Testing times

No local knowledge, no residency, for UAE expats

Expats wishing to apply for residency visas for the UAE will in future have to pass a local culture test before their application is approved.

The move comes after the Federal National Council (FNCcalled for expats to have a better awareness of UAE values and traditions.

A committee will be set up by October to develop strategies to improve cultural understanding among expatriates, Ahmed Shabeeb Al Dhahiri, First Deputy Speaker of the FNC said in comments published by UAE daily Khaleej Times.

"Too many people don't know anything about our culture - there are many nationalities - and every resident needs to know something about this country," Al Dhahiri told the paper.

The committee will comprise members from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Al Dhahiri said members will draw up a series of questions that will comprise a test that expatriates must pass to get their residency visa.

The committee will also establish a guide to the country's traditions that will be issued to local embassies and consulates while the support of the media would also be sought to raise cultural awareness levels among expats, he added.

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