UAE Citizenship by Investment: The Definitive Guide 2021


Updated: March 11, 2021

In February 2021, the United Arab Emirates made significant changes to the UAE citizenship law. The government will allow qualifying investors and people with special talents to be naturalized, along with their families.

Brief summary: Citizenship by Investment in UAE

UAE citizenship by investment was announced in 2021. It is a major change to the GCC tradition of never granting citizenship, but only granting residence permits and visas to foreign nationals. 

The United Arab Emirates aims to attract special talent, as well as investors that can contribute to the UAE economy.  The UAE cabinet, executive councils, and local courts will be the authorities to nominate eligibility for UAE citizenship.

Vice-President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum stated that the law has been amended to “aim to attract talents that contribute to [their] development journey”. 

Eligibility for UAE Citizenship by Investment or Talent

In order to qualify for UAE citizenship by investment program, it won’t be necessary for the applicant to submit any applications.  The Executive Councils, Rulers and Crown Princes Courts, and the Cabinet will choose the nominees.

The nominees of special talent will include the below professions and their families:

  • Scientists
  • Doctors
  • Engineers
  • Artists
  • Authors

The amended law classifies certain categories of expats in the UAE as eligible for Emirates citizenship and passport.  These are:

  • Investors, who own property in the UAE
  • Doctors, scientists, and engineers with 10+ years of experience
  • Artists and Intellectuals with an internationally recognized award
  • Inventors with at least one certified patent within the UAE

Note: The applicant is allowed to include his or her spouse and dependent children in the program.

Benefits of the UAE CBI for you and your family

You might be unaware, but there are many benefits of the United Arab Emirates citizenship. Some of the main benefits are listed below:

Live, Work, and Study in the UAE

The UAE citizenship gives you and your family the right to live, work, and study in the Emirates. 

Family Reunification

As an applicant, you are allowed to bring your spouse and children within the program. 

Register Assets without Restrictions

The United Arab Emirates allows you to register your assets without the restrictions that are faced by foreigners and expats.

Open Bank Accounts and Establish Companies in the UAE

As in any country, there is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy for foreigners to open a bank account or start a company in the UAE.  This is not the case for UAE citizens, it becomes a straightforward process.

Visa-Free Access to 167 Countries with a UAE Passport

A United Arab Emirates passport will get you into these countries, including the European Schengen states, without the need for a visa:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Eswatini, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Palestine, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.

Tax Consequences of Citizenship in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates has one of the most attractive tax schemes in the world.

No income tax is collected from individuals, and filing a tax return is not required. Furthermore, foreign income from outside the UAE is not taxed by the UAE. It does not get much better than that.

Dual Citizenship UAE

According to the new citizenship law in the UAE, those who are granted UAE citizenship will be allowed to keep their existing citizenships.  Accordingly, the UAE allows for dual citizenship, you just need to check with your country of origin.

Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and How We Can Help You

Get Golden Visa is a full-service investment immigration agency.  We provide end-to-end solutions on residence and citizenship by investment programs in numerous countries worldwide.

We have legal professionals, as well as licensed real estate professionals within our team.

We work with clients from all around the world, interested in obtaining Citizenship by Investment or in making real estate investments across many geographies.

Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.

Alternatives to UAE Citizenship by Investment

Many European countries have their respective citizenship or residency programs. 

Some of the most renowned Residency or Citizenship by Investment programs are:

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portuguese Golden Visa program allows investors to make a qualifying investment in Portugal, in exchange for a resident permit.  The program allows applicants and their families to live and work in Portugal and travel across Schengen countries without a visa.  At the end of five years, applicants are eligible for citizenship in Portugal.

Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden visa was launched in 2013.  In exchange for a qualifying investment in Spain, the applicant and his or her family gets the right to live and work in Spain, and travel visa-free across Schengen countries.

Greece Golden Visa

The Greece Golden Visa program is one of the most popular as well as an affordable one. All EU and non-EU residents can apply for the permanent residency program in Greece and benefit from the living and traveling rights it offers.

Malta Citizenship by Investment 

The Maltese citizenship by investment program is renewed in 2021. It is easy to get a European passport through an investment in Malta.

Lastly, wherever you apply, make sure to hire personal legal assistance to guide you through the process. Moreover, refer to Get Golden Visa for more valuable information.

Good luck in advance for acquiring you second citizenship.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment 

Turkey citizenship by investment program allows investors to invest in a real estate property in Turkey worth above 250,000 USD and obtain a Turkish passport.  It is one of the quickest citizenship by investment schemes in the world and does not involve donations.

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Comments (6)

    • Dear Amile,

      The UAE government announced the initiative earlier in February. We are yet to receive the official law and details. We are in constant correspondence with the corresponding authorities and officials. We will let you know once the details are shared officially.

      In the meantime, you may find the residency by investment scheme, Portugal Golden Visa, and the citizenship by investment program in Malta.

    • Dear Arshad,

      The UAE government announced the initiative earlier in February. We are yet to receive the official law and details. We are in constant correspondence with the corresponding authorities and officials. We will let you know once the details are shared officially.

      In the meantime, you may find the residency by investment scheme, Portugal Golden Visa, and the citizenship by investment program in Malta.

    • Dear Muhammed,

      The UAE government announced the initiative earlier in February. We are yet to receive the official law and details. We are in constant correspondence with the corresponding authorities and officials. We will let you know once the details are shared officially.

      In the meantime, you may find the residency by investment scheme, Portugal Golden Visa, and the citizenship by investment program in Malta.

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