Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai
GCC expats: A roadway to Gulf's tourism boom
My Voice, My Password
Smart choice for a smart living GDRFAD’s mobile application enables: Individuals:
• On arrival visa extension. • Dashboard with all entry permits and residency
applications that are in progress, active, expiring soon or have expired. • Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. • New and renew sponsored residencies (citizens). • New and renew residency (wife & children). • Attaching required documents. New update: • New entry permit for assistant categories (citizens) • Family passport renewal bouquet (citizens). • Renew passport (citizens only). • MYID
Establishments: • • • •
Extending entry permits (tourist visas). Work entry permit renewal. Before arrival – entry permit cancellation. Printing of Ministry of Labor’s permits. New update: • Dashboard with all entry permits & residences overstays and the ones expiring within 30 days.
• • • • • •
Payment gateway. Visa inquiry. News and activities. Amer Car services. User guide. Branches with location maps and contact details. • Multimedia section. • Contact Director General
Mobile application is available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFA Dubai or simply scan the QR code
• Toll free: 8005111
Government of excellence A chievement, innovation, and
streamlining are the three pillars of the management philosophy at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFADubai) which aims to provide high quality services in line with the vision and instructions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, of being a truly government of excellence. It goes without saying that we cannot assess any achievement unless we have concrete standards and precise indicators to measure the performance, compare and analyze the results and take necessary corrective measures. When we talk about results and indicators, we do not mean only those that are on paper and in reports but also those gained from field visits and inspections at work sites to evaluate the situation on the grounds and judge it from the perspective of GDRFADubai customers and not GDRFADubai. Undoubtedly, achievements cannot be separated from innovation. Every innovation leads to more achievements and every achievement results in more innovation. We are happy that we have within a short span of few years managed to become an inspiring force to reckon with in terms of technology and
innovation and it was reflected well through our participation in the GITEX Technology Week 2014. It is needless to say that the innovation-led achievements resulted in greater facilitation and development of services for the travellers. It may not be the right context to mention about several initiatives we have taken to lift the pressure from the shoulders of our customers through the cancellation of unnecessary procedures that are no longer required and consumes a lot of efforts and time. We are proud to say that we have achieved all of this efficiently and skillfully. I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that we will continue the journey of excellence with firm determination and commitment with our passion for excellence driving every aspect of our work.
Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 1
October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department
October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.
1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.
1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex
1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith
2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila
1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort
1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated
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Our Vision The UAE to become one the safest and most secure countries in the world.
Our Mission To work efficiently and effectively to enhance the quality of life for UAE society through security, transit, rehabilitation, residency services and secure the safety of lives and property.
Our Values Justice t Work with team spirit t Excellence t Good cooperation t t Integrity t Loyalty Social responsibility t
Strategic objectives t Strengthening of security and safety t Ensure readiness and preparedness in disasters and crises t Enhancing public confidence in the effectiveness of the provided services t The optimal use of security information t Secure the provision of all administrative services in accordance with standards of quality, efficiency and transparency
To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae
Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae
GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan
GDRFA-Dubai celebrates Flag Day P4
UAE News UAE among top 15 expat destinations
UAE committed to protection of foreign workers
Middle East News Bahrain to double immigration officers to handle Causeway traffic
Kuwaiti firms barred from recruiting workforce
Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai
Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General
General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General
General Coordinator Captain Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Executive Editor Mohammed Abdul Mannan
International News Greece to offer citizenship to property buyers
Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai
Cuban migration surges over land and by sea
Advertise with us Content, Production, Marketing & Advertising Nadd Al Shiba PR and Event Management Phone: + 9714 2566707 Fax: + 9714 2566704 Website
P 40 |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 3
GDRFA-Dubai celebrates Flag Day line with the directives of His I nHighness Sheikh Mohammed bin
illuminated in workspaces and stretched across villas and apartment buildings in the Emirate of Dubai to show solidarity with the UAE’s Flag Day celebrations.
Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai to celebrate Flag Day ahead of the UAE National Day on December 2, by hoisting the UAE flag on buildings of all the government institutions, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affaires in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) celebrated Flag Day at its headquarters. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Al-Mari, Director General of GDRFADubai, conducted the flag-hoisting ceremony which was attended by all the employees.
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Large flags, flags with lights, and even abayas emblazoned with flags were showcased across Dubai in the spirit of nationalism and unity by Emiratis and the expatriates alike.
On November 3, the UAE flag was unfurled and raised at offices, wrapped around a public bus,
November 3 marks the day His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan became UAE President 10 years ago and the Flag Day initiative was started on that date last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
20623 e-Passport transactions by GDRFA-Dubai
M ajor General Mohammed Al Marri,
Director General of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), said that the Naturalization Department received 106346 complaints in 2014 all of which have resolved. The number of e-Passport transactions carried out at the GDRFA-
Dubai headquarters last year was 20623, 1167 at Dubai Airport Centre, 1423 at Hatta office, 1280 at Al Arabi Centre Mirdif, and Al Manara Centre 747. He made a tour of the Naturalization Department to learn about its performance during the year and the future plans and initiatives.
He said the GDRFA-Dubai has remained in the forefront of providing excellence in the services provided to the customers in line with the vision and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Dubai Airport Centre
Al Arabi Centr Al Manara Centre
20623 |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 5
UAE shares border control success story at Frontex meeting
General Obaid Muhair bin Suroor, Deputy Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA- Dubai), affirmed that the UAE has made substantial progress and excellence in terms of border control management. He pointed out that these achievements have made the UAE a model for the best practices in the border control industry. He made these remarks during a presentation at the 22nd edition of the International Borders Security Conference, organized by Frontex, the European agency for operational cooperation at the External Borders of the member-states in the European Union (EU), where the GDRFA-Dubai represented the UAE.
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Participants at the conference, hosted by the Polish capital, Warsaw, discussed the future of maritime, land and air borders in terms of security and facilities offered to the travellers.
tex meeting allowed us to be in close proximity to the international decision-making hubs related to the borders control and security industry. It also allowed us to gain insights into the developments in the industry; recognize the new Senior officers from the EU systems and programmes implemember-states participated in mented by the participating states the meeting, as well as Australia in order to face the challenges that and Hong Kong. The UAE was the world is currently facing.” the only Middle East country at the meeting which was held from He added: “Inviting the UAE to October 21 to 24. participate in this important international meeting reflects the The goal of the meeting, where international acknowledgment of the first annual report of the Fron- the UAE’s achievements in the tex was revealed, was to discuss border industry, especially the seacceleration of traveling proce- curity control and in accelerating dures, upgrading of the services and simplifying the traveling proprovided to travellers, strength- cedures.” ening security and analyzing the risks and threats to border control. During the discussions, he preMajor General Obaid said: “The sented the UAE experience in UAE's participation in the Fron- accelerating and simplifying the
He met the Director General of Frontex in the conference to discuss exchanging information between the UAE and the EU and identifying the ways that the UAE can use to meet the EU requirements of cooperation in the framework of rules and regulations in force in the UAE. The UAE delegation included Capt. Khalid Al Rahmah, Director of the Deputy Director General’s office, and Michelle Valdhuis, AdvisorConsultant at GDRFA-Dubai. traveling procedures across the land, maritime and air crossing points and tightening of the security control on the passengers entering and getting out processes across the borders. Major General Obaid pointed out that the UAE has made these achievements thanks to the guidance and vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the direct supervision by His Highness Lieutenant General Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. He stated: “GDRFA-Dubai, with the support of its Director General Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al Marri, took the lead in implementing several advanced systems and innovations in the border management such as: the passengers pre-collected data system, implementing the fingerprint system, using high quality security systems and programmes, establishing a training center specialized in checking the documents and forming
The UAE was the only Middle East country at the meeting which was held from October 21 to 24
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates, the number of air passengers in the world are expected to rise to more than four billion by 2017.
an international communication The Gulf airports alone will receive network with the EU.” about 450 million passengers by 2020. The number of passengers Maj. Gen. Obaid affirmed that through Dubai airport will rise to Dubai invested millions of dollars 70 million by the end of 2014, and in developing the border crossing to more than 100 million by 2020; points. while Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central The most recent investment was will have a capacity of 200 million $100 million allocated for estab- passengers with the completion lishing the smart gates at Dubai of the first phase of the expansion International Airport in coopera- plan which will take 6-8 years with tion with emaratech, GDRFA’s 120 billion AED adopted recently technology partner. by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Maj. Gen. Obaid said joint international cooperation is in- The GDRFA-Dubai is plandispensable for keeping the ning to deploy about 120 smart gains of the international bor- gates in the next few years at the der crossing points industry. He Al Maktoum International Airalso pointed out that the global port in Dubai World Central and criminal organizations have no Dubai International Airport, in home and threaten all of us, addition to using biometric idenwhich necessitates reinforce- tification systems to keep up with ment of the cooperation among the expected increase of passengovernments, airports operators gers and to accelerate their proceand airline companies. dures. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 7
GDRFA-D, EAHM sign training deal T he General Directorate of Residen-
cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) and Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) have signed a deal for hospitality and customer relations-oriented training programmes for the GDRFA-Dubai employees. The deal emanates from the vision and keenness of GDRFA-Dubai to enhance the professional skills of its employees in dealing with the customers and ensuring excellence in the services provided to the customers. The agreement was signed by GDRFA-Dubai Director General, Major General Mohammed Al Marri, and EAHM Director, Ron Hilvert. Under the deal, the EAHM will provide training programmes to the GDRFA-Dubai for its employees. Award-winning experts and specialists will conduct the training programmes that will help in honing the skills of the GDRFA-Dubai employees in various aspects of hospitality and customer services. He said the training programmes will be formulated to cater to the diversified needs of its employees.
Ron Hilvert said the Academy was keen on cooperation with reputed organizations to provide the best practices and expertise in dealing with the customers in all sectors which, in turn, will help raise the profile of Dubai globally. EAHM is one of the world’s leading hospitality business management schools and an integral part of the Jumeirah Group. It is a leading provider of University-level hospitality business education and offers both undergraduate
and postgraduate degrees designed to develop the hospitality leaders of the future. EAHM works in academic association with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne and all programmes of study are fully accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, the Institute of Hospitality in the UK and THE-ICE (International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education) in Australia. It is also a higher education member of the Council of International Schools (CIS).
Hawa’a panel visits GDRFA branches
M embers of Hawa’a Committee at
the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) toured the external branches of GDRFADubai and met the female employees as part of the initiative
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to understand their problems and seek their suggestions. The meetings are designed to improve the productivity of the female employees and resolve the problems they faced in their work environment. Khulood Al Muhairi, Head
of Hawa’a Committee, said the meetings contribute tremendously towards creating a positive working environment that motivates employees and increase their professional satisfaction level, productivity and performance.
GDRFA-Dubai now has a Customers Relations Manager T he General Directorate of Residen-
cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has created a new position of Customer Relations Manager in a bid to provide its customers best services and strengthening the positive experience of the customers at all levels. Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFADubai, affirmed that creating the position is aimed at ensuring commitment to the best criteria in providing the best services to customers and cementing relationship with them, which is highly critical in the field of hotels and hospitality. He said: “Creating this new position is a part of a procedures package implemented by the directorate to provide a distinguished level of services for the customers. GDRFA-Dubai has signed an agreement with the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management (EAHM) to train and develop the professional skills of its employees in hospitality and customer services.” Maj. Gen. Al Marri added: “In the next phase, we will add more customer relations staff in all the GDRFA service centers. We will make sure that our services meet the highest criteria as we seek upgrading the service criteria and quality through the customers’ relations director in a way that we reach zero service-related complaints from the customers”.
We will gradually announce the names of customers’ relations manager in all the centers and the airport
The GDRFA-Dubai announced Sheikha Al Muhairi as the first Customers’ Relations Manager at the General Directorate. She has worked in the directorate as a customers’ complaints coordinator for a long time. She was commended many times by customers for her keenness to solve the customers’ problems. Captain Salem bin Ali, Director of Amer Centre, said: “We will grad-
ually announce the names of customers’ relations manager in all the centers and the airport. They will be easily accessible to the customers as needed”. “We are sure that all the employees of the first class in the directorate are keen to finish the transactions properly and sufficiently, but we want to ensure that the customer gets an exceptional experience every time through the customers’ relations director”, he added. Sheikha expressed her pleasure with this assignment. She said: “I am honored to be the first customers relations manager in the directorate. I am ready to make every effort to provide best services to our customers”. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 9
emaratech awarded the Minister of Interior’s Excellence Award for 'Best Strategic Partner' in 2014 e maratech, the leader in the software manufacturing and business process outsourcing company in the Arab region was awarded this year’s Minister of Interior’s Excellence Award for 'best strategic partner' category. The award, announced during the honoring ceremony on November 16, 2014, at the Abu Dhabi Police Officer’s Club, recognizes emaratech’s excellence in the Naturalization, Residency and Ports sectors. Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Naturalization, Residency and Ports Affairs,
honored winners in the second phase of the award. “We are proud to receive this award. It is a great recognition and motivation for our teams to continue their utmost efforts in the implementation of the many strategies for these sectors”, said Thani Alzaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech. “We thank HE Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili for his confidence & recognition of emaratech’s services and achievements for the past years”. emaratech was able to form a unique strategic partnership model with these sectors during the past years, result-
Thani Alzaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech
ing in many achievements in the areas of reengineering processes, automation of operations leading to reducing costs, increasing efficiency and effectiveness, increasing revenues as well as raising customer satisfaction.
emaratech awarded ISO 27001 certification for Information Security Management systems e maratech
announced it has been awarded the International Organization for Standardization Certification (ISO 27001) by TUV Nord Middle East for its world-class information security management systems (ISIM). The award of ISO 27001 certification recognizes the compliance of emaratech’s Information Security Management with the highly sought after standards. Thus it acknowledges managing data in the highest security standards including people, processes and IT systems while applying a risk management process. On this occasion, Thani Alzaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech said: “This is the best practice for information security systems and it will reassure our strategic
10 |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ |
partners that information assets are secured”. “emaratech has been applying highest security standards for the past years, this certification realizes past years efforts to applying standards on our processes and daily activities ensuring efficiency, best practices and excellent risk management”. The ISO 27001 certification is part of
emaratech’s journey to internationally recognize its security procedures and protect its Intellectual Property. noqodi, emaratech’s payment gateway has been awarded the PCI Data Security Standard certificate, the highest certification for information security standards from the PCI Security Standards Council, which ensures cardholder and payment information are transferred safely and securely. Following the PCI DSS certification the past two years, emaratech is endorsed as a certified Payment Gateway both by VISA and Master Card and registered as a “Third Party Agent” on the VISA and Master Card directory Services. This enables emaratech become the leading payment gateway provider in the region.
The future of borders T he UAE has made big achievements in the border control industry that makes the country a role model for others given its excellent track record of best practices in the border management.
The country has been ranked highly by international organizations for its excellence in border security, border control and travellers’ facilitation. As a step towards bringing UAE’s success closer to the world and learning and benefiting from success stories from across the world, an international conference on the Future of Borders will be held in Dubai from March 11 to 12, 2015. The conference will see the participation of world renowned experts, decision-makers and heads of international organizations from various parts of the world. They will discuss and debate the challenges facing the border industry globally.More than 500 participants from all over the world are scheduled to attend the conference being organized by the GDRFA-Dubai. The participants will include a sizeable number of interior ministers, managers of border control authorities, airport operators and airlines, international organizations such as IATA, ICAO and ACI. Hosting of the conference in Dubai clearly reflects the strategic importance of the UAE in the border industry which has entitled it to not just participate but head a number of international committees tasked with decision-making at the global level not only
regarding the border control but pertaining to regional travel sector. The conference comes at a time when the stakeholders’ needs to balance between security and the quality of services provided to travellers. There is a need for giving a tremendous momentum to cooperation among the stakeholders to carry out the scheduled expansion and future growth plans. The conference provides an ideal platform to participants to gain invaluable insights into the challenges, risks and threats facing the border industry globally and learn how operational efficiency of the border control can be improved and financial resources could be optimized. Dubai, which has invested millions of dollar to develop border control systems, install smart gates and build a large digital infrastructure to support the developments in the border industry, has a lot to showcase to the world and also at the same time keen to listen and learn from others about their successful experiments and initiatives.
Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 11
Lt. Col. Salah bin Suloum:
GCC expats: A roadway to Gulf's tourism boom
G cc countries can tap into the enormous tourism potential within the Gulf
by introducing measures like letting Gulf expatriates, having residency permits, visit each other's countries without a prior visa. This will contribute significantally toward achieving Dubai’s vision of attracting 20 million tourists by the year 2020, Lt.Col. Salah bin Suloum, Assistant Director General for Entry Permits Section at GDRFA-Dubai, told Manafez Dubai.
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“Such an initiative could trigger a tourism boom, increase traffic for the airlines, hotels, spas, shopping malls, entertainment businesses and car rentals and pave the way for a new era of growth,” he said in an exclusive interview. Excerpts:
What are the main achievements of Entry Permits Section?
Entry Permits Section is one of the main pillars of GDRFADubai right from the days when it was known as the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department (DNRD). The number of entry permits issued by Entry Permits Section during the last 10 years has increased tremendously in line with the emergence of Dubai as the financial, tourism, trade and commerce hub. These developments required dramatic changes to accommodate the increase in demand for entry permits, which were the main reason behind opening outside branches of GDRFA-Dubai to alleviate customers’ pressure at the headquarters. Since then, the number of outside branches has grown to 26. The increase in the number of entry permits is also due to the GDRFA’s decision to split its working hours into two shifts to distribute the workload and give chance to the biggest possible number of customers to complete their transactions at their convenience either in mornings or evenings. As a part of alleviating crowd, we have allowed companies with more than five expats to register online.
Lt. Col. Salah bin Suloum:
We race against time to issue one million visas annually
This simple procedure has contributed to eliminating crowds since each company has 10 transactions on an average. Thus, removing companies from the queues resulted in reducing the number of customers waiting by 10. Just about three months ago, we allowed a 10-member GDRFA team to be stationed at the headquarters of our strategic partner, Zajil, to issue residency status directly from there and be sent directly to customers to
streamline procedures and shorten the time needed to carry out the transactions. Last but not least, we started a new initiative endorsed by our Director General, Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri that allowed female employees to work from home to issue tourism permits online. This initiative not only paved the way for the transition to zero counter policy envisaged in UAE Vision, but also provided us with much-needed flexibility in dealing with female employees in a way that enabled them to look after their families while working. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 13
What is the role of Entry Permits Section in supporting the Dubai economy?
The pace of issuance of entry and residence permits is one of the main performance indicators in international competitiveness reports which measure the ease of doing business in a certain country. Multinational companies with thousands of employees often base their decisions to move their headquarters overseas on such positive indicators. Servicesbased economies, where tourism plays a vital role, need to issue entry and residency 14 |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ |
permits swiftly to attract more tourists. This point is even more important in a city like Dubai which prides itself as the undisputed destination for conventions and exhibitions, where thousands of participants from all over the world arrive at a short notice. The same also goes for the medical tourism which needs a lot of flexibility and coordination from all the stakeholders. To make the long story short, the nature of Entry Permits Section’s work requires us not only to provide 24 hour-services throughout the year, including festivals and national holidays, but also organ-
ize the work flow in a way that guarantees smoothness and continuity under all circumstances. We have emergency, alternative supporting and managerial teams to broaden and deepen our experience and delegate the needed authority to our employees, in a way that make the system not the people, the focus point.
How many entry permits are issued on an average?
The number of issued permits is affected by the seasonality factor, where permit numbers shoot up in some months and return back to its normal average after a while. This seasonality requires us to be able to scale up or down
our work force to match the needs on the ground. Statistics attest to the fact that we are able to do so successfully. For example, Dubai airports welcomed 14 million passengers in eight months, from January to August 2014, out of which one million came from GCC while the others were from more than 197 different nationalities. On an average, we issue 30,000 permits daily, but it can reach 60,000 during festivals and weekends. The number of tourism visas alone is more than 20,000 daily. All in all we issue a million visas per year. Winning the rights to host Expo 2020 contributed to an increase in the number of tourists which reached 60,000 daily soon after the announcement was made, because people from the four corners of the globe wanted to see the city which outbid other cities in the competition for the rights to host the third biggest global event after Olympics and FIFA World Cup.
What is the philosophy governing the visa issuance?
Making the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai a reality, implementing Dubai government’s development policies and coping up with international developments and technological advancements requires a revision of the methodology of visa issuance. In general, security concerns are the guiding principles of visa is-
Technological advancement and global developments requires revision for our visa issuance methodology
suance, because without security there won’t be prosperity or there will be no significant tourism or any other major economic activity. This is not to say that we should forego facilitating and streamlining procedures and requirements for passengers and tourists and stick to the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mentality when assessing the risk associated with each passengers, especially at a time when you can get all the passengers data in advance through Advanced Passenger Information (API) systems. Often, we revise visa procedures and invent new ones as needed. For example, the Interior Ministry’s decision No 22/2014 to modify visa issuance fees created new forms of visas like cruise visa, which was earlier costly and complicated affair.
Cooperation and coordination between all stakeholders is inevitable to support Dubai tourism as a must-visit destination and we spare no efforts to follow up with tourism and travel agencies to make sure that all their needs are meet. We believe that the number of nationalities waived from the requirement of obtaining prior visas should increase from the current 47 to include more nationalities. We are looking forward to opening our doors for Gulf-based expats who have residency permits to visit UAE without a prior visa as a way to help achieve Dubai’s tourism vision of attracting 20 million tourists by 2020 and encourage intra-Gulf family tourism. Presently, GCC citizens require no visas no visit the UAE. Such initiative will not only help achieve Dubai’s goal of attracting 20 million tourists by 2020 but also create a tourism boom and increase demand for airlines, hotels, spas, shopping malls, entertainment businesses and car rentals and pave the way for the start of a new era. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 15
GDRFA Amer Centre:
Serving customers with a smile T he AMER Centre operated by General Directorate of Residency
and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) for providing information about its services to the public, handling their inquiries and receiving their suggestions and complaints has been playing a vital role in providing excellent customer services.
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Ruqyah Al Tayer
The centre responds to the customers and handles their queries in a record time in a way that gives the customer service a special aura of transparency, secrecy, and professionalism. The 24-hour AMER service offers to customers several communication options to reach out the GDRFA-Dubai such as toll-free number (800 5111), fax, email and e-chat (10 am to 5 pm only). During the first half of 2014, the AMER Centre handled 269,103 phone calls compared with 146,431 during the same period in 2013, recording an 83 per cent increase. The number of e-mail messages received also jumped from 13922 in 2011 to 18344 in 2013, a 34 per cent increase.
Captain Salim Al Ali
Dubai airport travellers’ satisfaction with GDRFA services reached above global average
The launch of the centre and its subsequent expansions has been a direct response to the tremendous developments in the Emirate of Dubai and huge increase in the number of residents, visitors and tourists.
Before it emerged as a specialized customer service centre in 2006, most of the services were provided to the customers by the phone operators. After it was transformed into a full-fledged centre, it now offers a wide range of multilingual services across all communications channels.
He added: “Acknowledged as one of its kind centre in the Middle East, it has played a host to a number of delegates from GCC countries, including Qatar and Bahrain, to study its performance, types of services it handles, its administrative and operational structure and channels used to reach out to customers.”
Captain Salim Al Ali, Manager, Customer Services Section at GDRFA, said: “Amer Centre is an advanced facility for GDRFA-Dubai to provide customers with best services through a distinguished identity and modern mechanism 24/7.”
The centre, which service customers through a wide range of communication channels, including phone calls, faxes, emails, voice mails and live chats on social media, accords gives a paramount importance to the secrecy of customers’ data. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 17
The centre’s portfolio include self-service kiosks to streamline and facilitate modern and advanced electronic services such as visit visa renewal, residency status, passport renewal for UAE nationals and printing entry visit permits, residency status, original visa, sponsor and sponsored employees data. AMR car, a unique innovation of GDRFA-Dubai, equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies to act like a mobile office, can reach customers anywhere inside Dubai to finish their transactions. The all-in-one, on demand office is available to offer ser-
H1 2014: 83% rise in phone calls 34% rise in emails
vice within minutes from receiving the customer’s request with the officers inside the mobile office taking up all the necessary procedures to complete the transactions in the same fashion as done at the GDRFA headquarters. The AMR car which caters for the needs of all categories of customers is designed to accommodate people with special needs and elderly along with big companies with more than 400 employees. At weekends, the car is stationed at selected shopping malls in Dubai to give extra convenience to customers. Currently, the Centre is operated by a total of 62 employees offering services across all the channels - 30 employees are dedicated for phone calls, 20 for concierge and three each for surveys, suggestions and complaints. “We intend to increase the number of employees to 124 by the end of 2016,” said Captain Salim. Ruqyah Al Tayer, AMER Centre’s Acting Manager, said all the centre’s employees receives three training courses annually covering communications skills, languages, time
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management and working under pressure. She added: “We noticed a big difference when it comes to preferred communication channel by the customers. Arabs prefer phone calls which resulted in a 30 per cent increase in the first six months of 2014, while non-Arab foreigners prefer emails which grew by five per cent in the first half of 2014.” The number of phone calls received by the Centre in 2011 stood at 510769, out of which 410498 or 80.37 per cent were
answered. In 2012 the number of received phone calls stood at 535339, out of which 499069 were answered, or 93.22 per cent.
Arabs prefer phone calls, foreigners like e-mail
The statistics show that the number of phone calls rose by five per cent in 2011 compared to eight per cent in 2012 and more than eight per cent in 2013.
reached 95 per cent which is quite high compared with global average of 85 per cent as spelled out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The Centre carries out a number of customers’ surveys every year.
She said surveys are carried out taking into account a number of criteria to measure customers’ satisfaction, including speed, behavior, professionalism, accuracy and transparency.
According to the 2013 survey, travellers’ satisfaction at Dubai International Airport
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 19
Residents can access online services with Emirates ID T he UAE residents can soon access hundreds of online government services using their Emirates ID cards. Emirates ID card is the only national ID card system embedded in the Windows Operating System, and is recognised by Windows 7,8, 8.1 and later drivers, in addition to Windowssupported tablets, according to the Emirates Identity Authority (Emirates ID). The users will also be able to generate government-validated digital signatures in all their Microsoft Office and PDF documents.
Residents can access online government services easily and in less time as the card authenticates their individual identities.
cess the services with the help of a card reader.
Its major advantage is residents can save time and efforts in registering for each and every online service by uploading their personal details and creating a username and password.
Emirates ID has taken the lead in facilitating the use of ID card to access the authority’s many services. Likewise service providers in government sector can now take advantage of this facility and activate this service at their end.
Instead, the system will take all those details from the ID card without the need of inserting logon information such as a username and password. A user can insert the ID card into the computer operating on Windows and put card’s PIN to ac-
With this Windows integration, the ID Card PIN verification and authentication becomes part of Windows Trust Centre. Thus, applications delivering services can be deployed using native windows trust services and the national ID Card.
MoI launches new E-services T he Ministry of Interior (MoI) has
launched three new E-services-issuance of short-term visit visas (for 30 days), renewal of citizens’ passports, and issuance of Certificates of Good Conduct (Criminal Status Certificates). It has also launched four informatics services for the civil defense sector. The new services were launched under the slogan, One Application... Multiple Services, as part of the UAE Smart Government initiative. The new visa issuance service enables individuals to apply for a 30 days visa through their smart phones. Once the visa is issued, it will be delivered to the applicants via accredited entities designated by the MoI.
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The MoI is planning to launch a new bundle of services for the Traffic, Naturalization, Residency, and Civil Defense sectors; as well as other police-related services in the forthcoming period via the UAE - MoI smart phones apps. The MoI has already initiated the necessary executive procedures to expand these services and make them accessible to all citizens and residents. The number of individuals already using the applications, that the MoI has launched early this year, is 205,000 users to date, with an average of 54,000 uses per day of the
applications; while the number of the subscribers via the Emirates ID card is over 62,000. The MoI platform support Apple, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone compatible smart phones.
UAE among top 15 expat destinations E xpatriates continue to recognize the UAE among the top destinations in the world due to the buoyant economic climate and high potential for financial gain, according to Expat Explorer 2014 annual survey by HSBC. Expat Explorer 2014, a survey of close to 9,300 respondents from over 100 countries and 963 people in the UAE, assessed expat attitudes towards their host countries. This year’s survey revealed that the UAE ranked 15th overall as an expat destination out of those assessed; making it one of the most popular countries to settle abroad in the world. Overall, Switzerland, Singapore and China ranked as the top three expat destinations. Expats with aspirations of boosting their earning potential and job prospects flock to the UAE, according to the report.
Seven out of 10 respondents (71 per cent) said that they would earn more in the UAE than in their home country, compared to the global average of 53 per cent. At the same time, 58 per cent of expats associate the UAE with high salaries, outpacing the global average of 40 per cent. The report also revealed that 58 per cent said they have more disposable income in UAE compared to their home countries. The report showed that 60 per cent of expats moved to the UAE for this reason, far outpacing
the global average of 38 per cent. In spite of the financial opportunities of living in the UAE, the survey showed that people are struggling to cope with the high cost of living standards. The survey shows that six out of 10 expats stated that they would consider moving away from the UAE because it is too expensive, far higher than the global average of 32 per cent. A larger proportion of expats associate the country with higher personal security (66 per cent), compared to the global average of 42 per cent.
Now, an app for UAE legislations T he UAE Cabinet has launched ‘UAE
Legislations’ smartphone app featuring 270 federal legislations under 21 main entries (topics).These include the full text of the Constitution of the UAE; personal status law; and the penal, civil, commercial, financial, investment, human resources, education and research, social security and pensions legislations and their amendments. The new app was developed by the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs in line with the government’s efforts to embrace the shift to smart services
ties, private organisations, lawyers, legal experts, scholars, members of the media and researchers to easily access and browse the database through an attractive interface.
targeting all segments of the public, and to provide smooth access to the country’s legislations. The free and user-friendly app enables users from government enti-
It also features sections such as ‘Search’, ‘Favourites’, ‘FAQs’, ‘Help’ and ‘Contact Us’, and alerts the user to any amendments to the contents of favourited items. Users can copy and print the legislations and share them through e-mails or SMS messages. The app is available for download on iOS and Android platforms. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 21
UAE committed to protection of foreign workers T he UAE, which provides economic
opportunities to people of more than 200 different nationalities, will continue to improve protection measures for foreign workers, according to Amna Al Meheiri, Director of the Human Rights department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She said: “The UAE’s status as an attractive place of work for people from around the world has made it a major recipient of foreign labour, which is of benefit to the workers, the sending countries, and the UAE. The UAE has ratified nine major ILO conventions related to the rights of workers, and has adopted numerous laws to protect workers’ rights, including in the areas of recruitment, pay, housing and health.” She added: “We acknowledge that this area is a work in progress, which is why the UAE is committed to the continuous strengthening of protection measures for foreign workers, including migrant domestic workers, as a national priority.” She said the UAE has taken many steps to protect domestic workers. A standard form contract has been established to regulate the relationship between domestic workers and their employers.
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The contract specifies the rights and obligations of each party, including hours of work and days off. The provision of health insurance for domestic workers at the cost of the employer is mandatory. To provide flexibility for domestic workers to change employers, a system has been established to transfer the temporary sponsorship of domestic workers with their approval. The Ministry of Interior has established a committee to examine domestic worker recruitment agencies, detect any violations of law, and make recommendations to improve protection measures for domestic workers. Specialized units have been established in the GDRFA to receive complaints from domestic workers and to assist in resolving disputes between the parties to the relationship through a permanent and open channel of communication.
A toll-free hotline (8005005) has been established, through which workers can make complaints. The UAE was the first country in the region to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law (Federal Law 51). In 2007 the UAE established a National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, which publishes an annual report on progress in combating human trafficking in the UAE. The UAE is a member of the Bali Process and has signed numerous agreements with workers’ home countries to work together to prevent human trafficking. In January 2013, the UAE Cabinet passed enhanced legal protections for victims of trafficking, including important provisions such as security protection to witnesses and lawyers, as well as psychotherapy to victims.
A leading bank in the Middle East. A trusted name across the world. Emirates NBD is a leading banking Group in the region. As at 30th September 2014, total assets were AED 353.9 billion (equivalent to USD 96.3 billion). The Group has a leading retail banking franchise in the UAE, with more than 220 branches and over 885 ATMs and CDMs in the UAE and overseas. It is a major player in the UAE corporate and retail banking arena and has strong Islamic banking, Global Markets & Treasury, Investment Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management and Brokerage operations. The Group has operations in the UAE, Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, the United Kingdom and representative offices in India, China and Indonesia. The Group is an active participant and supporter of the UAE’s main development initiatives and of the various educational, environmental, cultural, charity and community welfare establishments. For more information, please visit emiratesnbd.com
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 23
Rise in South Korean expats in UAE
T he number of South Korean expatri-
ates in Dubai has grown rapidly over the last five years and is continually increasing, Seong-doo Ahn, ConsulGeneral of the Republic of Korea, told Gulf News. Now, there are more than 5,000 Koreans living in Dubai alone and about 10,000 in the entire
UAE working in around 170 major Korean companies. Just about five years ago, there were less than 1,000 Koreans living in Dubai. But now the number has increased four times. Seong-doo said 80 per cent of the Koreans living
in the UAE work in various sectors such as automobile, electronics, construction, food and beverage, and even in the medical sector. Seong-doo projected a further influx of Koreans to Dubai in the run up to the World Expo in 2020.
UAE household wealth sees sustained growth
H ousehold wealth in the UAE con-
tinued to grow at a healthy pace of five per cent this year, with total wealth reaching $461 billion in mid-2014, according to the latest Global Wealth Report from Credit Suisse. This year, the average wealth per adult in the UAE increased to $121,021, rising 3.2 from last year. Since year 2000, average wealth per adult in the UAE has grown by 113 per cent.The positive wealth dynamics are visible in both savings
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and investments trends in the UAE. While asset prices have recovered substantially in terms of property and stock valuations, the banking sector is flush with liquidity. In the GCC, total wealth stood at $1.71 trillion in 2014, growing 4.75 per cent from 2013. Wealth growth in the region has outpaced global growth since 2000. Aggregate wealth per adult in the GCC increased by 236 per cent, compared to 125 per cent for the
world, while wealth per adult has grown by 110 per cent as compared to 77 per cent for the rest of the world. This year, total wealth in Saudi Arabia grew by five per cent while Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman witnessed 4 per cent growth from the same period last year. Average wealth per adult rose by 3 per cent both in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, average wealth per adult grew by 2 per cent in each market.
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 25
Middle East News
Kuwaiti firms barred from recruiting workforce T he
Public Authority for Manpower has barred several companies in Kuwait from bringing in foreign workers into the country. The Director General of Manpower Authority, Jamal Al-Dosari, said the number of company files suspended is huge but most of them have inactive licenses. Of these, 5,225 files which have been categorized under code 71 (permanent suspension), 1,681 files placed under code 72 (final cancellation for traveling) and 7,821 files have been suspended under code 73 (transfer to third party).
74 (barred from bringing new foreign employees), while 65 files were marked under code 75 (final suspension for traveling).
The report said there are 1,378 files of companies suspended under code
A joint committee comprising of representatives from the Manpower
No increase in Oman visa fees N o hike is being effected in the
visa issuance and visa renewal fees for expatriates in the Sultanate of Oman as of now, a Royal Oman Police (ROP) official said. An official told the Times of Oman that the ROP had put forward a proposal about such a fee hike before the concerned authorities. It is only the Ministry of Legal Affairs which has the right to approve the hike in visa fee, the official said, but gave no further
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details. As of now, a student visa, family joining visa and a visit visa costs OMR20 and the investor fee is collected by the Ministry of Manpower, according to the ROP’s website. Ahmed Al Hoti from the Oman Chamber for Commerce and Industry (OCCI) says that a slight increase in the investors’ visas will not affect the investment atmosphere in the Sultanate. Investors have the same visa fees in all grades of the institutions and the fee is same as in other GCC countries.
Authority and the Government Performance Agency has been formed to follow up on the companies in charge of executing government’s projects and to look into the number of workers registered under them, the Arabic daily Al-Seyassah reported.
Oman to launch e-Visa soon
A s part of an initiative from the nation-
al flag carrier, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) may introduce an e- Visa system soon. With majority of its users mostly transit passengers, Oman Air has underscored the need for simplified visa and immigration facilities for visitors to Muscat. “With this e-Visa, a transit or stopover passenger may be able to spend up to 72 hours in Oman, provided they possess a hotel booking,” said Abdulrahman al Busaidy, Chief Operating Officer, Oman Air. He said that the airline is planning a special stopover programme in arrangement with various hotels in Oman.
Experts in Construction ...
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 27
Middle East News
Bahrain to double immigration officers to handle Causeway traffic T he number of immigration officers on the Bahrain side of the King Fahad Causeway will be doubled to improve the flow of traffic to and from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Daily News reported.
There are currently around 45 immigration personnel, but Nationality, Passports and Residence Affairs (NPRA) director of ports, Shawki Al Sobei, says that figure would increase. The increase in personnel is also expected to help cope with an antici-
pated rise in the number of visitors to Bahrain after a new visa policy came into effect, allowing nationals of 66 countries to get visa on arrival while electronic visas are now granted to citizens of 102 countries. They can receive visas at all Bahrain ports including Bahrain International Airport, Khalifa Bin Salman Port and the King Fahad Causeway.A one-stop border crossing post to eliminate traffic congestion at the Bahrain-Saudi borders on King Fahad Causeway will be implemented within four months.
Dependents of expats can work in KSA
Kuwait lawmaker proposes 20-year cap on expat residency
A ccording to a report in the Saudi Gazette, the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Labor Ministry has decided to allow the dependents accompanying expatriates to work in the private sector without the need to transfer their iqamas.
lawmaker, Abdullah Al Tamimi, says no foreigner in unskilled and semi-skilled occupations should be allowed to stay in Kuwait when he reaches the age of 50. However, those who have skilled jobs, such as doctors, advisers and university professors, should be able to stay until they are 70. The suggestions are part of a draft law the lawmaker is presenting to the parliament to address what he called demographic imbalances.Kuwait is home to around 2.8
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million foreigners, mainly unskilled Asian labourers in the construction sector and domestic helpers, who constitute more than two-thirds of the total population. Under Al Tamimi’s proposal, a residency cap should be imposed on all expatriates working in the country. The residency should have a maximum of 10 years that can be renewed only once.
Quoting what it called its own private sources, the newspaper said the ministry has decided to open the doors wide for expatriates’ dependents to take up any jobs at the private sector. Earlier, this arrangement was only limited to teaching jobs in private and international schools. The sources said Minister Adel Fakeih has decided to give employment opportunities to males and females accompanying expatriates. It is understood that he believes that the system is better than recruitment from abroad.
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 29
Cuban migration surges over land and by sea T he number of Cubans heading to
the US has increased dramatically since the island lifted travel restrictions last year, eliminating a costly exit visa and making it easier for emigrants to return to the island. The number of Cubans who showed up on the US borders with Mexico and Canada has almost tripled this fiscal year compared with 2011, according to the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), according to Media reports. Changes in the Cuban law have made it easier for citizens to travel off the island legally. Those flying to Latin America or straight to the US generally belong to the more
prosperous and well-connected strata of society, accelerating the drain of Cuba’s highly educated. Many Cubans are using an opportu-
UK is magnet for highly educated EU migrants A study has revealed that Britain is
better than any European country in attracting the most highly skilled migrants. The UK now attracts the highest number of universityeducated migrants of any country in the European Union, according to a new research from University College London. The study shows that 62 per cent of migrants from Western Europe – the A15 countries such as France, Italy and Spain – who come to Britain each year, have a university degree compared with 24 per cent of the British labour force. The study shows that recent EU migrants pay more in taxes than
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they receive in benefits, helping to relieve the tax burden on UKborn workers and making a positive contribution to funding public services. The study says migrants from outside the EU have cost the country more in public services than the fiscal contribution they have made in taxes and national insurance. The figure, £118 billion over the period 1995-2011, is mainly due to their larger family sizes and lower employment levels. The report says the average age of migrants in Britain in 2011 was a little more than half that of the British labour force, an average of 26 compared with 41 for UK-born workers.
nity offered by Spain in 2008 when it allowed descendants of those exiled during the Spanish Civil War to reclaim Spanish citizenship.
Panama stops eased immigration programme
A programme that helped tens of thou-
sands of foreigners get permission to live and work in Panama has been closed down for good. According to a 2010 census, the country is home to about 140,000 foreigners from 181 nations.The last of the immigration fairs that roused nationalist sentiment in the small Central American nation, attracted long lines of people into a gymnasium in the capital where officials processed applications. The programme launched in 2010 temporarily eased requirements for those seeking to live and work for several years in a country of 3.5 million people with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
Estonia offering ‘E-residency’ to foreigners
will become the first country in the world to offer “eresidency” for people interested in using state digital services such as banking and registering a company. With 80 votes in favor, the 101-member Estonian Parliament passed a law that will allow issuing of electronic identification cards to foreigners living abroad, starting at the end of 2014. For €50 ($64), applicants can obtain a digital ID that will let them sign documents online and essentially have a digital life in Estonia, including running a domestic business without physically being there.
E-residents won’t have the same rights as Estonian citizens, though. For example, users won’t be able to use their electronic ID as a travel document or enter the country with it. To become an e-resident, an applicant has to visit a Police and Border Guard office to submit a request and leave biometric data such as finger prints. By the end of next year, though, the state plans to start accepting applications in embassies around the world, meaning that applicants would be able to become electronic residents without ever setting foot in the country.
Skilled migrants want to stay long-term in Germany
thirds of highly-qualified immigrants in Germany from outside the EU want to live and work in the country long-term, a government survey has found. But those from wealthier countries are less likely to stay. a survey from the Migration and Refugees Ministry showed almost threequarters of non-EU immigrants with a degree wanted to remain in Germany for at least 10 years after studying here. And 68.6 percent of highly-skilled immigrants intended to live in the country long-term, while 70 percent of self-employed people planned on staying for the long haul.
Greece to offer citizenship to property buyers G reece is planning to offer passports to
overseas property buyers. The country introduced a Golden Visa scheme in 2013, offering residency permits to non-EU buyers. Now, a new bill will extend the offer to citizenship. Greece’s Golden Visa currently offers a five-year residency permit to buyers from outside of the EU, in exchange for a minimum investment of €250,000.
The permit, renewable while the owner possesses the property, could also be extended to members of the buyer’s family. Greece joined a similar wave of schemes in struggling European property markets; each designed to stimulate investment from growing Chinese and Russian capital. Since the Golden Visa was introduced, property demand has notably increased, driven
by the offer of residency as well as the country’s low property prices. According to figures from the Bank of Greece, overseas investment in Greek real estate doubled in the first half of 2014 year-on-year to €117.4 million. Many Greek real estate agents have experienced a clearly noticeable rise in interest in Greek property from buyers from non-EU countries like Russia, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Lebanon. |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 31
My Voice, My Password
V oice biometrics is being increasingly
used in businesses and governments around the world for security, protection of data and for increased customer convenience
What do Capgemini, DHL, Deutsche Post, Allianz, Hapag-Llyod, Boehringer Ingelheim, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB), JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Vodacom, Turkcell, Barclays and Social Security Agency of South Africa, have in common?
In New Zealand, the Internal Revenue Department recently celebrated its one millionth voiceprint, leading a minister to boast that his country had the highest level of voice biometric enrolments per capita in the world.
All of these are among companies who have turned to voice biometrics to enhance customer service experience and make authentication process smooth and less cumbersome.
In South Africa, roughly seven million voiceprints have been collected by the country’s Social Security Agency, in part to verify that those claiming pensions are still alive.
Passwords, user names, and PINs are just an everyday security measure in our technology-driven world. The days of the tedious process of PINs, passwords and security questions to authenticate a transaction over the phone are coming to an end. Voice biometrics has evolved into numerous applications, from remote workforce management to securing financial transactions, both as a standalone form of authentication and as part of a two-factor implementation paired with other data. 3232|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |December |December ٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤ | |
As the landscape shifts to become increasingly mobile, voice biometrics are on the move as an instrument of protection against fraud and identity theft. A survey of 10 leading voice biometric vendors found that more than 65 million people worldwide have had their voiceprints taken. A whitepaper by the Canada-based Voice Trust takes a closer look at voice biometrics, how it is being used across various industries, and why it offers more secure identity verification than knowledge-based authentication processes.
Identity theft and fraud are on the rise, with at least 44 million personal records compromised around the world in 2012. Over $50 billion is lost each year because of identity theft. Organizations still use passwords, security questions, and PINs to authenticate their customers. This approach offers weak protection against fraudsters that use stolen personal information to gain unauthorized access to accounts.
Voice biometrics is being used to counter this threat with strong authentication to combat fraud and makes identity verification more convenient for customers.
The economic consequences of medical identity theft were over $40 billion in the US alone
What is voice biometrics?
Voice biometrics verifies a person’s identity by analyzing hundreds of voice characteristics, which are more unique to an individual than a fingerprint. It compares a person’s voice with their voiceprint, a previously recorded representation of their voice, to confirm or deny their identity. Voice authentication is commonly deployed as an additional security layer, especially for organizations targeted by fraud rings including banks, insurance companies, and healthcare providers. It provides stronger authentication than a knowledge-based approach by verifying people based on who they are, as opposed to what they know. Gartner estimates that there were at least 150 million voice verifications in 2012 in the commercial space, with even more across government and intelligence agencies.
compromise millions of personal records each year. A variety of techniques such as hacking and malware are used to break into databases and steal personal information for identity fraud. The US accounts for almost 50 per cent of the world’s security breaches followed by the UK at eight per cent. Financial organizations comprise an alarming 37 per cent of all breaches carried out. Over 50 per cent of respondents admit they have shared passwords or PINs with family members, friends, or work colleagues. For example, family members commonly share credit cards to carry out financial transactions. Work colleagues share credentials to access shared files or specific accounts.
Credential sharing compromises account security and allow any malicious user in possession of these knowledge factors a 100 per cent success rate of conducting an attack. Phishing tricks users into revealing personal information such as usernames, passwords, and PINs. It usually works by sending the victim an email masquerading as a trustworthy company or individual to lure them into providing information. Gartner estimates that three per cent of targets fall victim to phishing attacks; the most widely used social tactic by a wide margin. Global losses from phishing are estimated at $1.5 billion in 2012. Vishing involves a fraudster calling a person on the phone to deceive them into providing private information to be used in identity theft. It is a more sophisticated approach that commonly uses a spoofed caller ID purporting to be from a misrepresented organization. It has a lower success rate than phishing or brute-force attacks, but
How security is compromised today?
Fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated and multiple reports from security providers including Verizon, IBM, and Symantec show an increase in data breaches that |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 33
Over $50 billion is lost each year because of identity theft. Organizations still use passwords, security questions, and PINs to authenticate their customers
er authentication than PINs, passwords, and security questions. It integrates as an additional security factor for fraud prevention and risk management, or can be used as a standalone solution depending on requirements.
Banks and insurance companies are the most heavily hit by identity theft and lose billions of dollars each year as a result. Three quarters of executives at 19 of the top 40 US financial institutions say that organized criminal rings are the primary fraud threat in their call centers. There were 17 million breaches of patient information in 2011 according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
is often used when other methods are not successful. Most authentication methods today rely on knowledge factors such as PINs, usernames, and passwords to verify your identity. A study by DataGenetics examined over three million passwords and revealed the security flaws with knowledgebased authentication (KBA). More than 10 per cent of the passwords were ‘1234’ and people commonly 3434|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |December |December ٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤ | |
used their birthdays as their 4-digit PINs. This makes it too easy for malicious individuals to compromise these accounts in the call center or online.
Biometrics such as voice, iris, fingerprint, and face offer the strongest form of identity assurance and are superior to knowledge-based authentication approaches. Voice biometrics clearly provides strong-
The economic consequences of medical identity theft were over $40 billion in the US alone. Healthcare providers are looking to secure access to electronic health records with voice biometrics. Voice authentication is being explored by governments to prevent identity theft and corruption in payment programs such as pension funds and social assistance programs which has the potential to save billions of dollars worldwide.
It saves citizens from a visit to a government kiosk each time they need to prove their identity because they can authenticate from their phone. This lowers lineups and improves back-office efficiency, protects citizens from identity theft, and makes governments more cost-effective.
Three billion people will be using biometrics on their mobile devices by 2018, generating more than $8 billion in revenue. Voice is a more accurate form of identity verification than the fingerprint scans in devices today and is a natural fit for mobile devices. Voice authentication provides an additional layer of security for logging into mobile, web, and desktop applications. It overcomes the weakness associated with passwords and saves users the hassle of typing long passwords and multiple security questions into their device. The financial sector is an early adopter in this area with various high-profile projects underway to protect access to consumer and business banking applications with voice.
Banks and insurance companies are the most heavily hit by identity theft and lose billions of dollars each year as a result
curity questions. Voice authentication fits into the existing security approach either as a stand-alone solution or as an additional layer of security. This makes it suitable for multi-factor authentication which is gaining rapid adoption around the world. Voice naturally lends itself to remote authentication scenarios involving a mobile device or computer. No additional hardware is required unlike other biometric methods such as iris scans. The proliferation of mobile phones means billions of people around the world can be verified using this method. Voice verification can be deployed on-premise or in a variety of cloud
settings (private, public, hybrid) to meet the security requirements of any organization. Voice authentication prevents ‘replay attacks’ that use a voice recording to gain unauthorized access. The system can ask for random words and numbers to be provided in a different order to prevent fraudsters from successfully using a recording. Like all advancements in technology, the switch to voice biometric authentication creates a situation in which both users and organizations need time to adapt. The upside is that the effort and costs of setup are offset by the speed and convenience of the security tool itself. As the vulnerabilities and limitations of passwords are exposed, companies and organizations will continue to explore ways to create safe and convenient authentication. When it comes to building secure access, voice biometrics as a remote authentication layer stands out loud and clear.
Voice biometrics authentication provides higher security and user convenience than other identity verification methods, especially passwords and PINs. The advantages highlight why it is becoming a popular form of authentication. Surveys indicate that consumers find voice biometrics secure and convenient to use. This is no surprise considering consumers are fed up with having to remember multiple PINs, passwords, and se|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 35
A n ILO study reveals substantial skills mismatch in Europe which calls for initiatives to provide workers with skills that match those demanded by employers
Europe’s labour market is facing a “substantial” mismatch between supply and demand as a sizeable percentage of continental workers are currently overqualified or under- qualified for their jobs, a new study has found.The study, conducted by the International Labour Organization (ILO), covers 24 European countries and shows that between
36 |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ |
25 and 45 per cent of workers in Europe fail to meet the exact competences as required by their jobs. Skills mismatch is an encompassing term which refers to various types of imbalances between skills offered and skills needed in the world of work.
In particular, the UN body notes that in nine European countries – including Belgium, Iceland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, among others – more than 25 per cent of workers are under-qualified. In Portugal, more than half of workers fall into this category.
The report says the percentage of workers that is over-qualified ranged from 10-20 per cent in most countries covered by the study, although some exhibited marked differences. In countries, like the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Switzerland, less than six per cent of workers were categorized as such while the number of those over-qualified exceeded 20 per cent in Cyprus and Russia. Theo Sparreboom, Senior Labour Economist at ILO and co-author of the study, remarked: “Providing workers with skills is not sufficient to improve their labour market outcomes if these skills of not match those demanded by their employers.”
European leaders have implemented “offensive” programmes
Among the over-qualified workers, the study points out, women and youth are over-represented, with the former affected by pressures to reconcile work and family life and, possibly, discrimination at work, while the latter comprise a relatively high proportion of non-standard employment. The study recommended quality apprenticeship programmes for youth, linking classrooms and workplaces, as being part of the solution. Such systems would require a well-functioning social di-
alogue between governments and social partners, public-private cost-sharing arrangements and efficient employment services. The study calls on governments and the social partners to put in place efficient job placement services and training opportunities, and to strengthen linkages between education and training systems and the world of work. The study said that the proportion of over-qualified workers rose by 3.6 percentage points in most surveyed countries between 2002 and 2012, which partly reflected the impact of the global economic crisis. Compared to the upward trend in over-qualification, under-qualification went down in a majority of |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 37
countries, with the proportion of the under-qualified being reduced by almost nine percentage points during the same period. Youth unemployment is a critical issue across the European Union with 5.5 million people unemployed among the 18-24 years age group (23.3 per cent unemployment rate). Evidence reveals that youth unemployment in the EU mainly arises from two sources. Firstly, young people lack some of the relevant skills for the labor market. Secondly, firms’ ability to hire them is challenged by a constrained access to finance. European leaders have implemented “offensive” programmes. 38 |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ |
Skills mismatch has received renewed attention in advanced economies following the global economic crisis in 2008-2009
Among them, leading initiatives sponsored by the European Commission (EC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), aim to provide subsidized loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for hiring and training young people. This approach seems relevant and sustainable as it addresses the two sources of youth unemployment and ought to combine
jobs opportunities with skills development. The study noted: “Countries investing in high quality jobs make economic leaps. Quality jobs can drive sustained growth in emerging and developing countries. Investment in high quality jobs tends to be associated with lower income inequalities.” Countries that invested the most in quality jobs from the early 2000s grew nearly one percentage point faster every year since 2007 than other developing and emerging economies, the report noted. This helped cushion the impact of the global crisis which erupted in 2008.
Quality jobs can drive sustained growth in emerging and developing countries
In 2008, the 18th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) discussed the use of skills mismatch as a potential indicator or component of the measurement of labour underutilization. Skills mismatch has received renewed attention in advanced economies following the global economic crisis in 2008-2009. The crisis caused a massive increase in unemployment in the developed world, and patterns of job destruction and job creation interacted with or accelerated longer term structural trends.
on the supply side, such trends include increasing levels of educational attainment of workers, while major factors on the demand side include technological change, globalization and trade. Many analysts have argued that skills mismatch has been reinforced by the economic crisis, and identified skills mismatch as a major constraint hampering economic recovery in Europe. If growth of educated supply outstrips demand, this may be reflected in a surplus of skilled workers in terms of unemployment and also in workers who are overeducated for the jobs they perform. Labour market factors including governments, companies and workers, need to ensure that occupational requirements are matched through adequate education and training.
Evidence reveals that youth unemployment in the EU mainly arises from two sources
The study says labour markets around the world continuously demonstrate various types of ‘mismatch’, including mismatch between the number of job seekers and employment opportunities, which is reflected in unemployment. In contrast to unemployment, however, which is generally measured according to international standards, a uniform typology or measurement framework regarding skills mismatch and related issues, such as skills shortages, is lacking.
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 39
A global study forecasts a dramatic shift in talent management.
What the open source model did for software development, the open talent economy is doing for work.
The classical employment model— vertically integrated companies hiring full-time employees to work eight-to nine-hour shifts—has given way to a new approach: the open talent economy—a collaborative, transparent, technology-enabled, rapidcycle way of doing business through networks and ecosystems. The problem for many business, talent, and HR leaders is that they are operating as if the classical “balance 4040|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |December |December ٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤ | |
sheet” model of talent is still dominant and relevant. It’s not. Today’s evolving workforce is a portfolio of full-time employees, contract and freelance talent, and, increasingly, talent with no formal ties to a company at all. People move from role to role and across organizational boundaries more freely than ever. Global markets and products are driven by accelerating innovation
and growing scale, and they demand talent pools and systems that can be rapidly assembled and reconfigured. Business leaders and customers expect agility, scale, and the right skills on demand. These new business and talent models look less like integrated factories and companies and more like highly orchestrated networks and ecosystems with a multitude of approaches to mobilizing, orchestrat-
Today, people move more freely than ever from role to role and across organizational and geographic boundaries ing, and engaging talent, skills, leaders, and ideas. What the open source model did for software development, the open talent economy is doing for work. Today’s younger, connected, globally mobile people are managing their careers on their own terms. Where their parents may have sought job security, they prize engagement and meaning. This means that organizations must reinvent their sense of what they have to offer talent and even what it means to “have” talent in the first place. A report by global consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu says what the open source model did for software industry, the open talent economy is doing for work arena. The open talent economy is not a fad, nor is it a reaction to an era of change. It’s part of the change.
Titled The Open Talent Economy – People and Work in Borderless Workplace, the report says organizations are starting to treat talent as an investment that helps them realize business objectives. An array of megatrends is driving this shift. Changes on a global scale have upended all those familiar patterns, and talent and employers now seek each other out, on more equal terms, from anywhere in the world. The evolving workforce is a mixture of employees, contractors and freelancers. Harvard Business Review estimates 1.3 billion people will work virtually in the next few years—almost one in five people living today.
Doing business as if these forces didn’t exist would be like operating by gaslight Today, people move more freely than ever from role to role and across organizational and geographic boundaries.
Each generation thinks it is living in an era of unprecedented change. They may all be right. What sets today apart is the pace and complexity of change. Even a moment’s reflection can be enough to miss a critical inflection point.
Global markets and products, driven by rapid innovation and post digital disruption, demand a dynamic talent model that can be rapidly configured and reconfigured. Businesses expect agility, scale, and the right skills to be available faster than ever—even in real time.
Personal mobility, connected markets, social media, mobile technology, and analytics are already the global forces that affect virtually everyone in every industry. Doing business as if these forces didn’t exist would be like operating by gaslight.
Welcome to the open talent economy—a collaborative, transparent, technology-enabled, rapid-cycle way of doing business. What’s important is that in this new economy, access to talent is more important than ownership of talent.
An open talent organization needs a good reason to erect a barrier in the first place. Barriers between organizations become permeable as well and give way to a borderless workplace. Because there are fewer ties to keep a person from walking out the door, organizations can’t ever rest in recruiting, developing, or managing their talent and leadership. Once, barriers kept people in. Today, a sense of organizational magnetism has to draw people in. The report noted: “We can no longer view talent as a business expense. It’s an asset and should be managed as a strategic investment that can help supercharge performance through the business ecosystem. Like any investment, you must have a plan to engage and deploy it. And, of course, you must measure it. Only then can you determine the return you’ve earned. Only then can you adjust course for continuous improvement.” The study argued that the open talent economy needs leaders who can manage complex ecosystems in real time. The open talent economy places organizations and talent in new relationships with one another, which offers both new benefits and new challenges. This parallels what we have already seen happen in technology, where |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 41
open source coding leverages global talent to develop and refine software. The same principle drives a new phenomenon in resource management: “crowdsourcing.” By reaching out to the broader community, crowdsourcers can address one of four basic needs: getting work done in a distributed way, securing funds, bringing expertise to bear on a problem, or soliciting feedback. For example, the research and development company InnoCentive accepts research problems on commission, posts them as open challenges, and pays cash to whoever solves them. Many organizations are experimenting with this increasingly sophisticated approach to sourcing global talent. What started as outsourcing and off-shoring has now morphed into a new supply chain for employees. It’s increasingly common for companies to rely on people who have no formal relationships with them. Deloitte research has shown that we’re living with a talent paradox:
When people can learn, share, and work anywhere in the world, our traditional talent assumptions are open for review
Some businesses are having trouble filling critical workforce roles even as unemployment remains high. Several global megatrends are driving a cascade of changes that propel the open talent economy around the world and in virtually every sector. These trends don’t necessarily arise in the talent sphere, and they affect other business decisions as well. But they are fundamentally changing the structure of talent and work. There’s no place where you can hide from these worldwide changes, and no industry or sector that confers immunity from them. Every organization that aims to adapt to the open talent economy must assess how each of the megatrends has rewrit-
ten the rules. No matter what you do or where you do it, these megatrends will affect your business strategy.
The emergence of a global talent market across an increasing number of fields and disciplines is opening the world to new ways of acquiring, developing, and managing talent and work. The open diffusion of ideas, practices, and technologies—and above all, people—lets different parts of the world influence and depend upon one another in new ways.
The growth in computing speed, storage, and power is making global, real-time collaboration possible in almost every discipline. When people can learn, share, and work anywhere in the world, our traditional talent assumptions are open for review. In HR, technology once powered “systems of record,” but now powers “systems of engagement”—yet the average HR system today is seven years old.
Today’s critical workforces are freer to work where they want, making career moves more seamless—and potentially more frequent. For their part, organizations expect people to be productive while on the move, which requires more new skills in balancing priorities than ever before.
When people can connect, share information, and build communities online, power shifts from the traditional organization to dynamic human networks. Organizations now must use social media not only to innovate their talent brands, but also to connect and deploy people who relate to the organization in widely different ways. 42 42|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |December |December ٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤ ||
Rapidly growing pools of talented manufacturing, services, and knowledge workers around the world continue to reshape global talent networks. We are witnessing a new wave of innovation, driven in part by MOOCs (massive open online courses): Leading universities are making high-quality courses, taught by world-leading professors, available to tens of thousands of students around the world.
Rather than looking only at historical data to make decisions, employers can now use data analytics for both predictive and prescriptive purposes. Those who can effectively mine large pools of employee and business data for hidden insights and apply them will perform more powerfully in the open talent economy. Jeff Schwartz, Global Marketing, Eminence & Brand Leader, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and one of the three co-authors of the report, says: “We are seeing some significant changes taking place in the talent arena. The challenge for many business, talent, and human resources leaders is that they are operating as if the classical model of talent is still dominant and relevant. It’s not.” “Global business leaders will need to rethink their approach to talent beyond the balance sheet (talent employed directly by a company), and focus on talent in joint ventures, contracting relationships, freelance workers, and a new category: open source talent. Access to talent in many ways will become as important as acquiring and maintaining it.”
Race to recruit the best If a city’s arteries are its roads, then its people are its lifeblood the energy that powers its growth and development. Human capital is what makes a city great. “Talent attractiveness is becoming the true currency by which countries, regions and cities compete with each other,” explains Bruno Lanvin, Executive Director for Global Indices at INSEAD business school and co-author of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index. “You can build nice buildings and airports and make nice lifestyles overnight but to get culture and history, that takes longer,” he said. “You need something in between talent. If you recruit the right people to your city, they will be successful, and that success will drive your city.”
ney, Tokyo, Toronto and Hong Kong, among others have no trouble hiring the best people. They can because they can offer the full package: global headquarters, good salaries, culture, the history, restaurants, lifestyle and, most importantly, the brand. They are the cities you want on your CV. A new generation of cities is emerging as potential leaders in the field: Singapore, Dubai, Beijing, Shanghai and Buenos Aires, to name just a few. These cities are becoming increasingly competitive in attracting the best human capital.
The UAE was ranked eighth by an IMD study, a position attributed to its low unemployment, efficient government and strong social cohesion. Dubai has a lot of ingredients that are creating the Manhattan of the Middle East. The infrastructure is one of the best in the world. Dubai is amazing in the Companies and governments in number of nationalities it has livLondon, New York, Paris, Syd- ing and working in harmony.
|Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 43
Restoring public confidence in Border Protection W hen successfully managed, a strong
border yields key dividends for our nation – in national security, economic, social and humanitarian terms. We have put in place a regional deterrence network with our partners to prevent smugglers using our region as a transit point and we are denying people smugglers the product they seek to sell, a permanent protection visa and citizenship in Australia.
By Scott Morrison Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Australia
Excerpts from the address at the National Press Club, Canberra 44 44|Manafez |Manafez Dubai Dubai |December |September |December ٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤ | ||
The government has established the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF) to manage Operation Sovereign Borders, bringing together 16 different agencies under a central operational command.
including law enforcement collaboration and immigration systems. Denial of permanent visas is critical to ensuring that, at all levels, Australia undermines the people smuggling trade, by never honouring a people smugglers promise of permanent residency and citizenship in Australia. Alongside the growth in legitimate trade and travel, the sophistication of criminal activity, particularly transnational organised crime is evolving and searching for weak points at our borders. The Australian Border Force would be established on July 1 2015.
Operation Sovereign Borders is stopping the boats. In the first eight months of 2014, just one people smuggling venture made it to Australia, compared to 268 and more than 18800 people over the same eight month period last year.
This announcement was backed up by an investment of more than $700 million in the budget over the next six years to expand our capability on the border, including a new central strategic border command and next generation profiling and targeting capabilities.
We are closing the detention centres opened by the earlier government, saving the taxpayer $283 million. This is in addition to the $2.5 billion saved through the dramatic reduction in illegal boat arrivals.
The government will provide $154 million for immigration and border protection, including installation of an additional 62 e-Gates for departures processing at all of our eight international airports.
Our success has also enabled us to free up our offshore humanitarian programme for those who have been waiting in the queue for years. Offshore processing and resettlement has also been implemented.
The government is also introducing a $34.8 million expansion of Advance Passenger Processing (APP) Systems to now cover travellers departing Australia. APP is currently used by airlines to send inbound traveller data to law enforcement and border agencies and as part of the eGates trial, Qantas and Air New Zealand have already been running a trial of the APP departures system.
To date the Australian government has committed over $100 million dollars in regional collaboration initiatives,
The Benefits of Migration can no longer think about our W eeconomies, societies or cultures
without thinking about human mobility. This human mobility is expected to nearly double in the near future. The links between migration and development of countries of origin and destination are also much better understood and recognised today, and States are adopting policies and systems that enhance the positive impact of migration into their development and economic growth planning. The general public has predominantly negative feelings about migration and migrants, and a sense that governments do not have matters properly under control. First, a common misperception is that there are too many immigrants. Misinformation about basic migration facts is a key factor responsible for anti-immigrant sentiment. A second misperception is that the majority of migrants come from the poorest parts of the world. In fact, the 2013 IOM World Migration Report shows that only about 40 per cent of all migrants move from the global South to the global North. Over a fifth of migrants move across developed countries. Third, migration is commonly perceived as solely an immigration issue. How many Europeans are aware that the British diaspora, some five
million people, is the eighth largest in the world? We need to change our mind-set. Migration is now a global phenomenon affecting nearly all countries of the world. The reality is that migration brings huge benefits, fuelling growth, innovation and entrepreneurship in both the countries people come from, and in those they move to. When governed humanely to promote safety, order and dignity, migration has endless advantages. A particularly strong misperception is that the EU does not need lowskilled immigrants. On the contrary, low-skilled migrants contribute to the functioning of the European economy by taking up jobs undesirable to natives, which in turns allows natives to take up higher-skilled and more remunerative employment. Elsewhere, like in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, migrants make up 90 per cent of the workforce, so these economies would simply collapse without migrants.
By Laura Thompson Deputy Director General International Organization for Migration
That migrants steal native jobs is another unfounded belief. This misperception is more common in countries where unemployment is higher. Diversity makes countries more productive and richer in the long run. Furthermore, migrants enhance rather than restrict the innovation capacity of host societies. The presence of highskilled migrants and foreign students in higher education contributes to the creation of knowledge as well.
Excerpts from a speech delivered at IOM meeting in Brussels |Manafez Dubai |December ٢٠١٤ | 45
8th Issue of the Monthly Newsletter issued by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai