middle of the financial crisis.”

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