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UAE opens citizenship for investors, professionals, special talents

UAE opens citizenship for investors, professionals, special talents

The UAE cabinet, local Emiri courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for citizenship


The UAE has decided to grant Emirati citizenship to investors, professionals and creative talents such as intellectuals and artists, along with their families.

The cabinet chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the amendments of the Executive Regulation of the Federal Law concerning Nationality and Passports.

The directive aims to appreciate competencies in the UAE and invite talent to the Emirati community, official news agency WAM reported.

The acquisition of the UAE citizenship will be routed through nominations from Rulers and Crown Princes Courts, Executive Councils, and the Cabinet based on federal entities nominations.

The categories that can qualify to acquire the UAE passport include: investors, doctors, inventors, scientists, engineers, artists, authors and their families (spouse and children), meanwhile the amendments allow retaining the current nationality.

The conditions that must be met in each category include:

Investors are required to own a property in the UAE.

Doctors and specialists must be specialised in a unique scientific discipline or any other principles that are highly required in the UAE. The applicant must have acknowledged scientific contributions, studies and research of scientific value and a practical experience of not less than 10 years. Additionally, they must obtain a membership in a reputable organisation in his field of specialisation.

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. They also should have made contributions in the scientific field such as winning a scientific award, or securing substantial funding for their research during the past ten years. It remains mandatory to obtain a recommendation letter from recognised scientific institutions in the UAE.

Inventors 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.

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.

Complementing the qualification and acquisition of the citizenship, other mandatory requirements include swearing the oath of allegiance, committing to abide by the Emirati laws and informing the respective government agency in case of acquiring or losing any other citizenship.

“This is a historical move which will go a long way in retaining the best and the brightest brains, and boost the overall development of the UAE,” commented Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and vice principal for Heriot-Watt University Dubai.

“Under the National Agenda, the goal of the UAE is to transition to a knowledge-based economy, and the wise leadership of this country has always worked tirelessly to develop talent, promote innovation and research and instill an entrepreneurial mindset. We are sure that these changes to the UAE citizenship law will attract quality talent and thereby boost the pace of economic growth.”

The UAE citizenship offers multiple benefits such as the right to establish or own commercial entities and properties, as well as other benefits granted by federal authorities.

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