A new citizenship law has been introduced in the United Arab Emirates by amending the UAE federal law no. 17 of 1992, also known as the Citizenship Law. The amendments in the new law has been regarded as an affirmative development which is responsible for the reinforcement of the status of the country as an international as well as a regional hub. There has been an offer made to a selected group of foreigners with respect to the citizenship. An attempt has been made by this middle east government which provides an expatriate with the bigger role in the economy by formalizing it.

This law was facilitated by the UAE government in August 2020, whereby it was provided that the expatriates have to no longer relinquish their own nationality in order to get a citizenship of the country. In order to initiate a growth of the economy of the country, the new citizenship amendment has been brought to the picture, which eventually attracts new talent towards this growing economy. The aspect of the limited citizenship has been introduced along with the longer residency in order to intrigue investments and diversity, other than oil.

In the earlier law, the government sought to provide the citizenship of the UAE to the expatriates in a very special case, such as the ones who were involved in providing services to the state. In a country like, United Arab Emirates, where the population of the expatriates amounts to the total of 80%, residents of UAE are considered the mainstay of the economy of the country from a long time.

Some prerequisites have been set up by the government of the UAE to provide citizenship to the expatriates, such as, firstly, the ones applying for the citizenship shall be the owner of some property within the country; secondly, the said applicant are required to obtain atleast one patent, either for a reputed international body or from the ministry of economic affairs of the UAE; thirdly, in case of a doctor or a specialist, they need to have a specialization in an unique scientific discipline or any of the scientific principle which are much needed in the UAE. In addition to this, a scientist shall be an active member of any university or research center, who shall carry out a role of a researcher. Further the scientist, is required to practice in such a field for a time period of at least ten years. In case of an artist or any intellectual who possess a special talent, shall be a colonizer in the field of culture and art. Not only this, such intellectuals or the artist must be a winner of at least one renowned international award.

The new amendment also provides that such citizenship can also be withdrawn, if the applicant has breached any of the above mentioned criteria. Such individual shall not be considered a resident of the UAE, once such withdrawal has been made.


Despite the introduction of the new law, a clarification is still needed with respect to a specific criteria that will be require to enjoy the nationality of the UAE. Further, the definition of the term “investor” is also not provided for in the law, which is eventually required to assess the receptiveness of the nationality of UAE on case to case basis. An advantageous position has been created whereby an expatriate will be investing in the real estate of the UAE, who wish to have a longer and more stable tie in the country, both on a professional level as well as on a personal level.