Legal View

UAE citizenship: Can I become an Emirati as my wife remains Indian?

Ashish Mehta/Dubai
Filed on February 7, 2021
(Illustrative image, source:

All your legal queries pertaining to the UAE citizenship law answered.

Question: I am an Indian expat who has been living in the UAE for the last 25 years. I want to apply for the UAE citizenship scheme announced recently. However, my wife is not interested and wants to remain an Indian citizen. Is it possible for a husband to apply for the UAE citizenship, as his family retains their existing citizenship?


>> UAE citizenship for expats: Who can apply and how

>> UAE citizenship: Can families get Emirati passports, too?

Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it may be noted that under specific conditions, the amendments to Federal Law No. (17) of 19872 Concerning Nationality and Passports, as amended by Federal Law No. (10) of 1975 and Federal Decree Law No. (16) of 2017 (the “Citizenship Law”) now allows for investors, doctors, specialists, inventors, scientists, talents, intellectuals and artists to acquire the UAE citizenship.

However, it must be noted that only those expatriates who have been nominated by the UAE Cabinet, the Rulers’ and Crown Princes’ Courts and the Executive Councils, shall be eligible for acquiring the UAE citizenship.

Subject to the requirements as stipulated under the amended Citizenship Law, should an expatriate be nominated, other requirements include, but are not limited to, swearing the oath of allegiance; committing to abide by the Emirati laws; and officially informing the respective government agency in case of acquiring or losing any other citizenship, etc.

Furthermore, it may be pertinent to note that an expatriate to whom UAE citizenship has been granted may continue to retain his or her original citizenship.

In response to your query, it may be noted that an expatriate who has been nominated may be granted his or her individual UAE citizenship. It may not be a requirement to obtain UAE citizenship for his or her immediate family.

For further clarification and information, you may contact the Ministry of Interior, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs of the emirate you are residing in.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Legal View
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=KT&date=20210207&category=ARTICLE&lopenr=210209310&Ref=AR&profile=1097 macro_action: article, macro_profile: ,1097,1000 macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery