A Comprehensive Guide on How to Get UAE Citizenship for Business

how to get uae citizenship

United Arab Emirates is working hard. It has come up with strategies. It has devised elaborate plans. The success of these plans is visible in the growth the country has achieved. Businesses are getting interested in establishing themselves in the country. It has become a great destination for them to expand. We have penned down this guide to share with you all there it is to know about UAE citizenship. We will share how to get UAE citizenship and how to apply for it. We also cover how long it takes to get UAE citizenship.

Benefits of UAE Citizenship

Before we move on to how to get UAE citizenship, it is time to know about the benefits and why many businesses are interested in it. There are many advantages extended to people with an UAE citizenship.

With a UAE citizenship, people find opportunities to live a better lifestyle. They can start a business. They can register their assets without facing the restrictions for foreigners. It is easier to open up a bank account. A UAE citizenship and passport lets you travel to a hundred countries without a visa.

UAE has a stable economy. The network of expatriates is growing. There are high salaries offered. It is friendly to the investors. It is great for business.

UAE Citizenship Law Amendments

Specific categories of foreigners to apply for the citizenship. It has been made possible by UAE citizenship law amendments. There are particular conditions to be fulfilled. This lets the citizens retain their original nationality.

Who May Get UAE Citizenship?

Previously a UAE citizenship was only extended to people who had blood ties. It has diversified now with the UAE citizenship law amendments.

There are four categories that describe a way people might get the citizenship.

  1. Citizenship by descent
    Birth does not grant an automatic citizenship in the UAE. The individual in question needs to descend from one of the four groups:

    1. They come from a family of Ethnic Arab settlers. They should have settled in the UAE before 1925. They should have stayed at least until 1972.
    2. From an Emirati father who lives in the country or abroad
    3. From an Emirati mother in the country or abroad:
  2. Without a legally established fatherhood
  3. With a stateless father
    1. From unknown parents in the country. It means the individual seeking the citizenship is a foundling having born in UAE.
  4. Citizenship through marriage
    Any UAE citizen needs permission from the UAE government to marry a foreigner. The foreigner should have a residence visa. One spouse should not be twice the age of the other one. They also need to have a clear criminal record. Non-Muslims can marry as long as they consent to the marriage.
    A foreign woman marrying an Emirati male citizen can receive citizenship in seven years if they have a child together. It will take ten years otherwise.
  5. Citizenship by naturalization
    This was granted In the past to foreigners who had lived in the UAE for 30 years and were fluent Arabic speakers. With UAE citizenship law amendments, foreign nationals who are residency visa holders are eligible too.
  6. Citizenship by exceptional merit
    This category has arisen because of the UAE citizenship law amendments. It offers a chance to doctors, scientists, artists, investors and inventors.


Active researchers at university or research center will get a UAE citizenship. They must have ten years of experience. They should also have contributed to their field. They will have to provide a letter of recognition from a recognized scientific institution in the United Arab of Emirates.

Creative individuals

The UAE citizenship law amendments make the most creative of minds in the fields of science and arts eligible to apply for a citizenship.

The people regarded as the creative minded individuals can get UAE citizenship. They are innovative in their fields. They are the pioneers in the fields of art and culture. They need to have received at least one international achievement awards.  They need to have some patented invention. Another requirement to qualify them to this category is they show a recommendation letter from the government agency.

Qualified specialists and physicians

These are specialists in their scientific discipline. They have proven experience of at least ten years. They should be member of a reputable organization in their field of specialization.


Inventors need to have one or more patents to qualify for the UAE citizenship. These patents are to be approved by the Ministry of Economy. Investors are required to share a recommendation letter from MoE too.


They must own a property in the UAE.

  • Investment in Real Estate
    • Purchase a property that is worth a minimum of AED 2 million
    • Buy a property with a loan that is specified from local banks

The registration documents will be issued by the UAE real estate authorities.

Application Process for UAE Citizenship

There are some certain conditions that make for the eligibility criteria to apply for the UAE citizenship. Knowing the application process answers the question of how to get UAE citizenship.

Reviewing by advisory committee

The answer to how to get UAE citizenship has the first step of getting your application renewed.

Central committee and sub-committees are appointed by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. They are independent in reviewing every candidate.

Pre-Approval by Sub-committees

The sub-committees review all the data submitted to them. They filter out the applicants who fulfill the eligibility criteria for the UAE citizenship. This is the second step for those wondering how to obtain UAE citizenship.


The application is verified. It is approved. Then it is sent to an advisory committee. It consists of a representative from each of the Emirates. They will give the final statement.

It is still possible to be denied the citizenship when you meet the eligibility criteria. Certain conditions might be the cause of this rejection. These cases will call for a final decision. The Executive Council, the courts of the Crown Prince, the Rulers and the Cabinet takes the final decision.

How Long Does It Take to Get UAE Citizenship?

To answer your question of how long does it take to get UAE citizenship, there is no set timeline for this process. The naturalization process to get the citizenship used to take at least thirty years in the past.

There are long term visas. They are a good option even if your application for the citizenship by merit is rejected. There are golden visas that lets the foreign nationals live in the country for five to ten years. These visas are renewable too.

Final Thoughts

A UAE citizenship attracts businesses and individuals. People get access to the citizenship by naturalization, descent, merit or through marriage. Investors and pioneers of scientific fields can now get a UAE citizenship without having to wait for the next thirty years.

If you are having any doubts about getting UAE citizenship, contact us and we will help you out.

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