Applicable fields include boosting the air quality and green technology

The UAE has announced a long-term residency for environment advocates. Called ‘Blue Residency’, the 10-year visa will be granted to individuals who have made “exceptional contributions and efforts” in protecting the environment.

This covers sustainability initiatives both inside and outside the UAE.

The Blue Residency will be granted to supporters of environmental action, including members of international companies, associations and non-governmental organisations; global award winners; and “distinguished” activists and researchers in environmental work.

Eligible individuals have been invited to submit their applications through the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs, and Port Security. Relevant authorities can also nominate individuals for the long-term residency.

“The sustainability of our economy has become linked to the sustainability of our environment,” said Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as he chaired a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

The new residency scheme is part of initiatives that the country has launched to mark 2024 as the year of sustainability. The sustainability drive was extended into 2024 after green themes dominated last year - when the country invited residents to join in the collective efforts to adopt sustainable practices.

The UAE typically issues residency visas that have a validity of two years. In 2019, the country announced a 10-year residency scheme called Golden Visas for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates and humanitarian pioneers, among others. Three years after, the country announced a five-year residency called green visas for skilled professionals, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs.