Dubai City Information Site

Can You Become A National of Dubai?

The Burning Question Many Have




Hi, Sunil here to answer whether you can become a national of Dubai

Are you wondering how you can become a citizen of Dubai?

This burning question has been on the minds of so many.

Many want to become a citizen of Dubai.

You may ask why? Well to sum it up in brief, it is said that the best job in the world is to be born as an Arab in Dubai.

You are literally fed by streams of wealth by the government from the time you are born to the time you are buried. Work is one thing you may never have to do in life. You know what “working” is right? Yes, some people have never heard that word.

I am not saying a national of Dubai is lazy. In fact so many are very ambitious that they take the wealth given to them and entrepreneurially build empires that bring in even more wealth and create local jobs.

All I am saying is that the Emirate of Dubai takes very good care of its citizens just like any other country would.

So back to your question - is it possible to become a national of Dubai? The short answer is NO. You can forget about getting citizenship in Dubai.

For most expatriates, Dubai is a short term stop in life where they can put together some tax free dollars and then return back to their respective homes top continue on with life. No one really retires in Dubai.

The Dubai government is very protective of its local citizens and will not allow "others" to come in and share the wealth with the locals that "deserve" it. Moreover, it fears that by granting citizenship to foreigners, it may be inviting the possibility to have its cultural values tainted (conservatism vs. liberalism).

What if You Give Birth in Dubai?

Giving birth in Dubai does not automatically make your child a national of Dubai. A child born in Dubai assumes the citizenship and passport status of the foreigner parent giving birth. The exception to this rule is if the child's father is a citizen on Dubai. Then only the child can get Dubai citizenship in the long run.

The laws around this particular situation are quite complicated and it is best to consult with a local immigration lawyer if you are planning on having a child while in Dubai. At the very least, brush up on the latest facts near the time of child birth.

It is not uncommon for expatriates to fly to their home countries or elsewhere to give birth. A common situation is flying to the United States to give birth. America is a desirable nation to be a citizen of and a child born there is granted American citizenship immediately.

What About Naturalization?

Naturalization is a rare practice for the government of Dubai. The only way you can sometimes become a naturalized citizen of Dubai is through marriage to a local Dubai national. But this is quite far fetched as well.

It is important to keep in mind that Dubai is a single man ruled "sheikdom", and the man in power at any given time can bend the rules any which way he wants. It is said that you can be granted a citizenship as a foreigner if you display out of the ordinary service to the Emirate. This is again a far fetched concept, but nonetheless possible.

Living in Dubai Permanently

Not sure why you would want to, but if living in Dubai is your long-term goal, then there are 2 ways this can be achieved. In 2008, the government of Dubai advertised a program in which property investors in Dubai (in certain areas) can be granted resident visa for as long as they own the property. This visa does not allow you to work, but allows you to live in Dubai as long as you own your real estate.

The second way to earn permanent living status in Dubai is through long term service to your employer. If your employer is a "local" of Dubai, then sometimes they will be willing to go through all the legalities to get you a lifetime residence permit. This is very rare and assumes that you have contributed significantly to the company?s success.

This still does not grant you citizenship (no benefits) but only the privilege to live in Dubai for as long as you want. Keep in mind though that anything can change at any time. It is a good idea to maintain a good relationship with your employer upon retiring.

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