So you’ve fallen in love with the UAE’s glitz, glamour, and year-round sunshine, and now you’re wondering if it’s a ‘forever’ kind of relationship.

Understanding UAE citizenship is like cracking the code to an exclusive club.

Sit tight, as we lay down the ins and outs of how to get that golden key

Understanding UAE Citizenship

UAE citizenship comes with a range of benefits, including access to government services, social benefits, and the ability to engage fully in the country’s economic and political life. Citizens of the UAE enjoy the following rights and privileges:

Social Benefits

A wide range of social benefits are available to UAE residents.

These include healthcare, ensuring that people have unrestricted access to world-class medical care and services.

Citizens of the UAE get free or heavily subsidized education from kindergarten through university, preparing them with knowledge and skills for a wealthy future.

Programs that provide housing aid help people live in inexpensive, comfortable circumstances, improving their quality of life.

Financial aid programs also reinforce the country’s commitment to its residents’ wellbeing by offering essential support during trying times.

Employment Opportunities

Priority is given to UAE nationals when applying for government jobs, giving access to secure and illustrious career routes.

Additionally, citizens have the distinct benefit of being able to work in a variety of fields without needing a work permit, allowing their involvement in a variety of businesses and promoting economic development.

This emphasis on employment demonstrates the government’s dedication to improving the standard of living and career development of its residents.

Political Participation

The basic right to actively participate in shaping the political climate of the UAE is held by all people.

This involves taking part in elections, in which people may choose who will represent them at different levels of government.

Additionally, UAE residents are eligible to compete for public office, giving them a direct voice in the decision-making processes that determine the nation’s policies and destiny.

The UAE’s dedication to democracy and public participation is exemplified by their commitment to political inclusiveness.

Visa-Free Travel

UAE nationals have access to visa-free travel to many international destinations.

Having this flexibility makes it easier for people to travel internationally for business, pleasure, or intercultural interaction.

Visa-free travel enhances international contacts and collaboration while reflecting well on the UAE.

Ownership of Property

Citizens of the UAE are free to own real estate anywhere in the nation.

This ownership encompasses both residential and commercial real estate, among other sorts.

In addition to enabling residents to protect their homes and assets, this privilege also encourages stability and economic progress in the real estate industry.

Access to Education

Residents of the UAE may take advantage of a sophisticated educational system that provides free or heavily discounted education up to the university level.

This dedication to education guarantees that people have the chance to learn new things and develop their existing knowledge and abilities, enabling them to pursue a variety of occupations and advance the country.

The UAE’s ambition for an informed and talented workforce is based on accessible education.

Eligibility Criteria For UAE Citizenship

Acquiring UAE citizenship is possible through several pathways, each with its own set of requirements. Here are the primary routes to becoming a UAE citizen:

Birth in the UAE

UAE citizenship is automatically conferred upon individuals born within the borders of the United Arab Emirates to Emirati parents.

This principle of jus sanguinis ensures that Emirati heritage is passed down to the next generation.

Those born with this privilege are recognized as UAE citizens from birth, with all associated rights and responsibilities, including access to social services, education, and employment opportunities.

Marriage to a UAE Citizen

Foreign nationals who marry a UAE citizen may become eligible for citizenship after a specified period of marriage, usually lasting several years, and subject to specific conditions.

This pathway acknowledges the bonds forged through marriage and may require proof of a stable and genuine marital relationship.

It is an avenue for individuals who have embraced Emirati culture and society through marriage to become full-fledged citizens.

Exceptional Service:

Citizenship in the UAE may be awarded to those who have shown outstanding service to the country.

This acknowledgement encompasses accomplishments in a variety of professions, including athletics, the arts, and other fields of exceptional performance.

As a symbol of appreciation and distinction, those who have made a substantial contribution to the advancement and international reputation of the UAE may be given citizenship consideration.


To entice international investors and businesspeople, the UAE provides citizenship through investment schemes.

By making large financial contributions to the nation, frequently in the form of investments in industries like real estate, enterprises, or government bonds, prospective citizens might achieve this status.

This route helps the economy of the UAE while also giving people the chance to match their goals with those of the developing country.

Application Process For UAE Citizenship

The application process for UAE citizenship can be intricate, and it is advisable to seek professional guidance. However, here is a general outline of the steps involved:

1. Gather Required Documents

The diligent gathering of necessary documents is the first stage in getting UAE citizenship.

Typically, these papers include a variety of important information, including birth certificates, marriage certificates (if applicable), financial statements attesting to the ability to invest, and testimonials for exemplary work or accomplishments in particular disciplines.

A successful application depends on these papers being correct, comprehensive, and current.

2. Submit Application

Applicants must submit their precisely prepared citizenship application to the relevant government entity, depending on the road to citizenship they have selected.

It is essential to adhere to all the rules and specifications outlined by the authorities and to strictly follow the required application process.

The formal process of obtaining UAE citizenship begins with this step.

3. Background Check

Following the application’s submission, authorities thoroughly investigate each applicant. These include thorough security evaluations as well as financial checks to confirm the applicant’s financial integrity and stability.

These evaluations are essential to guaranteeing that applicants for UAE citizenship are qualified and suitable.

4. Interview and Evaluation

Depending on the selected route and the authorities’ discretion, certain candidates might need to go through an evaluation or interview procedure.

This stage is used to evaluate an applicant’s qualifications, adherence to UAE principles, and compatibility with the interests of the country.

Inquiries concerning outstanding service, financial goals, or the nature of the applicant’s connection in the case of marriage-based applications are some examples.

5. Wait for Approval

The intricacy of the case and the number of applications being handled are two variables that might affect how long it takes to complete a citizenship application.

Applicants must be ready to wait as authorities carefully examine the supporting papers, carry out inquiries, and judge the applicant’s fitness.

6. Receive Citizenship

Applicants will receive UAE citizenship after successfully completing all required stages and satisfying the prerequisites.

The road of becoming a citizen of the UAE comes to an end at this point, granting individuals a wealth of benefits, rights, and obligations inside the country.

Application Fees And Costs

People should be aware of the financial implications while starting the process to become a citizen of the UAE.

The procedure entails a number of costs that candidates must take into account.

First, there are application costs that must be paid to the government; these fees might change depending on the particular pathway selected, such as marriage-based, investment-based, or outstanding service-based citizenship.

These charges, which normally cover the costs of processing the application, are non-negotiable.

Applicants could additionally have to pay processing fees for background checks and document verification in addition to the application fee.

Authorities from the government frequently perform extensive checks on a candidate’s financial situation, security clearance, and eligibility, demanding related fees.

In addition, depending on the complexity of the case, there can be a cost for a legal consultation if you need help negotiating the complexities of the citizenship application procedure.

To ensure a smooth and well-prepared application, individuals should factor in these fees and costs into their financial planning.

Adequate financial preparedness is crucial, as it not only covers the mandatory fees but also provides peace of mind and the necessary resources to navigate the process effectively.

Being aware of the financial aspects associated with UAE citizenship is a fundamental step in the pursuit of this significant milestone.

Processing Time

The processing time for acquiring UAE citizenship is a critical aspect of the journey, and applicants should be prepared for variations in duration depending on several factors.

The selected citizenship pathway has an impact on the processing time, with some pathways often needing longer processing periods because of the complexity of background checks, assessments, and paperwork verification.

In order to evaluate an applicant’s major contributions to the UAE, for example, outstanding service-based applications may require a longer examination period.

Additionally, the volume of applications being processed at a given time can impact the processing time, as government authorities strive to maintain rigorous scrutiny and thorough evaluation for each applicant.

Complex cases or instances where further investigations are warranted can extend the processing period.

Conversely, straightforward applications with complete and well-documented submissions may proceed more expeditiously.

Legal Assistance And Consultation

A vital part of obtaining UAE citizenship is receiving legal advice and assistance.

The complex web of citizenship rules and regulations must be navigated with skill and a thorough knowledge of the legal system.

Legal experts are knowledgeable with these intricate regulations and can provide applicants with clarity on eligibility requirements, paperwork requirements, and the several routes to citizenship.

Legal professionals assist applicants at every stage of the application procedure, guaranteeing the proper collection of necessary papers, compliance with all legal requirements, and adherence to deadlines.

They assess each applicant’s eligibility while taking into consideration their unique situation, and then they suggest the best route toward citizenship to increase their chances of success.

Oath Of Allegiance

The Oath of Allegiance, which must be taken by anybody seeking citizenship, including those seeking citizenship in the UAE, is a substantial and legally binding commitment.

It has great symbolic significance since it symbolizes a person’s unshakable devotion to their adoptive nation and its fundamental principles.

In many countries, including the UAE, this solemn oath is a prerequisite for people who want to become full citizens.

The Oath of Allegiance signifies a willingness to fully embrace the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.

It is not just a legal formality but a profound declaration of one’s commitment to the nation’s principles and ethos.

By taking this oath, applicants acknowledge and willingly accept their rights as citizens, such as the right to vote, engage in public affairs, and abide by the nation’s laws.

Moreover, the Oath of Allegiance serves as a recognition of the applicant’s dedication to preserving the national identity, culture, and heritage of the UAE.

It signifies their intent to actively contribute to the country’s growth and unity. The pledge of loyalty contained within the oath underscores the applicant’s commitment to upholding the values of the nation and safeguarding its interests.

This swearing-in ceremony is often a formal, open affair that includes witnesses, fellow citizens, and representatives from the government.

It is a common experience that strengthens a heterogeneous community of new citizens’ sense of togetherness and belonging.

The oath also carries legal weight, and breaking any of the promises made can have significant repercussions, including in extreme circumstances the loss of citizenship.

Maintaining UAE Citizenship

After successfully acquiring UAE citizenship, individuals are bound by responsibilities and commitments to ensure they retain their status as UAE citizens. Here’s an explanation of how one can maintain UAE citizenship:

Legal Obligations

All rules and regulations of the UAE must be followed by all citizens.

This entails abiding with the law, paying taxes, and following regulations set out by the government.


Usually, citizens are expected to keep their principal residence in the UAE.

An extended departure from the nation, particularly one without a good excuse, might imperil citizenship.

Active Participation

Citizens are encouraged to actively engage in the country’s social, economic, and political life.

This can involve voting in elections, participating in community activities, and contributing to the nation’s development.


Maintaining loyalty to the UAE is a fundamental aspect of citizenship.

This involves supporting the country’s interests and avoiding actions that could be perceived as disloyal or harmful to the nation.

Contribution to Society

Citizens are expected to contribute positively to the UAE’s social and economic development.

This can include pursuing gainful employment, starting businesses, or engaging in philanthropic activities.

Cultural Preservation

Preserving and promoting the UAE’s culture, heritage, and traditions is a shared responsibility among citizens.

This includes respecting and participating in cultural events and activities.

Military Service

Male citizens may be required to complete compulsory military service, depending on age and circumstances.

Fulfilling this obligation is essential for maintaining citizenship.

Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is normally not allowed unless special conditions apply, thus UAE nationals should be aware of this.

Without approval from the UAE government, obtaining citizenship in another nation may result in the loss of UAE citizenship.

Ongoing Compliance

It is essential to keep up with any changes to the responsibilities, laws, or requirements of citizenship.

Any new rules or directions the UAE government enacts must continue to be followed by the populace.

Avoiding Criminal Activities

Criminal activity may result in legal repercussions, such as the loss of citizenship.

Citizens should follow the law and refrain from any actions that could compromise their position as citizens.

✅ Visa-free travel to many❌ Loss of previous citizenship
✅ Ownership of property❌ Compliance with UAE laws and regulation
✅ Ability to participate in public processes❌ Restricted access
✅ Access to social benefits❌ Potential financial obligations
✅ International mobility and diplomatic protection❌ Possible military service requirement

Citizenship Revocation

A nation, like the UAE, can withdraw a person’s citizenship status through a legal process known as citizenship revocation.

This is a substantial and infrequently employed government action that is frequently connected to certain legal procedures and explanations.

Grounds for revocation can vary, but they often include actions or affiliations that pose a threat to national security, fraudulent acquisition of citizenship, serious criminal convictions, violations of citizenship laws, or extended periods of absence from the country without a valid reason.

The authority to revoke citizenship is typically held by the government department responsible for citizenship matters, and the process involves legal proceedings to ensure due process and fairness.

Individuals facing citizenship revocation have the right to appeal the decision and present their case.

In addition to the loss of related rights and benefits, such as the ability to vote and access government services, losing citizenship has far-reaching effects.

It’s crucial to remember that revocation shouldn’t leave people without citizenship because it’s against international law.

When withdrawing citizenship, legal mechanisms are in place to avoid statelessness.

Recent Updates And Changes

UAE citizenship laws have recently undergone revisions and modifications, reflecting the government’s efforts to adjust to shifting economic and demographic goals.

These modifications include the establishment of fresh avenues for obtaining citizenship, including investment-based schemes, unions with UAE nationals, and rewards for excellent volunteer work.

These avenues are designed to entice people with various origins, skills, and knowledge to become Emirati citizens.

The inclusion of citizenship-by-investment programs has garnered significant attention from global investors, potentially contributing to the country’s economic growth.

The streamlined application processes make it more accessible for eligible individuals to apply for citizenship.

Moreover, the amendments to the Nationality Act ensure that citizenship regulations are transparent and aligned with the UAE’s goals.

The government’s outreach efforts have expanded on a global scale, making more individuals aware of these opportunities and encouraging them to consider becoming Emirati citizens.

These modifications have had a significant effect on UAE society, increasing population diversity and maybe encouraging economic growth.

Overall, these revisions demonstrate the UAE’s dedication to growth, diversity, and its future-focused outlook.

Comparing UAE Citizenship To Residency

The legal statuses of citizenship and residence in the UAE are separate and come with different benefits and obligations.

The highest legal status one may get in the UAE is citizenship, which comes with a number of advantages like access to social services, the ability to vote, and the ability to travel to many other countries without a visa.

One must fulfill specific eligibility requirements, such as being born in the UAE, being married to a UAE citizen, providing excellent service, or following investment-based paths, in order to become a citizen of the UAE.

In contrast, residence in the UAE is easier to obtain and does not come with all of citizenship’s benefits.

Residents often have long-term visas or residence permits that, with some restrictions, enable them to live and work in the UAE.

In comparison to citizens, they may have less access to social benefits and no right to participate in political processes.

Both citizenship and residency come with responsibilities, such as compliance with UAE laws and regulations, but citizens generally have more extensive legal rights and obligations.

Residency can be obtained through employment, property ownership, or investment, and there are various types of residency permits, each with specific requirements.


Et voila! You’re now fluent in the language of UAE citizenship, or at least, you know enough to not embarrass yourself at a government office. Go ahead and take the leap into exploring what it means to be a full-fledged UAE citizen.

Farewell Folks!

But wait, there’s more! You might also be interested in the following: