UAE’s new citizenship laws hailed as game changer to attract investments, talent

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The decision to grant UAE passports to individuals who can play a significant role in the development of the country has been hailed as a move towards more stability and increased investment.

UAE’s new citizenship laws hailed as game changer to attract investments, talent

Over the weekend, the UAE government announced that foreigners with special abilities and talents can be nominated to be granted an Emirati passport.

The move was described as ‘heartwarming and exciting’ and ‘extremely positive’ and ‘a huge step’.

Successful applicants will be able to retain dual nationality, something that was not previously the case.

“It is heartwarming and exciting to hear the announcement to allow select categories of people in UAE to hold dual citizenship,” said Dr Azad Moopen, founder, chairman and managing director, Aster DM Healthcare.  

“While it will help many people who have played a significant role in the development of the country through years of dedicated efforts, it will also help to attract new talents in various specialised fields to this oasis of peace and prosperity.”

Rima Mrad, partner at BSA Ahmad Bin Hezeem & Associates LLP said there was no doubt the amendment would have considerable impact, and the law firm had already been receiving inquiries interest about citizenship eligibility.

She said the firm was ‘extremely excited’ to hear about the new citizenship opportunities.

“It was to a large extent expected particularly after the initial changes introduced to the citizenship law (UAE Federal Law No 17 of 1972) and issued in August 2020.

“The latest changes however did address some concerns, especially the removal of the requirement to relinquish the original nationality of applicants.”

“Although the requirements are quite specific in terms of the criteria, we need to wait for more clarification on the investor classification as this will be of interest to many active investors already present and operating in the UAE,” she said.

Citizenship opportunities provide investors and professionals security and ability to effectively plan for their future and to make serious financial commitment, she explained.

“This will complement the encouraging impact of the new changes to the commercial companies law in terms of creating a highly advanced and competitive investment environment,” she said, concluding: “These kinds of initiatives have proven over and over their success in keeping the UAE moving forward and in offering great opportunities for investors and highly skilled professionals.

“We are seeing an in-flow of new investors moving to the UAE especially among the HNWI and this is expected to continue to grow with the latest announcement.”

Kamal Vachani, group director of Al Maya Group said he was thrilled to learn of the news that investors, medical doctors, scientists and skilled professionals would have the chance to be nominated for an Emirati passport.

“This will also bring more stability and more permanency in residency and it will bring more investments in the country. This is an extremely positive move and we congratulate the rulers for this great decision,” he said.

Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp & Allsopp, said the move was ‘a huge step’, which would be of huge benefit to the real estate market. 

“UAE leaders are continuously implementing change for the betterment of the country and are doing so at a time where people are craving security more than ever,” he said.

“With investors being offered citizenship, the real estate market will benefit hugely. Not only that, but residents in the country will reap the rewards from the skilled professionals who will be enticed by the dual citizenship opportunity.

“I’ve commented for some time now that the overall sustainability of the property market relies on people feeling like the UAE is home and what better way to make people feel more at home than giving them citizenship.

“The UAE is taking leaps up the ladder to place itself as one of the best places in the world to work, live and bring up a family. We will soon see the positive effects of dual citizenship and the entire economy will advance as a result.”



Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite

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