The UAE has announced it will give citizenship to foreign residents who "add value" to the nation. It is rare for a Gulf state to bestow citizenship on foreign nationals and is a bold revision of the UAE's immigration policy. UAE Vice-President and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum wants people with "specialised talents" to "contribute to our development journey". He said artists, engineers, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, inventors and scientists could be eligible for a UAE passport. All successful people and their families would be allowed to hold dual nationality.
The procedure for citizenship depends on recommendations and nominations from members of the UAE royal family or government officials. The UAE cabinet will then approve or reject the nomination. Sheikh Mohammed said there are "clear criteria" in the selection process. Doctors must be specialised in high-priority scientific fields. They must have conducted significant research. Scientists must be active researchers and have an international award or research grant. Inventors need patented inventions registered by an internationally recognised organisation.