The UAE government has made a historic decision to allow citizenship to selected foreign nationals. Although the country has been home to many expats over the years, now they can become Emirati citizens and enjoy all the perks of owning a UAE passport. It is a one-of-its-kind decision taken in the Gulf region.
The announcement came after the new amendments were made to the UAE Citizenship Law passed by the UAE Cabinet in the direction of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the country. This session of the cabinet was led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the UAE.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to announce this new law. He tweeted that:
“We adopted law amendments that allow granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialized talents & professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families. The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey.”
“The UAE cabinet, local Emiri courts & executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under clear criteria set for each category. The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship.”
These changes to the UAE Citizenship Law were keenly anticipated by expats. Thus, it has garnered a positive response from them. They have appreciated the step taken by the government, which, as per experts, was in the pipeline for more than two years.
Investors, doctors and specialists, scientists, inventors, intellectuals and creative talents, along with their families, can benefit from this amendment in the law.
It is to be noted that they cannot directly apply for citizenship in the UAE. Only the Cabinet, Rulers’ and Crown Princes’ Courts and Executive Councils can elect expats to allow them to become a UAE citizen. The exact process hasn’t been outlined up till now, but it is expected to be announced in the coming time. However, the eligibility criteria have been defined below.
In this section, we have discussed the eligibility criteria foreign nationals have to meet to be able to get nominated for the citizenship:
Once an individual has qualified for citizenship, they have to fulfil some other requirements. These include:
There are abundant benefits of becoming a UAE citizen. These include:
In a nutshell, it is a great initiative taken by the government as it can help to boost the economy. And it is hoped that this new law will pave the way for more expat-friendly regulations in the years to come