New amendment in laws will now allow more expats to be UAE citizens

Abdulkarim Ahmed Bin Eid

06th February 2021

Saturday, the 30th of January 2021 marked a historic moment in the Arab Gulf when UAE announced significant changes to the Citizenship Law by allowing expatriates in UAE under select categories like Foreign Investors, Doctors, Artists, Scientists, specialized talents, and their families to obtain UAE Citizenship. Also, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai affirmed the policy’s intent to“attract talents that contribute to our development journey”, with a tweet on his official Twitter account.

Experts predict this visionary move will help boost the economy inviting more investments and increase the migration of talented and skilled professionals into the country. The law permits expats to keep their current citizenship which is the major change to the previous rule that does not allow dual citizenship.

We shall have a glance at eligibility criteria and the conditions to be met by expats to activate this dual citizenship.

Persons and conditions for eligibility to get citizenship are:


Must own a property in UAE.

Medical Doctors and Skilled Professionals

Must be qualified in a scientific field with 10 years of experience in the same field. Must have membership in a prestigious organization in his field.


Must be an active researcher in their field with 10 years of experience or plus.

Recommendation letter from a credited scientific institution in the UAE.

Must own prestigious scientific award.

Talented people and Inventors

Must have patented inventions registered by the ministry of economy and commerce or any internationally recognized organization.

Recommendation letter from the ministry of economy.

Intellectuals and Artists

Must be a pioneer in culture, arts, and other talents.

Should have at least one International Award in those talents.

Recommendation letter from relevant UAE bodies.

The amendment also highlights the fact that,

  • Those eligible for citizenship will be nominated through the Emirates Rulers Court, the Court of Crown Prince, and the Executive Council in an Emirate or Cabinet.
  • The new law specifies the terms and conditions of granting citizenship to those talented segments, such as oath, swearing, and a pledge to respect the laws of the country.
  • The citizenship can be stripped in case of violation of legal commitment or losing at least one of the conditions upon which the person was granted citizenship.

At a time when countries and global economies are formulating policies to overcome post-pandemic realities, this amendment could prove to be a crucial move helping the country diversify its economy and strengthen industries other than the petroleum sector.

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