UAE to grant citizenship for foreign investors and creatives

In a monumental step, the UAE has made amendments to its citizenship law, allowing foreign investors, inventors, doctors, scientists, artists, and other 'talented' individuals to acquire the Emirati nationality and passport under particular conditions, along with their families. 

The move has been made in an effort to appreciate the talents across the country and to attract brighter minds to, as well as boost the Emirati community/economy. 


Discover all UAE-based investors and startups on MAGNiTT


The UAE once again grabbed the top spot for total venture capital invested in the MENA region last year. Discover what the VC scene currently looks like in the country:

Key UAE investor insights: 

● In 2020, MENA’s most developed ecosystem recorded $579M in funding in 129 deals. This is a 5% YoY uptick, keeping the UAE in the leading position with 56% of all funding in MENA allocated to its startups. 
● 54 UAE-based funding institutions made investments in startups last year.
● The UAE saw a 7% decline in international participation - will this new law result in an uptick next year?
● The largest funding round in the region last year was UAE-based Food & Beverage startup Kitopi ($60M).
● With a total of 129 transactions, the average ticket size in the UAE crossed the $5M threshold in 2020.

Access more UAE investor and startup insights in our 2021 MENA Venture Investment Report2021 MENA Venture Investment Report

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said on Twitter, "We adopted law amendments that allow granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialized talents & professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors, and their families. The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey.

"The UAE cabinet, local Emiri courts & executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under clear criteria set for each category. The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship."

With regards to investors, there is currently just one requirement whereby they must own a property within the UAE, inventors must have had at least one patent certified by the UAE Ministry of Economy or any accredited relevant international body, which adds value to the country's economy, alongside a letter of recommendation from the Ministry. Creatives should be pioneers in the culture and art fields and winners of one or more international award(s). A recommendation letter from related government entities, as with inventors is also compulsory. 

The changes also provide individuals with the right to establish/own companies in the country and buy and own land/real estate property, with the approval of the Cabinet or local government bodies.


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