Dubai: The expatriate business community and analysts have welcomed the historic decision by the UAE government to grant citizenship to people with exceptional talents and to their families as well.
Earlier on Saturday, the UAE announced major changes to its citizenship law, to allow for the naturalisation of foreign investors, doctors, scientists, artists and talented people and their families. The decision specified the categories of people who will be eligible for UAE citizenship, under certain conditions. In addition to granting citizenship to the families of these specific categories of people — spouses and children of this specialised and skilled segment — the law also allows them to retain their current citizenship, which is a major change to the previous rule that didn’t allow for dual citizenship.
Latest changes to the citizenship law are expected to bring in new investments and talent to the country. The business community in the country has enthusiastically welcomed the move.
“This is another great step forward towards attracting and retaining top talent in a variety of fields. This takes the golden visa one step further, allowing people to have much more certainty for the future of themselves and their families. We anticipate that people will treat the UAE as their forever home, rather than knowing one day they will be leaving for a different country.”
— Scott Cairns, Managing Director of Creation Business Consultants.
“This is a game-changing initiative that will help reshape and re-energise the UAE in the years to come. It also reflects the pragmatism of the visionary leadership of the UAE. “It is the most exciting piece of news that we have come across in a long time. It will help us join hands with our Emirati friends in reshaping the future of this excellent nation, that we can call ours also.”
— Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman, Danube Group
“We are thrilled to learn the news on the announcement of citizenship for investors, medical doctors, scientists and skilled professionals. This will also bring more stability and more permanency in residency and it will bring more investments in the country. This is an extremely positive move and we congratulate the rulers for this great decision.”
— Kamal Vachani, Group Director, of Al Maya Group
“This is great news. It will boost the trust and enhance investment. Specifically for long time residents have spent major part of their life in UAE. This will boost investor confidence. Now the businessman wouldn’t think twice in investing here and there won’t be an upper limit. I am here for 33 years, more then I spent in India. For my daughters this is their home country. This will be our home country.”
— Dr Sanjay Paithankar, healthcare investor and managing director of Right Health Group
“It is a historical step which will strengthen the development journey of UAE - most of the expats consider UAE as their home. The announcement reaffirms the progressive vision of the UAE leadership. Allowing the receiver of the UAE passport to keep their existing citizenship is very thoughtful.”
– Pankaj Jain of the tax consultancy AskPankaj
“Every good citizen adds to the strength of any nation. Translating this true vision in action, the strategic move by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of granting UAE citizenship and welcoming investors and other talented expatriates including Doctors, Engineers, Artists, is a ‘Sword of Revolution’ in the overall national development process.”
— Anis Sajan - Managing Director, Danube Group
“The announcement has been highly anticipated following the prior decision to grant a number of Golden Visas across numerous categories. The UAE has proven time and time again its ability to demonstrate its capacity for growth and it is quite interesting to see the impact of these evolutions. Investors have always been interested in the UAE’s investment landscape especially within the real estate sector and financial exchanges; the recent uptick in business licenses driven the country’s entrepreneurial spirit will carry this movement onwards and as a result drive more funds to come and stay, gradually changing the “short-term” view on investments in the UAE and shifting them towards the long-term providing more opportunity for growth and stability.”
— Issam Kassabieh, Investment Advisor and Business Consultant
“UAE’s announcement on giving Citizenship is a move in the right direction towards economic growth combined with retaining and attracting talent in the country. We have been quite excited with changes of foreign ownerships in local companies, that had created a lot of interest from foreign investors who had been looking at investing in the region and with this announcement investors across the world would get the message that UAE is moving in the right direction of Economic Liberalization.”
— Nisarg Trivedi, Schroders Investment Middle East Director
“The UAE continues making historical decisions that are stronger to drive the nation to the next decade with a powerful position among the global countries. We hail the visionary initiative to amend the citizinship law that will boost the confidence in the economy as it covers highly-skilled human resources and investors with special recognition. Hovewever, we wait more clarity in the amendments as announced.”
— Bharat Bhatia, CEO, Conares
We welcome the announcement by the Government of UAE to grant citizenship to non-Emiratis. The move is a quantum leap in recognizing the contribution of expats to the UAE's prosperity, and will lay the groundwork for highly skilled people from STEM, as well as Arts background, to become a part of this multi-cultural society. The UAE consistently ranks among the safest nations in the world, and is known for its stable governance, humanitarian values and adherence to modern principles. The new law complements the country's ongoing efforts to set the highest standards in matters related to women empowerment, innovation, tolerance & equality.
We welcome the announcement by the Government of UAE to grant citizenship to non-Emiratis. The move is a quantum leap in recognising the contribution of expats to the UAE’s prosperity, and will lay the groundwork for highly skilled people from STEM, as well as Arts background, to become a part of this multi-cultural society. The UAE consistently ranks among the safest nations in the world, and is known for its stable governance, humanitarian values and adherence to modern principles. The new law complements the country’s ongoing efforts to set the highest standards in matters related to women empowerment, innovation, tolerance & equality.
— Adeeb Ahamed, MD, LuLu Financial Group
“I congratulate the wise leadership of UAE in introducing the new categories in the citizenship law. The new categories provide a sense of inclusion and participation to pretty much all categories of people from investors, businessmen, medical and skilled categories, inventors and other categories. This is a true game changer for the economy and will greatly boost the country’s economic and socio-cultural prospects . The UAE has always been melting pot and home to people of over 200 nationalities. This law will boost the confidence of the industry abd build a robust business sentiment in the community . Coming at a difficult time like this , it just demonstrates the magnanimity of the rulers who have welcomed the world with open arms.”
— Firoz Merchant , philanthropist and founder-chairman of Pure Gold Group
"This is a game-changer. This is the most historic step thus far during my stay of 34 years. This master stroke will not only change the economic and global image of the UAE, but of the GCC as a whole. UAE will join those advanced economies of the world where the talent of foreign nationals is appreciated by awarding them citizenship. I remember what USA did in the 1960s, opening the doors of immigration for highly talented select few such as major investors; senior scientists; doctors; academicians; innovators; technologists; artists, etc. and look at the unprecedented economic growth USA achieved in second half of 20th century which continues for ever. The economic and social benefits of such a move are long lasting for centuries."
-- Paras Shahdadpuri, Chairman of Nikai Group of Companies
“The UAE’s journey to diversify its economy away from oil has been going on for a long time now and it has been reinforced by such daring and bold steps. This move follows previous measures taken by the UAE government, such as the golden visa and the recently announced law which allows students in the UAE to sponsor their families, that aim at attracting a greater number of investors, skilled professionals and talent, which will ultimately help solidify the UAE’s position as a leading talent-hub for the entire region.
"This could also help revive demand over the medium-term in the housing and stock market particularly after the expected boost from this year’s World Expo in Dubai. At Affirma Capital, we think that this unprecedented decision ties in with the country’s plan for the next 50 years.”
-- Taimoor Labib, Founding Partner, Head of Middle East & North Africa (MENA) and Chairman of Africa, Affirma Capital
“This is a very strong testimony to the far sighted vision of our visionary leaders. Over the past few months, the leaders of UAE have announced a series of initiatives all designed to take the country forward. This citizenship initiative for skilled professionals and talented people will motivate talented professionals to make UAE their primary home. Apart from enhancing the overall standard, this will help to attract talent thereby making UAE a global force in core areas.”
-- Dr Dhananjay Datar, Chairman and Managing Director, Al Adil Group
Towards newer horizons of progress
"Among the many indicators of UAE’s globally acknowledged success is its ability to attract and retain some of the best minds from across the world to enrich its knowledge skills and economic strength.
The UAE government is working diligently and continuously to anticipate the needs of the future by pursuing excellence in all fields and earning the respect and admiration of its residents and the world with its innovative policies. Coming in the wake of the UAE government’s decision to grant the Golden Visa for investors and entrepreneurs, this amendment will further boost the UAE’s role model status in its journey of progress and development.