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World UAE to offer citizenship to select expats in rare move for Gulf

13:31  30 january  2021
13:31  30 january  2021 Source:   afp.com

UAE seeks to allay Danish concerns over pre-flight virus tests

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The UAE announced Saturday it is opening a path to citizenship for select foreigners, in a rare move for the Gulf where the status and its welfare benefits are jealously guarded.

a group of people on a beach: Expatriate workers, many of them from south Asia, make up the great majority of the population of the United Arab Emirates, where citizenship has long been jealously guarded © Karim SAHIB Expatriate workers, many of them from south Asia, make up the great majority of the population of the United Arab Emirates, where citizenship has long been jealously guarded

Dubai ruler and United Arab Emirates (UAE) Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed Al-Maktoum said "investors, specialised talents and professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families" would be eligible for naturalisation under the new amendment.

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a large body of water with a city in the background: Dubai skyline including the world's tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa © GIUSEPPE CACACE Dubai skyline including the world's tallest skyscraper Burj Khalifa

"The UAE cabinet, local emiri courts and executive councils will nominate those eligible for the citizenship under clear criteria set for each category," Sheikh Mohammed said.

"The law allows receivers of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship."

The UAE government said the amendment to the citizenship law "aims at appreciating the talents and competencies present in the UAE and attracting more bright minds to the Emirati community".

Citizens make up a small minority of the population of the UAE, which has a huge migrant labour force, largely from south Asia, some of whom are second or third generation residents.

The UAE also has a growing community of wealthy expats attracted by the low tax regime and the luxury megaprojects and tourist attractions of the larger emirates.

The wealthy oil states of the Gulf have long guaranteed their citizens a high standard of living through reserved jobs and a cradle to grave welfare system.

To protect it, they have seldom allowed naturalisations.

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Space race: UAE, US and Chinese missions prepare to explore Mars .
Deep-space ventures by the UAE, US and China will arrive at Earth’s planetary neighbour this month.The uncrewed missions promise to yield new insights for Earth-bound scientists intent on unravelling the mysteries of the solar system and scanning Mars for signs of extraterrestrial life, as well as enhancing our collective understanding of the cosmos.

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This is interesting!