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Chapter Thirty One: UAE CITIZENSHIP

UAE citizenship for investors, medical doctors, skilled professionals, scientists and talented people

Dubai announced major changes to the citizenship law, to allow the naturalization of foreign investors, doctors, scientists, artists and talented people and their families.

This big move is to embrace people with exceptional talents and their families, ensure their social stability in the country and boost the overall national development process.

Approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the president His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced these changes.

The decision specified the categories of the people who are eligible for UAE citizenship, under certain conditions. In addition to granting their families- the spouse and children citizenship, the law allows them to keep their current citizenship, which is a major change to the previous rule that did not allow them to have dual citizenship.

Eligibility requirements

Investors: Must own a property in the UAE

Medical doctors and skilled professionals: Must be specialized in a unique scientific field that is needed by the UAE, have contributed to studies and research that have scientific value in their field, have 10 years of experience in that field in addition to a membership in a prestigious professional organization in his field.

Scientists: Must be an active researcher in their field at a university, a research institute or the private sector. Should have 10 years of experience in that field, have scientific contributions- such as having won a prestigious scientific award, or having secured a significant funding for their research for 10 years.  A scientist should have a recommendation letter from a credited scientific institute in the UAE in addition to the above.

Inventors: Must have had at least one patent certified by the UAE Ministry of Economy or any accredited relevant international body, which has a real value to the UAE economy, in addition to a recommendation letter from the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Intellectuals and artists: Must be pioneers in culture, arts and other talents with at least one international award in those talents.  A recommendation letter from the UAE relevant bodies is also required in addition to the above.

The new law stipulates the terms and conditions of the granting of citizenship to those talented segments, such as the oath and swearing in allegiance to the UAE, a pledge to uphold and respect the laws of the country, informing the relevant authority if they get a new citizenship or lost one.

Those granted the UAE citizenship under the new law have the right to establish and own companies in the UAE. They have the right to buy and own land and real estate property in the country, in addition to any other right extend to them by the federal bodies, with the approval of the Cabinet, or by local government bodies.

It should be noted that the UAE citizenship could be stripped from those categories in such cases as the violation of the legal commitment or losing at least one of the conditions upon which a person was granted the citizenship.

The new law specified the citizenship process, indication that those qualified for the citizenship are nominated through the Emirates’ ruler’s court, the courts of the crown princes, the executive council in an emirate or the cabinet.

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