The UAE is home to 3.42 million Indians, one of the largest immigrant destinations in West Asia. Experts believe that the recent bilateral ties between Israel and the UAE could open up new opportunities for a three-state partnership with India, which has close ties with both countries.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Saturday that the country’s laws have been amended to grant citizenship to investors and foreigners for the first time, a move that could help Indians living in emirates.
UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also Dubai’s governor, said on Twitter the new measures were aimed at attracting skilled professionals and their families to help develop the emirates.
“We have taken legislative amendments that allow for the granting of UAE citizenship to investors, special talents and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, writers and their families. The new directives aim to attract contributing talent to our development journey,” he said.
The UAE Cabinet, the local emri or emperor courts and the seven main tribunals will nominate those who qualify to become citizens under clear terms set by each category. The law will allow those who are issued UAE passports to “retain their existing citizenship”, he added.
Changes in national law and passports will, in fact, allow immigrants to become two citizens. The UAE has become one of the few countries in West Asia to offer foreign nationals to citizens, forming the largest population in the region.
The UAE alone is home to 3.42 million Indians, one of the largest immigrant destinations in West Asia. Experts also believe that the recent agreement between Israel and the UAE could open up new opportunities for a triple-state partnership with India, which has close ties with both countries.
Categories that may qualify for UAE citizenship include investors, doctors, specialists, founders, scientists, talents, academics, artists and their families (spouse and children), according to an official statement.
Citizenship will be granted on the basis of nominations from the courts of governors and crowns, the seven-chief executive council, and the Cabinet, based on the nomination of state organs.
The UAE Cabinet has introduced the changes in line with an order from President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to attract and retain people with special skills.
The amendments set out the conditions to be met by each category. For example, investors must have assets in the UAE.
Physicians and specialists must have specialized knowledge in a unique field of science or the most sought-after scientific goals in the UAE, and accept scientific contributions, studies and research on the value of science and practical experience of less than 10 years, in addition to membership of a reputable organization.
Scientists must be active researchers at a university, research institute or in the private sector, with a working experience of less than 10 years. They should have contributions to their field, such as winning a prestigious award, or earning a lot of research money over the past decade. It is also compulsory to receive a letter of recommendation from a recognized scientific institution in the UAE.
Developers are required to obtain one or more patents authorized by the UAE Department of Economic Affairs or any reputable international body, in addition to a letter of recommendation from the service.
People with creative talents, such as students and musicians, should be pioneers in culture and the arts as well as winners of one or more international awards. Letter of recommendation from related government agencies is mandatory.
After qualifying for and obtaining citizenship, immigrants are required to take an oath of allegiance, make a commitment to comply with local law, and inform the authorities in the event of acquisition or loss of another nationality.
UAE citizenship offers a variety of benefits, including the right to establish or own trade associations and structures, and other benefits provided to government officials.