The United Arab Emirates has adopted amendments that would allow the Gulf state to grant citizenship to investors and other professionals, including scientists, doctors, and their families, the government said on Saturday.
The ruler of Dubai and UAE Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktouji said in a Twitter post, “The UAE cabinet, local Amiri courts and executive councils will nominate people eligible for citizenship under the criteria set for each category.” “The law allows receivers of UAE passports to hold their current citizenship.”
It was unclear whether the new passport holders would benefit from the public welfare system. The UAE spends billions of dollars every year on free education, healthcare, housing loans and grants for its estimated 1.4 million citizens.
In UAE, foreigners generally have renewable visas valid for a few years, tied to employment. Recently the government has made its visa policy more flexible by offering longer residencies for certain types of investors, students and professionals.
Last year, the government extended its “Golden” visa system – which grants for 10 years of residency in the Gulf state – to some professionals, special degree holders, and others.
An oil and gas producer, the UAE economy has been affected by the coronovirus epidemic and low oil prices, allowing tens of thousands of migrants to leave.