Daily US Times: The Vice-President of the UAE says the country will grant citizenship to foreign residents for the first time, providing they add value to the Gulf state.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, who is also the ruler of Dubai, said those eligible would include investors, specialised talents, engineers, doctors and artists.
He said, they and their families would be able to hold dual nationality.
It is no likely that any low-income workers will meet the strict criteria for the citizenship offer.
The UAE Vice-President said the aim was to attract those who could “contribute to our development journey”.
There is no application procedure; instead potential individuals would be nominated for citizenship by UAE royals or officials. The cabinet of the UAE would then decide whether or not to approve them.
The move comes amid the Covid-19 pandemic and a period of low oil prices, which have prompted tens of thousands of foreigners to leave the country.
The new system would allow foreign investors and specialised experts to establish deeper roots in the country, according to Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National.
The rise of the Gulf state as a tourism and financial centre has depended on expatriates. They make up the majority of the resident population and more than 90% of the country’s workforce.
Foreign workers in the UAE usually have renewable visas that are valid for several years and are linked to employment.
Low-income workers have also played a key role in building the economy, hospitality, retail and travel sectors, providing manpower for the construction with their earnings often helping to support families back home.