UAE to offer citizenship to select foreigners

The UAE government announced plans on 30 January to offer citizenship to a select group of foreigners. The proposed changes will allow the UAE to grant citizenship to selected investors and professionals, including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families.

“The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Designed to attract talent and investment, the UAE cabinet, local courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under criteria set for each category. The law will also allow receivers of the UAE passport to retain their existing citizenships.

According to a statement on UAE state news agency WAM, the conditions that must be met to secure the citizenship are:

  • Investors must own a property in the UAE;
  • They must obtain one or more patents that are approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy or any other reputable international body, in addition to a recommendation letter from the Economy Ministry;
  • Doctors and specialists must be specialised in a unique scientific discipline or any other scientific principles that are highly required in the UAE;
  • Scientists are required to be an active researcher in a university or research centre or in the private sector, with a practical experience of not less than 10 years in the same field;
  • Individuals with creative talents such as intellectuals and artists should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and winners of one or more international award. A recommendation letter from related government entities is mandatory as well.

“This will open a previously closed door for investors from all over the world and will hopefully bring a number of positive benefits to the UAE market as it seeks to develop and diversify,” said Simon Gordon, Managing Director of Sovereign Corporate Services.

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