Investor Update: What is UAE Citizenship for Foreigners?

In a tweet, last January 2021, His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said “We adopted law amendments that allow granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialized talents and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors, and their families. The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey.” As a country, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed has opened the doors of UAE for its development.

The government now grants UAE citizenship to foreigners who are of value to the emirates. This amendment has marketed the country into a hub of foreign businesses and investors. Investors can now maintain dual citizenship. Although the emirates have long been a land of opportunity for expats, this recent amendment has further placed Dubai at the top of the business world.

What is the difference between residency and citizenship?

One of the popular government initiatives for foreigners is the UAE Golden Visa and Residence by Investment. This means prolonged stay in the country but this does not guarantee UAE citizenship and benefits.

Benefits of Those who become citizens by naturalization:

  1. Complete ownership of property. An expat can lease a property for up to 99 years but a citizen can buy and own a property 100%. A citizen can have full ownership of the property as well as its land. Expats on the other hand who lease property have to renew them after the term expires.
  2. Easy Establishment of Business. A citizen can freely establish a business venture without worrying too much about the complexities of bureaucracy and its procedures. There is less stress in applying for a business if you are a citizen.
  3. Foreigners migrate to Dubai mostly because of their lifestyle. The better-quality life in Dubai attracts people from all over the world. Only 50 years old, UAE as a young nation already is looked up to in terms of lifestyle, infrastructure, facilities, luxury, and convenient lifestyle. It is a global hub of connectivity where a UAE passport means to travel to 133 countries without a need for a visa.
  4. Taxation Benefits. In the UAE, western expats can benefit from the absence of the tax. The UAE is lenient on taxation especially to foreigners who establish a business that can benefit the citizens of UAE.

Who can be Naturalized?

As of the moment, only investors who own property in the UAE can be naturalized and candidates who are selected by the courts of the Rulers and the Prince of Dubai, the executive council, and the UAE Cabinet based on nominations.

The trend of the current law amendments in Dubai greatly impacted the influx of foreign investors because it contributes to the nation’s market stability and boosts the confidence of other foreign entrepreneurs. This move of His Highness Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to open the doors to more foreign investors willing to be citizens is a win-win situation for the nation and the investors.

If you are thinking about taking advantage of this offer, you might want to consider looking for professional advice to speed up the process of your application.

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