The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday announced the Emirati Nationality Law has been amended to grant citizenship to expatriates. The UAE’s Prime Minister and ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said this change was made to attract and retain individuals with specialised skills. “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,” he tweeted.
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.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) January 30, 2021
The changes to the law on nationality and passports will allow expatriates to become dual citizens for the first time. Dual citizenship was earlier banned in the Emirates. To become an Emirati citizen, the expatriates have to swear an oath of allegiance, abide by local laws. In case of loss or gain of another citizenship, the authorities have to be informed without fail.
Bloomberg reported that there’s no clarity on whether the rights of the newly-minted citizens will be at par with those who are born Emirati.
Who is eligible for UAE’s citizenship?
Investors, doctors, scientists or researchers, creative talents like authors, inventors and their families are eligible to be nominated for citizenship by the UAE cabinet, local emiri or rulers’ courts, and executive councils of the seven emirates.
What are the requirements for an Emirati citizenship?
Besides a few common ones, most requirements are field-specific.
Doctors – They must either specialise in unique scientific discipline or in others that are highly required in the UAE. The applicant needs to have contributed to studies and research of scientific value, possess a practical experience of not less than 10 years, and obtain a membership to a reputable organisation in their field of specialisation.
Scientists – Those applying as scientists are required to be active researcher in a university or a research centre or in the private sector, with a practical experience of not less than 10 years. They also should have significant contributions in the scientific field such as winning a prestigious scientific award or securing substantial funding for their research in the past 10 years. It is also mandatory to obtain a recommendation letter from recognised scientific institutions in the UAE.
Creative talents – Intellectuals and artists should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and winners of one or more international award(s). A recommendation letter from related government entities is mandatory as well.
Inventors – They are required to obtain one or more patents approved by the UAE’s ministry of economy or from any reputable international body, in addition to a mandatory recommendation letter from the ministry.