UAE plans to offer citizenship to select group of foreigners to stimulate economic growth

MENA

Published: 2021-01-30 13:15

Last Updated: 2021-09-24 05:56


UAE plans to offer citizenship to select group of foreigners to stimulate economic growth
UAE plans to offer citizenship to select group of foreigners to stimulate economic growth

Saturday, the UAE announced plans to formalize a process to grant some foreigners citizenship in efforts to stimulate the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The policy shift is aimed at attracting talent to the Emirates in order to facilitate growth, according to details published on the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Foreigners make up over 80 percent of the population.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum announced Saturday that the offer applies to artists, authors, doctors, engineers, and scientists, as well as the families of those granted citizenship.

“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, ” said Maktoum on Twitter.

He added that the Emirati cabinet, courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for citizenship under a criteria set for each category, adding that the UAE will allow those who are granted Emirati citizenship to keep their existing passports.

According to WAM, the conditions for citizenship are:

  • Investors are required to own a property in the UAE.
  • They are required to obtain one or more patents that are approved by the Ministry of Economy or any other reputable international body, in addition to a recommendation letter from the Economy Ministry
  • Doctors and specialists must be specialized in a unique scientific discipline or any other skill in shortage in the UAE.
  • Scientists are required to be active researchers in a university, research center, or the private sector, with at least 10 years of relevant experience.
  • Individuals with talents such as intellectuals and artists should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and have one or more international awards. A recommendation letter from related government entities is mandatory as well.
  • The citizenship can be withdrawn upon breach of the conditions.

Notably, in 2020 the UAE abolished the requirement for companies or establishments to have Emirati shareholders, which resulted in a major shake-up of foreign ownership laws aimed at attracting investment into an economy suffering from the repercussions of a pandemic and decreased oil prices.