UAE Citizenship for a Non-Resident: Mission Possible?

Explore the path to UAE citizenship through investment and residency options. Discover the recent changes, golden visa program, and eligibility requirements for investors and talented individuals. Secure your family’s future in the UAE with our expert assistance. Start your journey today!

UAE is a promising country, but does it offer a citizenship-by-investment program? Unfortunately, it does not. However, you can still acquire a residence permit for the whole family if you invest in local real estate or start a business in the Emirates. If everything goes well, you can later obtain the right to permanent residence and finally reach the stage of citizenship by naturalization. Interested in becoming a UAE citizen? The path to it is not as straightforward as in many different countries, but it still exists.

We would like to invite you to our portal where you can read more detailed information on the second passport of UAE and find lots of offers on Dubai real estate and UAE free zones where you can start your business. Collect as much information as possible before you make a final decision: the UAE has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of you will consider a hot climate to be an advantage, while others will dislike it. However, there are undeniable advantages, like excellent infrastructure.

If you need help, you can follow the above link and get in touch with our experts. We will help you obtain all the information you need to make up your mind, establish a company, choose real estate, open a bank account, and deal with any administrative details you decide to delegate to us. The initial session is free: you may be unsure whether you want to follow a long path to citizenship by naturalization offered by the UAE, and in this case, we can offer some quicker options for you. Don’t think for too long – just click on the above link and talk to us!

UAE Citizenship: Overview

The UAE has one of the strongest passports in the world that gives you the right to enter almost any country without a visa (with just a few exceptions). In addition, the tax benefits available to citizens are truly amazing, so UAE citizenship is definitely a worthy goal.

No wonder we always receive many questions about the UAE from our customers. However, there were practically no possibilities offered to foreign investors who wished to acquire UAE citizenship until recently. It is not a big problem to become a legal resident, but citizenship is sometimes a real challenge even for those married to a local citizen who have been living in the UAE for a long time!

Recent Changes

2021 was the year that changed the game: the UAE announced the plans to provide legal residence on a preferential basis to investors that belonged to the following five categories:

  • Scientists
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors
  • Medical doctors
  • Highly-qualified specialists

If a foreign investor makes sufficient contributions to the country’s economy, he or she can count on receiving citizenship in the future.

Many foreign investors were glad to hear the news and hoped to become citizens in the near future. However, the situation was rather disappointing: time was passing by, and no investor acquired a UAE passport. Those who got a residence permit started to abandon the idea little by little.

However, it was in April 2022 that they regained hope as Pavel Durov, an international investor and a very rich man, acquired UAE citizenship (which became the fourth one in his collection).

Of course, this is an exceptional case: Mr. Durov is an outstanding investor and a close friend of the Sheikh’s family. And still, there are some indications that such cases will occur more and more often in the future.

Measures Taken by the UAE

The UAE authorities are actively taking measures to attract foreign investors along with their families to Dubai by offering residence permits. However, they also understand how frustrating it may be to set up a business in the country, buy real estate here, bring your family to the UAE, and remain just residents for an indefinite period of time – without much hope of ever becoming citizens.

With that in mind, a golden visa program has been launched in Dubai, and the investment required to become eligible has been reduced. A rich investor can apply for a residence permit that will remain valid for 5 to 10 years. Following that period, he can try and get the right to permanent residence. And if that step is successful, he can hopefully acquire citizenship in the foreseeable future – along with all family members. However, this is not yet a clear step-by-step procedure you can follow.

Residence Permits for 10 Years

There are two categories of people who can obtain a 10-year residence permit: foreign investors and talented people. Let’s consider each category separately.


A non-resident investor from any country is required to contribute 10 million dirhams (2,723,000 US dollars) to the local economy to be eligible (and the same amount for each family member included in the application). Borrowed funds cannot be invested, however. The property is required to be kept for at least three years.

Here are the available investment options:

  • Investment fund
  • Company incorporation in the UAE
  • Partnership with an existing business (contribution of 2,723,000 US dollars should be proved)
  • Combination of the above three options

Talented People

A talented person should have an employment agreement signed with a UAE employer and comply with the conditions below:

  • A scientist will need accreditation from the Scientific Counsel of the UAE
  • An artist needs to be accredited by the UAE Ministry of Culture
  • An inventor should have a patent that has value for the UAE’s economic development and is approved by the UAE Ministry of Economy
  • Patents or research papers published in top journals
  • A manager should run an internationally recognized company and possess considerable economic achievements

There are special conditions for a medical doctor:

  • A Master’s degree (PhD) obtained at one of the world’s 500 best universities
  • Awards or letters of appreciation
  • Proofs of contributions to major research projects
  • Published books/articles
  • Membership in a serious professional organization
  • At least 10 years of professional experience
  • Specialization in areas valuable for the UAE


Follow the above link to see the requirements for those who apply for a 5-year permit and an overview of citizenship prospects. We can help you start a company, open a bank account, buy real estate, and take any other actions to qualify. If you feel that UAE citizenship is exactly what you need, take steps towards your goal!


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