Further to the issuance of Federal Decree Law No. 3 of 2020, which amended Federal Law No. 17 of 1972 (the Citizenship Law), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently approved the amendments to its nationality laws with the aim of attracting foreign investors and talents who would contribute to and help progress the country’s economic objectives.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister and Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the changes to the Citizenship Law, allowing the grant of UAE citizenship to non-Emirati “investors, specialized talents and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families.”
Individuals eligible for citizenship will be nominated by the UAE Cabinet, the local Emirati courts (or Ruler’s Courts) and the executive councils of each of the seven Emirates. It is not clear whether there is route to apply for citizenship under the new process.
Among the changes, the major development is that non-Emiratis can obtain UAE citizenship and retain their original nationality, for the first time allowing them to become dual citizens. The criteria for eligibility for each category and the nomination process will be set out upon publication of the Executive Regulations in the Official Gazette.
This is a welcome development for foreign investors, businesses and professionals and reinforces the UAE’s position as an international investment and talent hub. We will issue follow-up alerts once the Executive Regulations are published and as and when new updates arise.
To speak to us in relation to the Citizenship Law and related immigration issues, please contact one of the team members below.