UAE Offers Citizenship To ‘Talented’ Foreigners

UAE Offers Citizenship To 'Talented' Foreigners. image: Wikipedia

UAE Offers Citizenship To ‘talented’ Foreigners.

The United Arab Emirates plans to offer citizenship to a select group of foreigners, the first Gulf Arab nation to formalise a process aimed at giving expatriates a bigger stake in the economy. The major policy shift is aimed at attracting talent in a way that will boost growth in the UAE, home to the Middle East’s finance and travel hubs Dubai and Abu Dhabi and millions of expatriate residents.

Foreign residents now make up more than 80% of the population of the UAE’s seven sheikhdoms and have been a mainstay of the UAE economy for decades but in the past have lacked a clear path to gain citizenship.

Oil-rich Gulf states have been forced to consider longer residency and limited citizenship for foreigners as they seek to attract investment and diversify. Until now citizenship in the UAE and some other Gulf states has been reserved for foreigners in special cases, including for service to the state, but these changes will formalize and widen such a process.

“The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey,” Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a tweet. The changes will allow the UAE to grant citizenship to selected investors and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families, he added.

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Tony Winterburn

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