UAE’s New Citizenship Policy

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning to offer citizenship to a select group of foreigners. The UAE is the 1st Gulf Arab nation to formalize a process aimed at giving expatriates a bigger stake in the economy.

Key Points

  • The new citizenship policy aims to attract talent to the country to boost growth.
  • The population of UAE includes more than 80% of foreign residents.
  • The country includes 7 sheikhdoms, including Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • Till now, UAE citizenship and citizenship of some other Gulf States was provided to foreigners in special cases (for service to the state). The new changes in the policy will widen and formalize the entire process.
  • The new amendment in the law will help in providing UAE citizenship to specialized talents & professionals including scientists, engineers, artists, authors, investors, doctors, and their families.
  • The Cabinet of the UAE, executive councils, and local courts will be responsible for nominating eligible foreigners for citizenship as per the eligibility criteria of each category.

In 2020, the UAE also eliminated the need for companies to have Emirati shareholders, in a key shake-up of foreign ownership laws aimed at attracting investment into an economy reeling from the coronavirus and decrease in oil prices.