Investors, innovators, artists to get UAE citizenship: Sheikh Mohammed

Dubai - 'The UAE has adopted citizenship law amendments'

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 12:07 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 10:57 PM

The UAE has adopted law amendments that will allow granting Emirati citizenship to investors, specialised talents and professionals. The professionals include doctors, scientists, engineers, artists, authors, and their families.

Reflecting focus on its diversity and tolerance, the UAE has adopted law amendments that will allow granting Emirati citizenship to investors, specialised talents and professionals. The professionals include doctors, scientists, engineers, artists, authors, and their families.

Under the directive of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Cabinet chaired by His Highness 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.

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The step aims to appreciate the talents and competencies present in the UAE and attract more bright minds to the Emirati community in a way that will contributes to the development and prosperity of the country.

“The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid announced on his Twitter feed. In a series of posts, the Dubai Ruler explained that the UAE Ccabinet, local Emiri courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under clear criteria set for each category.

“The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed. The government is yet to set out how nominees would be identified.

Residents and expatriates hailed the amendments by stressing that besides promoting the nation’s economic growth and development, this is a clear indication that the UAE is a country of dreams.

Federal National Council (FNC) member Sara Mohammed Falaknaz said the amendments granting Emirati citizenship to investors, professionals and others talents clearly affirms that the UAE is a country of dreams and ambitions. “This is a great milestone. It will give hope to people in various fields to create a better future for them and their families, and to realise their aspirations,” she said.

A second FNC member, Dhirar Belhoul Al Falasi, saidadded: “These legal amendments indicate the vision of the wise leadership of the UAE and their decisions are based on national interests and development. The country is setting finest examples in political awareness.”

UAE national Futtain Al Hammadi, who works as a career adviser in Abu Dhabi, said: “It is really great for the future of our country to have people from different ethnic backgrounds as citizens.”

Diplomats, long-term residents and expatriate businessmen said the new laws are designed to catapult the UAE into the future.

Francisco Hernandez, Ambassador of Costa Rica in the UAE, said the decision of granting of citizenship to non-Emiratis is brilliant. “I support it wholeheartedly. It would give even a stronger sense of belonging to those individuals with capital, talent and willingness to join in rowing the boat of the UAE to the future.

Dr Azad Moopen, founder chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: “It is heart-warming and exciting to hear the announcement to allow select categories of people in the UAE to hold dual citizenship.”

“While it will help many people who have played a significant role in the development of the country through years of dedicated efforts, it will also help to attract new talents in various specialised fields to this oasis of peace and prosperity. This will further propel the UAE to be one among the most progressive countries in the world. I applaud the remarkable initiative adopted by the vcisionary Rulers of the UAE,” he added.

“We are thrilled to learn the news on the announcement of citizenship for investors, doctors, scientists and skilled professionals,” says Kamal Vachani, group director, of Al Maya Group.

Iqbal Dawood, director of the Pakistan Business Council, said thisit is positive news that will support economic activity and attract more high net worth individuals into the country. “Foreign direct investment will increase substantially. Confidence and stability of people will also improve, and people will look at more long-term investment,” said Dawood.

Veteran businessman and chairman of ITL Cosmos Group Ram Buxani said: “This is great news and one of the finest news for expatriates living in this part of the world. This will give them a sense of belonging to the place, boost the economy and confidence in the country.”

Rizwan Sajan, chairman of Danube Group, said this is a game-changing initiative that will help reshape and re-energise the UAE in the years to come. “It is the most exciting piece of news that we have come across in a long time. It will help us join hands with our Emirati friends in reshaping the future of this excellent nation, that we can call ours as well.”

Who is eligible for Emirati citizenship?

The changes in UAE’s citizenship law outlined several different categories of eligible residents and offers a wide range of benefits, including the right to establish or own commercial entities and properties.

While investors are required to own a property in the UAE, doctors and specialists must be specialised in a unique scientific discipline or any other 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, in addition to obtaining 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 contributions in the scientific field such as winning a prestigious scientific award or securing substantial funding for their research during the past 10 years. It is also mandatory to obtain a recommendation letter from recognised scientific institutions in the UAE.

Inventors are required to 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.

Creative talents including 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.

In case one qualifies, other requirements include 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. Furthermore, as per the amendments, the citizenship can be withdrawn upon breach of the conditions.


Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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