Posted on January 31, 2023 at 11:33 pm


Thrive in Abu Dhabi: A Programme to Attract Global Talent to Abu Dhabi

There are so many things you may be dreaming of doing in Abu Dhabi.

You can imagine taking that elevator ride up Etihad’s second tower, disembarking at the Observation Deck at 300, and soaking in the spectacular Abu Dhabi sunset. You can also see yourself relaxing on a beach chair on the pristine white sands of Kai Beach, enjoying the fascinating play of light and shadows at The Louvre Abu Dhabi, and taking a race car for a spin at the Yas Marina Circuit. 

Instead of imagining these things, however, why not turn your dream into reality? 


Through Thrive in Abu Dhabi, you can live your ideal life in Abu Dhabi.


What Is Thrive in Abu Dhabi?


Thrive in Abu Dhabi is an Abu Dhabi government programme that offers global talent a chance to study, work and live in Abu Dhabi on a long-term visa. Launched in February 2021, this campaign gives qualified individuals a chance to get a five- or ten-year visa.


This is what attracts its intended audience to the programme. Thrive ensures qualified professionals and talents can make long-term plans, making it worthwhile to uproot their families and transplant them to Abu Dhabi.


Thrive in Abu Dhabi also lays out a path to citizenship. Admittedly, the citizenship requirements are extremely stringent; however, the mere existence of the option ensures Abu Dhabi is serious about keeping global talent in Abu Dhabi.


Thrive in Abu Dhabi is aimed at specific types of expatriates and talented individuals in priority sectors and industries.


Thrive for Creative Talent

Abu Dhabi has a flourishing cultural and creative industry as evidenced by its many museums, including The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Warehouse421, the Abu Dhabi Art Hub, and the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, among others. 


To keep the emirate’s arts and cultural heritage flourishing, the Thrive in Abu Dhabi programme has a provision for talented creatives.


Artists and creatives can join Abu Dhabi’s entertainment and media industry. Likewise, academics in the creative fields and those who specialise in culture conservation and archaeology can also work and live in Abu Dhabi on a long-term visa.


Under the Thrive programme, artists, creatives, academics in the creative industries and scholars specialising in historical and cultural conservation may apply for a creative visa.


The creative visa is aligned with the Culture Sector Strategy spearheaded by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism. The Culture Sector Strategy lays out the emirate’s key cultural priorities, including:


  • The preservation of the emirate’s cultural heritage
  • Promoting engagement with (and awareness of) the emirate’s arts and cultural heritage
  • Stimulating creativity, which will drive education and social change
  • Building and enabling capacity in the emirate’s culture sector
  • Contributing to the economic growth and diversification of Abu Dhabi


Thrive for Students

Abu Dhabi offers long-term visas for outstanding high school, university and graduate students.


Students won’t lack options if they choose to pursue higher learning and postgraduate studies in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi has excellent, high-ranking universities, including the following:


  • Khalifa University
  • Sorbonne Abu Dhabi
  • NYU Abu Dhabi


Students studying specialist areas like artificial intelligence, programming, and scientific research (particularly in medicine) are encouraged to get on board the programme.


Thrive for Innovators and Scientists

One of the Abu Dhabi government’s missions is to foster a thriving research and development (R&D) ecosystem. In line with this, the emirate launched the Advanced Technology Research Centre (ATRC), the first of its kind in the Middle East.


The Technology Innovation Institute is one of the ATRC’s components, and its seven pillars are:


  • Advanced materials
  • Autonomous robotics
  • Cryptography
  • Digital security
  • Directed energy
  • Quantum research
  • Secure systems


Thrive wishes to encourage talented inventors and scientists in the above fields to make their homes in Abu Dhabi and contribute to the growth and development of Abu Dhabi’s R&D ecosystem. Thus, long-term visas are available to innovators and scientists who will choose to pursue their research and try bringing their innovative ideas to life in the emirate.


The Abu Dhabi government not only offers long-term visas but provides other incentives as well. 


For instance, the Abu Dhabi government has an accelerator programme known as Ghadan 21, and it has a 50-billion budget to invest in innovators, among others. As part of Ghadan 21, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) also provides research grants to deserving candidates.


Thrive for Investors and Entrepreneurs

The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) has identified the following growth sectors:


  • Agricultural technology
  • Financial services
  • Health services and biopharma
  • Information and communication technology
  • Tourism


In line with this, the Thrive campaign encourages investors and entrepreneurs involved in these sectors to apply for a long-term visa in Abu Dhabi. These investors and entrepreneurs may also invest in real estate and receive considerable support through Abu Dhabi’s accelerator and funding programmes.


Thrive for Outstanding Professionals

Those who have distinguished themselves in their chosen profession may also apply for a long-term visa in Abu Dhabi. Priority is given to outstanding talent in the following fields:


  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare
  • Science
  • Sports


Therefore, acclaimed athletes, educators, engineers, surgeons, and scientists may be granted a long-term visa in Abu Dhabi.


Make Abu Dhabi Your Forever Home

Thrive is an Abu Dhabi initiative designed to attract global talent to stay and make their lives in Abu Dhabi. 


The programme offers participants long-term visas, funding support, attractive investment opportunities, and the chance to be nominated for citizenship.

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