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Citizenship in Dubai (UAE)

Citizenship in Dubai (UAE)

It’s not possible at this time to obtain UAE citizenship. We can however assist you in obtaining Residency in UAE through a number of methods.

The UAE is one of the most appealing Middle Eastern countries foreign citizens choose to move to. Out of all the Emirates, Dubai is by far preferred by those interested in working and starting a business in the UAE. Obtaining Dubai citizenship has many benefits apart from those of living in one of the most unbelievably beautiful cities in the world. Under the new law, UAE dual citizenship is also permitted, however the procedure is limited to the following methods:

  1. Marriage to an Emirati citizen,
  2. Special Approval from the Rulers’ and Crown Princes’ Courts and/or Executive Councils / Cabinet, granted to a limited category of applicants,
  3. After 30 years of residing in the UAE. Please see long-term residency requirements below.
 Quick Facts  
Assistance provided by specialized immigration lawyer (YES/NO) Yes

 Persons eligible for citizenship

– investors,

– specialists in various industries,

– medical staff,

– inventors,

– artists

Requirements for citizenship by naturalization

Obtaining permanent residency 

 Availability for citizenship by descent (YES/NO)


Citizenship by marrige possibility (YES/NO)


Long-Term Residency by Investment

– real estate acquisition,

– experience in the applicant's field of activity of at leat 10 years,

– international prizes,

– accolades

Minimum value of of real estate purchase for residency

USD 1.3 million or USD 2.7 million depending on the duration of the visa

Timeframe to obtain citizenship by naturalization

Living in UAE for 30 years

Timeframe to obtain citizenship by marriage

7 years for foreign women married to Emirati men provided they have children, 10 years if they do not

Timeframe to obtain citizenship by investment It is granted immediately by Dubai Crown Prince Courts, Dubai's Ruler, or the Executive Council based on the documents filed
Eligibility for citizenship by descent 

Children of UAE citizens born abroad

Immigration with family members allowed (YES/NO)

Yes, through the investment option

Visa-free access based on a UAE passport

Approx. 180 countries

Taxation after obtaining UAE citizenship

No personal income tax

Benefits of permanent relocation to UAE/Dubai

 – high living standards,

– great quality of life,

– large communities of expats,

– access to the local business and labor markets

 Specific requirements based on country of origin for citizenship (if any)  No, there are no specific conditions that apply to certain nationalities only.

 Access to citizenship by merit (YES/NO)

 Yes, the UAE can offer citizenship based on special merit for foreign citizens on certain occasions.

 Documents to obtain citizenship by naturalization

– application form;

– proof of living in the UAE (Dubai);

– clean criminal record;

– specific documents in accordance with the means of acquiring citizenship

 Language requirements (if applicable)  Yes, those who apply for citizenship must speak Arabic fluently.
 Timeframe for obtaining a UAE passport (approx.)

 Applications are usually processed in about 7 working days.

 Procedure of obtaining an UAE Passport 

Very difficult 

Requirements after obtaining UAE citizenship 

– abiding by UAE laws;

– notifying the authorities about all changes in the citizen's status. 

 Advantages after securing UAE citizenship

 – voting rights;

– access to free healthcare;

– access to free education, etc.

 Fastest way to secure citizenship

 Descent is the fastest way to obtain citizenship in Dubai. 

 Methods to obtain an Emirati Passport

–  descent;

– merit;

– naturalization;

– marriage

 Possibility to include family member on citizenship application (YES/NO)

Yes, when applying for residency by investment. 

 Loss of UAE citizenship 

A UAE citizen can lose his/her passport by giving it up, by being convicted for serious crimes, by undermining the country's security. 

 Support in case of citizenship denial (YES/NO)

 Yes, our immigration specialists in Dubai can also help in case your application is denied.

 Reasons for denial of citizenship application

Most of the time, incomplete files are a cause for denial of an application. 

 Other immigration services available (if any)  Yes, we can assist in obtaining various types of residence permits, a Dubai freelance visa, renewing residence permits, etc.

Recently, the UAE government has amended its legislation under which new Dubai citizenship requirements have been introduced, especially for foreign investors. Our immigration lawyers in Dubai invite you to read about United Arab Emirates citizenship

Who can obtain Dubai citizenship according to the new rules for 2024?

Based on the latest changes in the legislation, the newest Dubai citizenship rules include the following categories of immigrants who can qualify for United Arab Emirates citizenship:

  • foreign investors;
  • specialists in various fields of activity;
  • doctors and scientists;
  • inventors and intellectuals;
  • people with creative skills.

Other categories of people who can also accede to UAE citizenship are also foreign citizens who marry UAE nationals, just like before.

Our law firm in Dubai is at your service if you are interested in immigration to the UAE and need to understand the requirements applicable based on your country of origin. We can guide on on how to apply for UAE citizenship in 2024.

New Dubai citizenship requirements

We must firstly point out that UAE citizenship is not possible without a special approval from the UAE authorities and is only granted in very limited cases.

Here are the 2024 Dubai citizenship rules for each category of applicants with the important note that the citizenship is not given automatically even in case of fulfilling the conditions below:

  • property ownership is the mandatory requirement for foreign investors, while the minimum value of the real estate must be 1 million AED;
  • doctors and other specialists must have at least 10 years of experience in their fields, plus their skills must be in high demand in the UAE;
  • the same 10 years of experience are also required in the case of scientists;
  • inventors must have at least one patent approved by the Ministry of Economy in the UAE;
  • creative people and intellectuals must have one at least one international award for their talents.

In practice is very difficult to obtain the UAE citizenship and we therefore advise to rather opt for long-term residency instead which is granted much more easily. In the case of foreign persons with creative skills, recommendations from their governments are also required.
Dubai citizenship comes with many benefits and our lawyers can provide you with the most important of them. Feel free to send us your questions on UAE’s citizenship requirements.

Eligibility conditions for foreigners interested in UAE citizenship

Foreign citizens who enter the categories accepted by the government to obtain Dubai citizenship must also meet certain eligibility criteria. For example, an investor must first own real estate in Dubai, however, there are plenty of properties to purchase in the Emirate and our lawyers can help you acquire one.

Medical staff seeking to apply for UAE citizenship is subject to more stringent requirements. Doctors and other physicians must be specialized in a domain that is sought in the UAE and must have at least 10 years of experience in his/her field. Apart from these, one must also be a member of specific organizations in their field of expertise.

Scientists are also welcome to apply for citizenship in Dubai in 2024 and they must meet requirements like being active researchers in universities, research centers, or private companies. The 10 years of experience in their field is also one of the UAE citizenship requirements. They are also required to submit a recommendation letter from an institution that is recognized in the Emirates. One of the special categories of scientists is inventors who must own one or more patents that are recognized nationally or internationally.

Creatives, artists, and other intellectuals can decide on immigration to Dubai and apply for citizenship provided that they are pioneers in their art or culture and have been awarded at least one international prize. A recommendation letter from a recognized authority is also required.

If you need information on why you should emigrate to UAE and Dubai’s citizenship benefits, feel free to ask our local lawyers.

Are there any other requirements for Dubai citizenship?

Persons accepted under the new rules must complete a few steps, among which:

  • they must pledge their allegiance to the UAE;
  • they must also commit to respecting this country’s laws;
  • they must inform the UAE government on giving up or losing other citizenships.

This last requirement has been enabled recently, as Dubai recognized dual citizenship, especially for foreign investors coming to the country.

Should you want to apply for UAE citizenship, our law firm in Dubai can advise you on retaining your former passport.

Other citizenship options for foreign investors in 2024

Dubai is one of the most appealing investment destinations in the UAE and foreign entrepreneurs can acquire citizenship here by first applying for 5-year 10-year residence permit. In the first case, one is required to invest at least 5 million AED, while in the second one, an investor is required to have at least 10 million AED. The investment possibilities are available under various forms, among which real estate acquisition, bank deposit, starting a new business or entering a partnership.

Even if one of Dubai’s citizenship benefits until now was full ownership of a company, the Company Law has been amended recently, thus making possible full foreign ownership in a business. Do not hesitate to ask our immigration lawyers in Dubai for more information on this aspect.

Free zones also offer licenses or permissions for independent contractors. Additionally, a number of free zones run by the appropriate authorities in the UAE provide freelance permits in numerous industries and job fields. The freelance visa in Dubai and its free zones can be acquired for a variety of industries, including the media, services, and investments.

UAE citizenship by naturalization requirements

Just like other countries, the UAE also enables foreign citizens to move and live here for a number of years and obtain citizenship. Since not all people who move here have meet the eligibility conditions imposed under the latest Dubai citizenship rules, foreigners can move here for work purposes (Dubai’s population is largely made of expats) and live here for 30 years. This way they can apply for citizenship.

If you have lived in Dubai for this number of years and want to apply for a UAE passport in 2024, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers for guidance in filing your application. 

If you have outstanding results in a specific domain, you can also apply for an investment visa in Dubai. For instance, if you are a doctor, investor, specialist, scientist, athlete, or artist who won prizes or accolades and submitted proof in this sense, you can apply for this visa. However, there are specific requirements that must be met to qualify for the 10-year visa based on the channel you come through. This means that different requirements depend on your qualifications.

How to obtain UAE citizenship by birth

For those born in the UAE, citizenship can be passed on to children, as citizenship by descent is principally founded on the tenet of jus sanguinis, or the right of blood. This means that children inherit their parents’ citizenship. Normally, a child born to a national of the United Arab Emirates is granted citizenship automatically.

In the following circumstances, a child can also automatically become a citizen of the United Arab Emirates by birth:

  • the child was born in the UAE, and neither parent is known;
  • the mother holds an Emirati passport, while the father is either unidentified or not recognized by the law.

For children born to UAE national mothers and non-national fathers, the situation is different. Recent amendments to the law have simplified the procedure, however, these children may not immediately obtain Dubai citizenship by birth.

It should be noted that children born in the UAE to foreign parents are not granted citizenship automatically. For more information on how to secure a Dubai passport by birth, please get in touch with our immigration lawyers in Dubai.

Dubai citizenship by marriage

Getting married to an Emirati is one of the quickest routes for a woman to obtain UAE citizenship. She must fulfill certain prerequisites in order to perform this:

  • she must obtain a permit from the Emirate’s Ministry of Interior to apply for citizenship;
  •  give up her prior citizenship;
  • reside in Dubai and have been married for a specific number of years.

The main advantage for women in this case is that the Emirati fathers will automatically pass on UAE citizenship by birth to their children. However, in the case of foreign men marrying Emirati women, they are not eligible to apply for UAE citizenship. Furthermore, their children won’t be eligible to get citizenship through lineage either.

We remind you that the Dubai investment visa is one of the best ways to secure UAE citizenship, in accordance with the newest legislative changes.

The former pathways to Dubai citizenship

Even if the new rules for obtaining Dubai citizenship have been set in place, there are also other procedures through which simple citizens can acquire UAE passports. These imply living in Dubai or any other Emirate for at least 30 years and marriage.

This last option is available for foreign women married to UAE citizens who can apply for Dubai citizenship after 7 or 10 years of marriage under the following conditions:

  • 7 years if they have children;
  • 10 years if they do not have children.

Citizenship by descent is also available for children of UAE citizens who were born abroad and who can apply for UAE passports once they turn 18 years old.  We can provide extensive support for UAE citizenship for expats.

In the past few years, the UAE has made important changes to its legislation, obtaining Dubai citizenship being one of those that suffered important alterations to the benefit of the economy.

Our Dubai lawyers can help you prepare the necessary documents if you want to apply for UAE citizenship.

Immigration to UAE with family members

One of the good news of the new Dubai citizenship requirements is that all persons falling into one of the categories presented earlier (investors, artists, doctors, scientists) can move to UAE with their family members.

A new set of criteria expanded the scope of family sponsorship in 2023, with applicability in 2024 also. Children who are permanently disabled and male under the age of 25 may be sponsored. Unmarried daughters of UAE residents also can be sponsored at any age. Through their companies, citizens of the UAE are permitted to apply for entrance visas without a sponsor or host when they are traveling to see friends and relatives or on temporary work assignments. Study and training licenses can be obtained by course or internship participants through sponsorship from government/private organizations or licensed educational institutions. Residency permits are granted to widowed female residents with children, spouses and children of GCC citizens with foreign passports, parents or children of UAE nationals with foreign passports, in order to solve humanitarian issues.

If you plan on relocating to the UAE, our Dubai law firm is at your service with tailored support based on the category of nominees you are part of. Below, you can also watch a video on this subject:

Steps in applying for citizenship in Dubai

The following phases are completed by the authorities in the application process for Dubai citizenship by birth or other means:

  1. examination of the application – the Authority for Identity and Citizenship first will verify each candidate’s application on an individual basis;
  2. prior clearance – various subcommittees are in charge of examining the data that has been provided and selecting applicants who meet the standards for citizenship in the second step;
  3. acceptance of the application – the third step is sending your citizenship application to the advisory committee for the final statement, which is made up of one representative from each Emirate after it has been verified and approved.

Our law firm in Dubai can explain how to procedure of obtaining UAE citizenship is completed and how long it takes.

The application for a UAE passport

You can begin the UAE passport registration process as soon as your citizenship is verified. The Emirates oversees this application procedure.

You will be required to pay an additional price for the passport application process, as it differs from the UAE citizenship process.

In accordance with the latest citizenship law of the UAE, those who are granted citizenship will have the ability to keep their previous nationality. Therefore, the UAE allows dual citizenship, provided that you verify this with your country of origin. This is a process that can be handled by our Dubai law firm.

If you are not interested in citizenship, the Dubai freelance visa that enables you to obtain residency can also be a choice.

Dubai citizenship benefits

Obtaining citizenship in Dubai comes with several benefits, among which the most important are:

  • the possibility of retaining one’s former passport which is not met in any country;
  • visa-free travel to no less than 167 countries (one of the largest numbers in the world);
  • no personal income tax and tax filing requirements for private individuals;
  • the possibility of buying a property and starting a business in Dubai;
  • under the new law, UAE dual citizenship is also permitted.

Here are other reasons why you should decide to obtain citizenship in Dubai in 2024:

  • the economy of the UAE is secure;
  • people from all over the world are drawn to popular cities in the UAE, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Al Ain because of the variety of jobs available there;
  • the number of expats living there is rising, even if already having a 90% of the inhabitants of foreign origin;
  • UAE has top-notch facilities for healthcare and education;
  • the nation has a good level of living and high salaries;
  • the country has a reasonable cost of living;
  • here, you have the option of opening your own commercial enterprise or working for the government. Also, you have the option to retire at 49 provided you have 20 years of professional experience;
  • the UAE is ranked 22nd overall in the Global Passport Index based on factors including greater mobility, investment index, and standard of living.

Among the particularities of Dubai, you should know that almost 90% of its population is made of expats, many of them working in domestic companies. This is why if you want to live here, employment is a great way of moving and applying for citizenship as a skilled specialist.

We can also help foreign investors who meet the minimum investment requirements to apply for Dubai citizenship. We can also advise on other UAE citizenship requirements outside the scope of investment.

We can also help you draft the necessary documents for a successful immigration. The rules on UAE citizenship for expats can be explained in detail by our local lawyers.

Feel free to contact our immigration law firm for detailed information on Dubai citizenship and its rules and requirements.