Emirates, broadens concessions for citizenship to foreigners

80% of the population in the UAE is made up of foreigners. The offer of citizenship is to investors, skilled people, professionals who can support the economy. Dual citizenship will also be allowed.

Dubai (AsiaNews) - The United Arab Emirates (UAE) have decided to offer citizenship to selected groups of foreigners. The reason, as explained by Prime Minister and Vice-President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (see photo), is to "attract talents that contribute to our development journey”: in practice, to give foreigners the opportunity to participate and support the economy of the Emirates.

A 1972 law very rarely granted citizenship to foreigners, who nevertheless constitute a pillar for the economy: 80% of the population in the UAE is made up of foreigners. Many of them are engaged in domestic work and services, others in international companies and in positions of responsibility.

In a tweet, Al-Maktoum explained that the 1972 amendment to the law will allow citizenship to be given to "investors, talented people and professionals, including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families." Another amendment allows candidates to retain dual citizenship, which was previously not allowed.

The choice of facilitating the granting of citizenship is somewhat forced. Due to the decline in oil prices and the pandemic, many foreigners have been forced to leave the emirates, mainly salaried. The move aims to attract more foreign investment and seek new ways to diversify the economy so that it is not only dependent on oil.