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