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How to get UAE citizenship? (2024 Updated Guide)

Everything you need to know about how to get UAE citizenship

Ever wondered how to get UAE citizenship? This is a question asked by almost everyone who has been in the UAE and plans on living there.

Becoming a citizen of the United Arab Emirates comes with several benefits. For starters, it grants you access to world-class healthcare and education. It also gives you the right to own property, live and work, and start an institution in the UAE without needing visas.

As a UAE citizen, you’ll be able to travel to over 100 countries without needing a tourist visa. Given all these advantages, it’s no wonder that citizenship is highly sought-after by expats living in the UAE.

But how difficult is it to become a UAE citizen? Well, it depends on several factors, including nationality, employment status, and family ties to the country.

UAE citizenship is quite difficult for foreigners to get. However, let’s be hopeful and see if you are eligible.

What are the UAE citizenship requirements?

how to get uae citizenship - uae citizenship requirements

It is a lengthy process to get UAE citizenship. They have a long list of the conditions and requirements for all categories of foreigners and UAE residents.

Generally, the major requirements by the UAE for citizenship are as follows: [1]u.ae, “Emirati nationality, https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/passports-and-traveling/emirati-nationality#:~:text=Here%20are%20the,required%20as%20well.”

  1. Original birth certificate and passport
  2. Marriage and Divorce certificates (if any)
  3. Police clearance and Medical certificates
  4. Proof of employment or business ownership
  5. Bank statements showing the source of income and balance
  6. Investment portfolio (for investors)
  7. At least one international award (for artists and intellectuals)
  8. One or more patents that are approved by the Ministry of Economy (for inventors)
  9. Must have acknowledged scientific contributions and have practical experience of not less than 10 years (categories of foreigners who are doctors, specialists, and scientists
  10. Membership in a reputable organization in their specialization fields (specialists)

The Rulers and Crown Princes Courts of the UAE may ask for more documents if you are nominated for UAE citizenship.

If the requirements are complete and you are deemed eligible for UAE citizenship, you need to be prepared to: [2]u.ae, “Emirati nationality, https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/passports-and-traveling/emirati-nationality#:~:text=Other%20conditions,of%20the%20conditions.”

  1. Take an oath of allegiance and loyalty to the United Arab Emirates.
  2. Commit to abide by the law of the emirates.
  3. Notify the government when you obtain or lose any other citizenship.

In addition, your citizenship can be revoked if you are found to be involved in unlawful activities.

Related info: If you are living in UAE and want to apply for citizenship in Canada, then check out our Dbd guide on – How to apply for Canada visa from Dubai?

Who are eligible for citizenship in UAE?

The UAE citizenship law has approved some occupations to have better eligibility for obtaining citizenship. These people can be nominated for citizenship in the United Arab Emirates. [3]u.ae, “Emirati nationality, … Continue reading

  1. Investors
  2. Specialists
  3. Doctors
  4. Individuals with creative talents
  5. Scientists
  6. Inventors
  7. Intellectuals

How to get UAE citizenship?

Getting UAE citizenship is extremely tough. The shortest time that anyone can get citizenship is three years, and the longest is 30 years.

The only people who get UAE citizenship are:

  1. Women who must be married to a UAE citizen for at least seven years and have one or more children, or married for ten years without a child [4]UAE Ministry of Justice, “Concerning nationality and passports, … Continue reading
  2. Direct descendants of UAE citizens
  3. People who have lived in the UAE legally for 30 years [5]UAE Ministry of Justice, “Concerning nationality and passports, … Continue reading
  4. People who are awarded citizenship by the state president [6]UAE Ministry of Justice, “Concerning nationality and passports, … Continue reading
  5. Arabic nationals from Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain residing legally in UAE for at least three years [7]UAE Ministry of Justice, “Concerning nationality and passports, … Continue reading

Based on federal entities’ nominations, only the Rulers and Crown Princes’ Courts, Executive Council Offices, and the Cabinet grant the UAE citizenship. You have to be nominated by them to apply for citizenship. [8]u.ae, “Emirati nationality, … Continue reading

See also: If you, a UAE resident, want to visit or stay in Albania, we have written a comprehensive guide, Albania visa for UAE residents, for your ease.

How to get UAE citizenship for expats?

Expats are people living outside their country of origin. If you are an expat living in UAE, you too can apply for UAE citizenship after you have fulfilled the eligibility criteria.

Expats living in the UAE can go through various means to obtain permanent residences. If you have enough money, the easiest way is by personal investment in a property or real estate in the UAE.

Investing in a UAE property can get a golden visa for five or ten years. And when you have lived in the UAE for 30 years, you can apply for citizenship. [9]UAE Ministry of Justice, “Concerning nationality and passports, … Continue reading

You must also have a recommendation letter from a UAE employer to get a better chance of permanent residence.

If you can prove that you have skills that can contribute to the UAE economy, you can get residency in the UAE for up to 10 years at a time. You can renew it a few times until you have lived in UAE for 30 years. Then you can apply for citizenship.

See also: Check this Dbd guide on – How to check UAE visa status online, where we have shared a detailed step-by-step guide with images.

How to get UAE citizenship by investment?

The preliminary requirement for UAE citizenship by investment is to own a property there. [10]u.ae, “Emirati nationality, https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/passports-and-traveling/emirati-nationality#:~:text=an%20investor%20must%20own%20a%20property%20in%20the%20UAE.” If you invest at least AED 2 million, you will be granted a golden visa as an investor for ten years.

When your visa expires, you can renew it again. You must have lived in the country for at least 30 years to apply for citizenship.

The UAE government may nominate you as a citizen earlier if you contribute enough to the UAE economy. However, this takes a very long time and a lot of effort.

More Related Stories

How to get UAE citizenship by marriage?

A woman can apply for citizenship if she has been married to a UAE citizen for seven years and has one child. If she has no child, then the time increases to ten years.

If a woman is divorced or widowed, she can still get citizenship after seven years under these conditions: [11]UAE Ministry of Justice, “UAE Nationality laws, … Continue reading

  • She must have at least one child born to the man.
  • She must not have married somebody else.
  • She must have been a UAE resident until the date of application.

What are the benefits of UAE citizenship?

Given all the advantages, it’s no wonder that citizenship is highly sought-after by expats living in the UAE. Take a look at some of them:

Powerful passport

As a UAE citizen, you’ll be able to travel visa-free to over 170 countries. The UAE passport is considered one of the most powerful passports in the world.

World-class healthcare

You’ll have access to some of the best hospitals and clinics worldwide. This is especially great for your elderly and family members.

Property ownership

The UAE has one of the most sought-after properties in the world. You can buy real estate in the United Arab Emirates without restrictions.

No income tax

There is no income tax in the UAE. This means that you can keep 100% of your earnings.

Politically stable and peaceful residence

The UAE is a politically stable country. This makes it a safe place to live as well as work.

FAQs on UAE citizenship

Can you apply for UAE citizenship by investment?

Yes, you can apply for citizenship if you own a property in the UAE. You can also live, work and study in the UAE as a permanent resident for up to 10 years after investing. But it will take longer to get approved by the government to get citizenship.

How long does it take to get UAE citizenship?

It takes a long time to get UAE citizenship. People with Arabic ancestry can get it in three years, while foreigners may have to wait for 30 years. [12]UAE Ministry of Justice, “Concerning nationality and passports, https://elaws.moj.gov.ae/UAE-MOJ_Kait-En/00_NATIONALITY/UAE-LC-En_1972-11-18_00017_Kait.html”

Can you apply for UAE citizenship by marriage?

Yes, you can apply for UAE citizenship by marriage. Women married for seven years to UAE nationals and have kids are eligible.

Can foreigners get citizenship in Dubai?

Yes, multiple categories of foreigners can get citizenship if their skills have high demand in the UAE. Their experience and contribution to the development and prosperity of the UAE are essential factors.

Can expats get UAE citizenship?

Yes, expats can get UAE citizenship by being nominated by the Rulers and Crown Princes’ Courts. Citizenship will be given to expats who have contributed to one or more economic sectors for the development and prosperity of the country.

Can a child born in the UAE get citizenship?

No, a child born in the UAE cannot get citizenship automatically. If one of their parents is a citizen, only then will the baby be able to apply for citizenship.

Final thoughts

The UAE government is very strict when it comes to granting citizenship. But now that you know how to get UAE citizenship, you can see if you are eligible or not on your own.

The new dual citizenship programs introduced by the government have attracted much attention. But you have a better chance of getting permanent residency than citizenship.

To foreigners, the effort and time to meet UAE citizenship requirements are extreme. Even for women, getting citizenship and living there after marrying a UAE citizen is difficult.

However, if you have already fulfilled these criteria, you can apply for naturalization and enjoy the benefits.

About the author

Sarika Patel
Sarika Patel
Immigration Attorney, UAE | + posts

Sarika Patel is an experienced immigration expert with a Master's degree in Law from the University of Dubai. For the last two decades, she has been living in Dubai, and throughout this time, her focus has been on providing helpful information and advice to those seeking to immigrate or gain a visa in Dubai. Sarika is passionate about helping people navigate the often complex and confusing world of immigration, visa rules, and laws in the UAE.


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