The 10 Principles of 50: the UAE launches 10 principles for the next 50 years

A strategic framework for the country’s political, economic, legislative and social development.

The United Arab Emirates government has launched a global campaign “Projects of the 50” to attract foreign investment and talents and promote the features that make the UAE one of the most dynamic, competitive and innovative business centers of the world.  On Sunday 6thSeptember, the UAE announced the “Principles of the 50”, accompanying the main announcement of the “Projects of the 50” which is a centerpiece initiative undertaken in advance of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the UAE later in the year.  The Principles of the 50, being ten principles for the next fifty years will “build a sustainable economy and harness all possible resources to build a more prosperous society” as explained by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The principles will pave the economic, political and developmental roadmap of the UAE for the next 50 years providing a stable and enduring economy as well as a better life for its residents. Human capital and resources are to be amplified so as to maintain the ranking of the Emirates as the most competitive national economy. While taking full advantage of the geographical position of the Emirates, solidifying social, political and economic relations with the neighbors will be a focus to stabilize and accelerate the prosperity and development of the Emirates. Furthermore, the rule of justice and the law as well as the preservation of rights shall always be reserved with full support to every individual, institution or initiative that promotes humanity and peace. 

A major reason behind the United Arab Emirates’s improvement is the core strength of the Emirates courts and legal system, which has grown along with the population. The Principles of the 50 will further accelerate the change and improvement of these systems. 

Gender Equality obligations

Legislative change happens to be one of the UAE’s most topical subjects, and touches on some of the most sensitive and crucial aspects of life. For instance, Women’s rights and gender equality have always been of the utmost importance which has been clearly mentioned and modified in the Legislative Foundations; “Honor Crimes” are now considered as a murder and will be treated as such; cohabitation is now legal and couples don’t have to be married in order to live together which gives residents more freedom, reflecting the principles of tolerance and openness.  

Inheritance Law has also witnessed some changes; the new amendments give the expatriates living in the UAE the option to choose the law that would be applied to their inheritance in order to ensure the stability and wellbeing of the UAE foreign investors/residents. 

Facilitating investments in the UAE

Another sector which has seen such dynamic legislative change is Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the UAE.  Sweeping changes have recently been made to the laws of the UAE to help attract foreign direct investment in advanced technology and knowledge. In summary, foreign investors previously only had a right to own forty-nine percent of a company’s shares in the mainland UAE.  However, amendments to the relevant laws covering FDI mean that foreign investors can own up to 100 percent of shares in a business for many activities. 

The Green Visa

Expats who do not work for an employer will be offered a visa that includes expanded benefits for sponsoring family members. This “green visa” offers a grace period of ninety to one-hundred and eighty days in the event of cancellation. In addition, the new visa regulations have a crucial aspect known as the “humanitarian aspect”, where divorcees and widows may stay in the United Arab Emirates for one year to find a job or any way to support themselves financially in the country. 

If you wish to discuss this insight or any corporate and commercial related matters, please feel free to contact Partner, Bassem Daher and Senior Associate, Gerry Rogers who co-authored this insight.