How to Get UAE Citizenship? Expert Guide 2024

If you want a high living standard, world-renowned healthcare, and many investment opportunities, living in the United Arab Emirates is an ideal option. When you become a citizen in the UAE, you'll get many more rights than those carrying a visa.

In 2021, this country opened itself to foreign investors, scientists, and talented creators. However, understanding how to get a UAE citizenship is complex.

In this article, we will share several ways to get UAE citizenship.

What Are the General Eligibility Criteria for getting UAE Citizenship?

If you want to attain this nationality, you'll need to fulfill the following general requirements:

  • Respect the country's laws
  • Make an oath of loyalty to the country
  • Alert the country if the status of your other citizenships change

Ways to Get UAE Citizenship

Knowing how to get Dubai citizenship is more accessible to foreigners. In fact, the state expects to attract new citizens with these changes to help boost the economy. And so there are now many ways to acquire this citizenship.

Let's examine the different ways you can get citizenship in this country.

1. For Scientists

Among the merit-based categories, this country gives citizenships to scientists. To meet these criteria, you'll need to conduct studies in a university, center, or the private sector.

Plus, you'll need to have practiced in your field for at least 10 years.

Once you have met these criteria, you'll need to get a recommendation from a scientific institution the state recognizes and a nomination from a Royal or official.

2. For Doctors

In this country, healthcare professionals are among the most in-demand workers. And so, the state has made it easier for specialized doctors such as pediatricians and gynecologists to get citizenship.

However, as a specialized doctor, you also need the following to get this merit-based golden visa:

  • Make a scientific contribution
  • Practice in your field for at least 10 years
  • Be a member of an organization of note in your specialization
  • Receive a nomination from a Royal or official.

3. For Descent

Being born in this state is another way to get citizenship. But the condition is that both your parents must be legal citizens here.

However, blood ties can still allow you to claim citizenship. In particular, you can get a citizenship by descent if:

  • You're a descendant of ethnic Arab settlers who remained in the United Arab Emirates from 1925 – 1972
  • Your father is Emirati
  • Your mother is Emirati, and you have no legal father, or he has no citizenship
  • You were born in this country but have no known parents

4. Nationality by Citizenship (Citizenship by Marriage)

In the UAE, you can only gain citizenship through marriage if you're a woman. You'll need a residency visa and clean medical and criminal records to begin this process.

Then, you'll need permission from a court to marry.

After that, you'll receive citizenship in 7 years if you have a child (10 if you don't).

Keep in mind that you'll only be able to acquire citizenship through marriage if you're not half as old/young as your partner.

5. Citizenship for Neighboring Countries

The state has lowered the restrictions to become a Dubai citizen for neighboring countries. Notably, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain nationals can attain citizenship in 3 years.

In fact, they only need sufficient earnings, housing, employment, and a lack of a criminal record.

Conversely, other Arab nationals need to live in the country for 10 years. However, professionals from these Arab countries only need to reside in the state for 7 years.

6. Naturalization

Naturalization is the longest process to get citizenship in the UAE.

After you've spent 30 years in the country, you can attain citizenship ― this is the naturalization process.

Originally, only Arabs could be naturalized. However, any foreigner can now be naturalized to this country so long as you have:

  • Residency
  • Arabic Proficiency
  • Good Character
  • No Criminal Record
  • Academic Qualification
  • A Legal Source of Income

However, the 2021 amendment to the process of naturalization allows you to retain your original nationality.

The Alternative to UAE Citizenship: Golden Visa

If you don't qualify for citizenship in this country, you can still benefit from the high living standards of the UAE. To do so, you need a Golden Visa. This 5 - 10-year residence visa gives you benefits such as being able to work, live and study there.

For Investors

Investments are one of the easiest ways to get a long-term visa in this country. Investors can obtain a UAE Golden Visa by investing in real estate or a public investment.

For real estate, a 5-year golden visa requires an investment of at least AED 2 million, which is around $544,500. Do note that the piece of land can't be leased to you.

As for public investments, you don't need a sponsor to get this golden visa. Plus, you can even add your family to your application. To get the golden visa, you must invest 2 million AED or around $544,544.

Additionally, you'll need a commercial or industrial license and a memorandum proving this investment. You'll also need a letter from the tax authority stating that you've paid 250,000 AED minimum or around $68,068 to the UAE government annually.

Whichever investment you make, you need to present proof that you (and the members of your family joining you) have medical insurance.

For Entrepreneurs

If you own a technology, innovation, or future nature-based project, you can get a 5-year golden visa. To prove your project qualifies, you'll need a letter from UAE authorities claiming it is a "technical" or "future nature" business accredited in the UAE.

To get this visa, you'll need proof from an auditor that your project is worth a minimum of 500,000 AED or around $136,135.

For Specialists and Creative Talents

This country has simplified how specialists and creatives can get golden visas in the UAE. Specifically, this merit-based category includes inventors, intellectuals, and artists.

To qualify for this category, you need to be a pioneer in your field. For example, inventors need to have a patent recognized by the Ministry of Economy or an esteemed international body.

Alternatively, intellectuals and creatives have a recommendation from a related government body.

The Application Process for UAE Citizenship

Here's how to get UAE citizenship:

  • Meet Eligibility Criteria: You need to assemble documents proving you meet the requirements of the specific type of citizenship you're applying for.
  • Submit Application: You must hand over the documents from step one. You can also include your spouse and children so they'll get this citizenship.
  • Committee Reviews Application: A governmental body will appoint an advisory committee and subcommittee to assess your request.
  • Committee Filters Application: The subcommittee will ensure you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Application Is Approved: Once your request is verified, the advisory committee will give a statement. Then, the Executive Council, Rulers, and Crown Prince's Courts and Cabinets will make the final decision.
The Application Process for UAE Citizenship


Now you know how to get UAE citizenship through investment, skills, descent, marriage, and naturalization. While these citizenship paths have restrictions, they're only there to ensure they eliminate dangerous applicants. Additionally, these new ways of attaining this state's citizenship open the path for more economic growth ― for both the country and you. Most importantly, specialists and creatives now have the opportunity to get a Golden Visa for up to 10 years, a big step taken by the UAE state. So, if you want to invest or work in a growing economy, there is no other best way than getting UAE citizenship.

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