UAE citizenship: Investors, professionals explain how new law will reshape future

Dubai - Announcement will help UAE attract, retain talented foreign professionals, scientists and entrepreneurs

By Waheed Abbas

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(Reuters file photo)
(Reuters file photo)

Published: Sat 30 Jan 2021, 2:19 PM

Last updated: Sun 31 Jan 2021, 10:38 PM

Investors and industry professionals have welcomed the UAE’s decision to grant citizenship to select foreigners.


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Rizwan Sajan, Chairman of Danube Group, said this is a game-changing initiative that will help reshape and re-energise the UAE in 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 also.

“The UAE has been a land of opportunity and has attracted international talented professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the world that helped us - foreigners - not only to grow, but also contribute to the UAE society and economy,” said Sajan.

“Since 2019, the UAE Government has been actively considering expanding the visa regime to help retain talents. As a result, a 10-year Gold Visa was introduced. Today’s landmark announcement to offer citizenship to talented foreign professionals, scientists and entrepreneurs will attract global talent pool that will help the country in spearheading innovation to take the UAE ahead of many other countries,” said Danube chairman.

Kamal Vachani, Group Director of Al Maya Group, said: “We are thrilled to learn the news about the announcement of citizenship for investors, doctors, scientists and skilled professionals."

He said this will bring “more stability” and attract more investments to the country. “This is an extremely positive move and we congratulate the Rulers for this great decision.”

Nimish Makvana, Senior Partner, Crowe MAK, said this is a “game changer decision” by the leadership of the UAE.

“With such a major change, the UAE will attract the best talents across the globe and also retain existing ones in the country. With the new announcement, intellectual and extraordinary talents will flow to the UAE.

“The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship and will bring confidence and investments not just for the current generation, but for the future ones, too. The UAE is home to millions of expatriate residents and (this decision) will make the country the first home for many.”

Ahmed Shaikhani, president of the Pakistan Business Council, said the decision is part of a “broader vision of the UAE’s leadership” to take the country to the next level of growth.

“This decision will have a positive long-term impact on the economy and investment. Real estate plays a big role and people will invest in the sector with a long-term view. This decision will also enhance loyalty of the professionals within the country,” said Shaikhani.

Iqbal Dawood, director of the Pakistan Business Council, said this will support economic activity as well as attract more high net worth individuals into the country.

“Foreign direct investments will increase substantially. Confidence and stability of people will also improve and people will look at more long-term investments,” said Dawood.

Haleema Al Owais, Art Enthusiast and CEO of Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais, said the new announcement is nothing short of a breath of fresh air.

"I believe it will have a huge impact on the urban fabric of the UAE and it will change the trajectory of the country as a whole. Because there is so much untapped potential in the UAE and with this big step it will certainly go further and further into development and progress. We are already doing so much in the realm of art and aided with this decision I am sure it will have a bigger impact on our cultural fabric."

"The decision as a whole has warmed my heart greatly, as a citizen I have so many people who have taught me, who have grown up with me, who I have befriended, and who I worked with. The fact that they are able to live here permanently, having the citizenship or have gotten their identity since they have been here for so long. I am really hoping that within that category, there will be a category for those who have chosen it to be their home and have spent over 25 to 30 years here and made it their home. Made it their place to live forever, have grown up here, have memories here, and that their other homes are just a place they visit sporadically and come back to the UAE...their real home," she said.

Ali Homadi, CEO, Loyica, said this historic move will remove the last hurdles to attract more investments into the UAE and put the country at par with its competitors offering citizenship and passports with limited facilities.

"The UAE has developed an excellent infrastructure and offers an ideal lifestyle and now investors can get permanent residency as well as passport. This is a great move and benefit the country in general and economy in particular," he said.

Shailesh Dash, financier and enterpreneur, said this is a very postive development and is among all the right steps that UAE govt has been enacting to make the country among the best in the world to stay and work.

"History has shown us that cities and countries which have been able to attract skilled manpower have been the leaders and most prosperous in the world. The UAE has time and again proven that it’s visionary leadership is always thinking ahead as to how to make UAE the most prosperous country in the world," he said.

Imran Farooq, CEO, AAA Associates Immigration Services, said this is a major breakthrough for the UAE which is the most secure and the best place in the world to live.

"Investors are often concerned about living this part of the world indefinably and think about citizenship option. Recently, the Permanent Residency announced by the UAE was a great initiative. The new amendment in the UAE's citizenship law for foreigners will increase the influx of FDI in the country," he said.

He said the Residence By Investment (RBI) and Citizenship By Investment (CBI) is a huge market, conservatively estimated, $21.7 billion and growing by 23 per cent a year. This market will reach to $100 billion by 2023, according to media reports published in 2019.

"Post Covid-19 recovery, the UAE could get billions of dollars with its new citizenship law and country could be a hotspot for a big buying spree across sectors for investors. The way Covid-19 is handled in the UAE combined with massive vaccination drive and Expo 2020 is the perfect time for the economic boom," he said.

Bearing in mind UAE’s progressive approach and outlook throughout its history, the landmark announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad comes as no surprise. This farsighted Citizenship program is commendable and solidifies UAE’s position as the place to be for artists, innovators and investors like myself to invest into a collective future for the country we fondly call home," said Lal Bhatia, chairman, Hilshaw Group.

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