STOCK Saudi Arabia skyline
Saudi Arabia skyline. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to several notable foreign experts in different fields as part a policy aimed to attract creative minds and support the kingdom’s economic, health, cultural, and sport development.

The Saudi news agency SPA reported that a royal decree has been issued approving granting the kingdom’s citizenship to a number of scientists, doctors, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs and distinguished professionals.

The step comes to benefit national interests and runs in line with the Saudi Vision 2030, an ambitious development plan overhauling the oil-reliant economy, designed to enhance an attractive environment to utilise competent human resources, according to SPA that did not name them.

However, according to the Saudi-owned Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, the list includes a group of innovators and scientists specialised in human health research, hailing from the US, Britain, France and Singapore.

They include Mehmood Khan, a US citizen and the CEO of the Hevolution Foundation, a non-government group committed to funding global scientific discovery, and investing in private companies and entrepreneurs who are dedicated to advancing ageing science.

Another name on the list is Jackie Yi-Ru Ying, a US Singapore-born scientist and the founding executive director of the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology in Singapore.

A third scientist Nevine Khashab, a Lebanese national, was granted Saudi citizenship in recognition of her scientific efficiency and remarkable contributions to bio-engineering and nanomaterials. She is a founding member of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

In 2021, a royal decree was issued granting the Saudi citizenship to several foreign experts in various fields.