The United Arab Emirates, the first Gulf Arab nation to formalize a mechanism aimed at giving foreign residents a greater stake in the economy, aims to give citizenship to a select group of foreigners.
Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our journey of development.”
The reforms would enable selected investors and professionals, including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families, to be granted citizenship by the UAE.
Those eligible for citizenship will be nominated by the UAE cabinet, local courts and executive councils under conditions set for each category, he said. The legislation would also allow UAE passport recipients to retain their current citizenship.
The requirements that must be met to obtain citizenship are, according to a statement released by the UAE state news agency WAM:
- A property in the UAE must be purchased by investors.
- Doctors and specialists are expected to specialize in a particular scientific discipline or any other scientific principles which are highly important in the UAE.
- Scientists are expected to be an active researcher in a private sector or university or research center, with practical experience of not less than 10 years in the same field.
- Pioneers in the fields of culture and art, and recipients of one or more foreign prizes, should be individuals with artistic abilities, such as intellectuals and musicians. A letter of recommendation from relevant government agencies is compulsory as well.
According to the statement, citizenship may be revoked upon violation of the terms. It was not immediately clear if the full rights and benefits of people born in Emirati would be given to those who would be granted citizenship.