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Everything You Need to Know About the New Emirati Citizenship Laws

Sheikh Mohammed

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

Expatriates in the UAE are rejoicing over the latest announcement by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai that lets them obtain Emirati citizenship. In a historic move, the UAE announced significant changes to its citizenship laws, allowing foreign investors, doctors, scientists, artists, and talented people to be UAE citizens.

Sheikh Mohammed approved the rules and directives on Saturday, and tweeted: “We adopted law amendments that allow granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialized talents & professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families. The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey.”

The main aim of this decision is to embrace the expatriates with exceptional talents as members of the UAE society, ensuring their social stability and boosting the national development process. The new directives do not allow individuals to apply for citizenship on their own. Instead, government or royal court officials, including the cabinet, the executive council of the seven emirates, the rulers’ court, or their crown prince, will have to nominate the skilled professionals to obtain citizenship. The individuals eligible for nomination include investors, people with specialized professions – such as doctors and scientists – as well as artists and other creative individuals. The changes also allow families (spouse and children) of the eligible selection to receive citizenship, or the family can choose to retain their current nationality. The new legal changes also mean the qualified individual can maintain their original nationality, allowing them to hold dual citizenship.


In case the eligible individual qualifies for citizenship, he or she must swear the oath of allegiance, comply with Emirati laws and inform the government agency if they acquire or lose another citizenship. Additionally, the UAE citizenship offers a range of perks, including the right to establish or own commercial entities and properties, in addition to any other benefits granted by federal authorities after the approval of cabinet or local authorities. Failure to comply with these rules can result in the revocation of the individual’s citizenship.

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