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What does a UAE citizen’s passport give and how to get it?

Что дает паспорт гражданина ОАЭ и как его получить?

UAE citizenship allows a person to immigrate to this country, work and enjoy various benefits. For example, the state offers a higher salary in comparison with the salary of migrants, free education.

Until recently, UAE citizenship could be obtained by naturalization – to live in the territory of the state for at least 30 years to submit an application. Since 2021, this process has been simplified for investors, inventors, doctors, scientists, intellectuals, talented people and their families. It is enough for them to be laureates of prestigious awards (except for investors).

It is important to remember that the passport of a citizen of the United Arab Emirates is not equivalent to a resident’s passport. The latter is issued mainly for trips. Let’s consider all the subtleties of the document receipt process.

Advantages of UAE citizenship

  1. The UAE passport ranks first in respectability in the Arab world and 13th in the world ranking. It allows you to travel freely around the world, crossing the borders of 175 countries without a visa.
  2. Working in the same positions with migrants, despite the same responsibilities and workload, citizens of the federation by law receive a salary 2-3 times higher.
  3. Indigenous Arabs do not work at all in middle and lower-level positions, they occupy only the highest leadership positions. Everything else is for immigrants.
  4. The retirement age comes at 49 years old with 20 years of work experience.
  5. Local residents receive impressive subsidies to pay for utilities, for medical care, which turns out to be almost free. According to an unwritten law, indigenous people should not need anything throughout their lives. Such an advantage of UAE citizenship is a manifestation of the state’s concern in the form of benefits, bonuses, and compensations.
  6. At the birth of a child, the government pays $ 100,000, and also allocates a plot of land (in some emirates, a house).
  7. Citizenship gives the right to free education not only in schools and universities of your country, but in almost any educational institution in the world: everything is paid by the state.
  8. Graduates are supported in finding a suitable place of work and employment.

Maintaining such a high standard of living of the local population is possible due to strict requirements for foreigners wishing to become full subjects of the state. At the same time, the authorities are constantly tightening the requirements. Even after receiving a passport, there are many reasons why you can lose it.

How do I get a passport of a UAE citizen?

UAE passport

There are several ways to legally obtain a passport of a UAE citizen. However, they all require the fulfillment of difficult conditions.

For investment

Obtaining a residence permit through investments in the local economy is a popular way to gain a foothold in the UAE. To do this, you need to have decent funds, although no one specifies information about the minimum investment threshold. The easiest way is to focus on the list of conditions that the government puts forward regarding obtaining a residence permit. 

As experience shows, you need to invest at least 750 thousand dirhams. The money can be spent both on the acquisition of real estate and on financing a new or existing company of local founders. A visa can be obtained for a period of 2 to 10 years. There are no restrictions on the number of extensions, it is important that the candidate continues to meet the conditions of issuance. 

Regarding the amount of investments, it is most profitable to get a residence permit through real estate. Here the amounts may be less than when investing in a business. The growth prospects in this sector are also potentially higher, especially if you purchase properties in the “right” areas. The deadline for applying for a residence permit is also not regulated by law, this, in theory, can be done immediately after the conclusion of the transaction.

For special merits

In the UAE, special treatment is given to people who have certain achievements in their professional field or other outstanding talents. The selection is quite tough, and before obtaining citizenship of the United Arab Emirates, you need to confirm compliance with a number of requirements, namely: 

  • doctors and qualified specialists should be experts in a unique scientific discipline, adhere to scientific arguments in demand in the country, make a contribution to science, do research of scientific value, have at least 10 years of experience, be a member of an authoritative organization according to their professional direction;
  • scientists can apply for a talent visa if they have at least 10 years of professional experience, research at a university or private center, a recognized contribution to science, a letter of recommendation from a recognized scientific organization;
  • inventors will have to obtain patents approved by the Ministry of Economy of the UAE or any other authoritative body, as well as a letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Economy of the Emirates;
  • intellectually or creatively outstanding people can apply for a talent visa, for this you need to be a pioneer in your field, receive international awards, receive a letter of recommendation from the relevant ministries of the country.

The candidate will have to go through approximately the same procedure as the investor before receiving a final response from the authorities. The required package of documents will differ and this information needs to be clarified based on the direction in which the candidate is nominated. In addition, applicants for a talent visa are considered by the courts of rulers and Crown princes, the Cabinet of Ministers and executive councils. 

Through marriage


Some are wondering if it is possible to get a UAE passport through an official marriage? This option can only be considered by women. They can really be allowed to live in the country legally, in case of marriage with an indigenous resident. But men, even if they are allowed to marry (which is extremely difficult) a local resident, will not receive a visa on this basis. 

First, immediately after marriage, a woman will receive a Husband Visa, which will give her the right to legal residence. Only after 7 years you can apply for a residence permit, but subject to the presence of at least one child together. Otherwise, the documents can be accepted only after 10 years of married life. 

A prerequisite for obtaining citizenship is the renunciation of one’s own. If a woman gets divorced, widows, she can keep her citizenship, but only if she does not plan to get another one. There is no practice of dual citizenship in the UAE, so she will be forcibly deprived of this status.

By origin

The child of a local applicant (male) automatically receives citizenship, regardless of which country he was born in. By law, citizenship is assigned by the father, but if he is unknown, and the mother is a citizen of the Arab Emirates, the child will also become a citizen. Citizenship will also be granted to a baby who was born on the territory of the federation, but his parents, which means the origin, could not be established.



Recently, foreigners have been given the opportunity to obtain UAE citizenship by naturalization. However, the conditions are so strict that not everyone can count on this. In addition, even if all the conditions are met, no one guarantees a positive result. The candidate must: 

  • live in the country for at least 30 years;
  • have an impeccable reputation;
  • have a stable, high source of income;
  • have no criminal record;
  • speak the local language. 

Renouncing one’s native citizenship or additional ones is not even discussed. The presence of a place of residence will also need to be officially confirmed when submitting an application. 

Acquisition of UAE citizenship through other Arab states

Citizens of friendly Arab Muslim countries – Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain – are more likely to receive a UAE passport. It is enough for them to live on the territory of any emirate for 3 years, have a legal job, housing and comply with the law. For Arabs from other countries, the period of residence increases to 10 years, but if the merits or professional skills are great, then 7 years is enough.

Conditions for obtaining

The requirements are the same for all applicants:

  • fluency in Arabic;
  • availability of legal sources of income;
  • compliance with the laws of the country;
  • no criminal record;
  • oath of allegiance to the country;
  • notification of the competent authorities about the acquisition/loss of other nationalities.

How to become a citizen of the Arab Emirates

Passport in hand

Step-by-step plan how to get a UAE passport:

  1. Prepare documents that confirm the basis for obtaining citizenship.
  2. Contact the Council of Ministers, local authorities, courts. They will form committees to receive, review, and verify applications.
  3. Get citizenship.

After receiving the status, you can proceed to passport registration through the online service of the Federal Office of Identification and Citizenship.

Grounds for refusal of citizenship

  1. Work in the interests of a hostile state.
  2. The presence of citizenship of another state.
  3. Service in the army of another country without the consent of local authorities.
  4. Conducting activities that threaten the security of the federation.
  5. Forgery of documents and fraud during naturalization.
  6. Living abroad for no good reason for more than 4 years.

African Americans, as well as Chinese, Hindus, Jews will never be able to see what the UAE passport looks like, documents from representatives of these nationalities will not even be accepted for consideration. At the same time, they can all live and work in the country on a residence permit.

Dual citizenship

At the beginning of 2021, amendments appeared in the law “On Citizenship and Passports”, under which a certain category of persons are issued a passport with the preservation of the previous one. This is relevant only if citizenship is not obtained through naturalization, filiation, marriage.

On the territory of some CIS countries, obtaining a second passport is restricted.For example, in Belarus, where dual citizenship can be obtained only by those who are under the age of 18 and whose parents are full residents of various countries.

What are the UAE passports, and what are the standard conditions for obtaining


The UAE Ministry of Internal Affairs issues 2 types of passports – temporary and ordinary. Temporary ones are valid for 6 months, do not give any benefits and privileges due to indigenous people, do not prove nationality, are not an attribute of a citizen, but identify a person and allow you to travel. After six months, it must be extended.

An ordinary passport is issued upon naturalization, on the basis of marriage, provided that all requirements are met and gives the holder all the rights of an indigenous resident, with the exception of the right to vote during election campaigns.

Why citizenship is being deprived

  1. The presence of other citizenship.
  2. The commission of illegal actions by persons who have obtained citizenship through naturalization.
  3. If a woman received citizenship by her husband, divorced and remarried a citizen of another country.
  4. If a woman’s first husband can prove that she married him fictitiously.
  5. If a woman received citizenship by her husband, but after his death decided to restore the original citizenship.

How else can I immigrate to Dubai and the Arab Emirates

In addition to obtaining a passport of a citizen of the United Arab Emirates for work and residence in the country, you can apply for a resident visa. It can be obtained by:

  • employees of existing and licensed companies in the UAE;
  • civil servants;
  • owners of real estate registered in the country;
  • business owners in the Emirates with an authorized capital of 500 thousand dirhams;
  • talented and gifted persons;
  • investors who have invested more than 10 million dirhams in the local economy;
  • family members – as dependents;
  • students, provided that the educational institution becomes a sponsor;
  • pensioners aged 55 and older who own real estate from 2 million dirhams, capital from one million dirhams or monthly income from 20 thousand dirhams.

A resident visa is issued for 5-10 years. If available , you can:

  • open a bank account;
  • apply for a loan;
  • get a driver’s license;
  • use medical insurance services;
  • officially get a job;
  • to study in schools.
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Vladimir Sviridov
Vladimir Sviridov
General Manager RLC Consulting
With a Postgraduate Masters in Finance from The, Moscow State University, Russia. Vladimir started his professional career as an auditor of the financial sector of EY. After that, he worked for several years in senior positions in corporate banking. In 2018-2021, he managed the finances of a large agricultural holding, and is currently responsible for strategic planning, corporate partnership and financial management in the role of General Manager of RLC Consulting GROUP in the UAE.

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