UAE citizenship by investment; requirements, options, and minimum invest amount

Hasnaa Ahmed
Published 11 months ago on 14 May, 2023-1136 views
UAE citizenship by investment; investors hope to get it

The UAE citizenship by investment scheme offers attractive benefits in return for investing in the country’s economy. But obtaining citizenship is at the discretion of the UAE government, the process can take time, and there are some limitations to be aware of. In late 2020, the UAE announced a new system to grant citizenship to foreigners who invest in the country. This move is part of the UAE’s efforts to attract foreign investors and talent to the country and diversify its economy beyond oil.

UAE citizenship by investment 

The uae has adopted law in recent years to attract foreign investment, businesses, and talent. Some of their key actions include:

Establishing free trade zones with 100% foreign ownership

The UAE established many free trade zones, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, that allow 100% foreign ownership of businesses. This has attracted many foreign companies and investors to set up operations in the UAE.

 Improving infrastructure

The UAE has heavily invested in developing world-class infrastructure, including airports, ports, roads, telecom networks, etc. This modern infrastructure has made the UAE an attractive hub for business and trade.

Streamlining business regulations

The UAE has worked to cut red tape and simplify business regulations. It is now much easier to set up and operate a business in the UAE compared to other Middle Eastern countries. This has boosted the UAE’s ease of doing business rankings.

 Attracting foreign talent

The UAE has made it easier for skilled foreign workers and professionals to get work visas and long-term residence visas. This has allowed foreign talent to easily relocate to the UAE, which has benefited both foreign companies operating in the UAE and local UAE entities.

 Promoting tourism

Dubai especially has heavily promoted itself as a luxury tourist destination. This has not only brought in tourism revenue and boosted the hospitality industry but has also helped in marketing the UAE brand globally.

Improving quality of life

The UAE has invested in developing world-class attractions, infrastructure, and amenities that improve the standard of living for both locals and expats. This has made the UAE an appealing relocation destination for global talent.

So strategic investments and policy reforms in all these areas have allowed the UAE to attract substantial foreign investment and talent over the years. The Dubai investment visa and other residency visas have facilitated the influx of expatriates who have contributed to the UAE’s success.

UAE citizenship requirements for investors

UAE citizenship requirements investors

To obtain UAE citizenship to investors, there are several requirements:

 Investment in the UAE economy

It is the main requirement. The UAE government offers citizenship by investment under the UAE Citizenship by Investment program. 

Clean source of funds

The applicant must provide evidence that the invested funds were obtained from a clean and legitimate source, not through illegal means. The UAE reserves the right to reject applicants with dubious fund sources.

 Additional contributions

In some cases, additional contributions or investments may be required, especially if the initial 5 AED  million investment is made in a lower-priority sector. Additional contributions help to strengthen the application.

Health insurance

The main applicant and family members must have comprehensive health insurance coverage in United Arab Emirates. 

Basic knowledge of Arabic

Some basic knowledge and understanding of the Arabic language is required, as it is the official language of the United Arab Emirates.  However, fluency is not mandatory.

Clear criminal record

The applicant and dependents must have a clear criminal record with no past convictions or unlawful activities. Background checks are routinely made.

Long-term residence

The applicant must be willing to stay in the United Arab Emirates long-term after citizenship is granted. Short-term residency may be grounds for future citizenship revocation.

Those are the key requirements for obtaining UAE citizenship by investment. Meeting the min eligibility criteria does not guarantee citizenship will be granted, as applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. United Arab Emirates government reserves the right to accept or reject applications at its sole discretion.

Read also: Historical background of Dubai

UAE citizenship by investment options for applicants

The main investment programmes for obtaining UAE citizenship by investment are:

 Invest in real estate

Buying property in the United Arab Emirates, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is a common way to obtain citizenship in theUnited Arab Emirates . The mini nvestment amount is usually around 545,000 $. The investment has to be held for at least 3 years before an application for citizenship can be made.

 Business investment

Investing in an existing UAE business or starting a new business in the United Arab Emirates is another route to citizenship. The minimum investment is typically around 136,000$ . Like real estate, the investment has to be held for at least 3 years. The business also has to generate significant economic activity and contribute to the growth of the United Arab Emirates economy.

 Government bonds

Buying United Arab Emirates federal government bonds is a lower-risk option to qualify for citizenship. An investment of at least 272,000$  in government bonds for 3 years can lead to citizenship by investment.

 Endowment fund

Contributing at least $136,000 to the federal endowment fund for 3 years is another path to UAE citizenship by investment. The endowment fund invests the money in projects that drive UAE’s economic diversification and growth.

Share UAE’s strategic companies

Investing in shares of companies in strategic sectors like energy, infrastructure, and transport for 3–5 years. The minimum investment is usually around 545,000$.

The criteria for citizenship, such as the investment threshold and holding period, can change based on UAE policy. Additional requirements include a clear criminal record, medical insurance, and knowledge of Arabic language and UAE culture. UAE citizenship gives you visa-free travel access to over 180 countries, tax-free income, and ability to purchase property like UAE nationals.

You can view:  UAE culture

Minimum investment amount required for uae citizenship

Minimum investment amount required uae citizenship

Initially, the minimum real estate investment required for uae golden visa was 5 million Emarati Dirham, and the UAE government in April 2022 reduced that amount to 2 million Emarati Dirham.

The 2 million investment amount is the minimum threshold set by the UAE government to qualify for  uae citizenship by investment route. In practice, a higher investment, e.g., 10 million AED or more, may strengthen the application and increase the chances of approval, especially if the initial 2 million is invested in a lower-priority sector.

The investment amount only covers the main applicant. Additional fees apply for family members and dependents:

• Spouse: 100,000 AED
• Children above 18 years: 80,000 AED per child.
• Children below 18 years: 50,000 AED per child. 
• Parents above 60 years (if sponsored): 100,000 AED per parent.
• Brothers and sisters above 18 years (if sponsored): 150,000 AED per sibling.
So for a family of four – husband, wife, and two children below 18, the total investment including principal applicant fees and family member fees would be:

  •  (principal investment amount) 2 – 5 million  AED.
  •  (spouse fee) 100,000 AED.
  •  (1st child fee) 50,000 AED.
  •  (2nd child fee) 50,000 AED.

The larger the family size, the higher the total investment required to qualify for UAE citizenship. But the principal 2 – 5 million investment amounts remains the same.
While the minimum investment threshold is 2 million, the total outlay could be significantly higher depending on family size and composition. But UAE citizenship opens the door to many benefits that could outweigh the costs over the long run.

You can look at: UAE Geography

The main uae citizenship benefits

 UAE citizenship law provides many benefits through investment scheme, there are the 7 new benefits to invest in the UAE:

  1. Visa-free travel to over 180 countries, including UK, EU, and Singapore. 
  2.  Tax-free income and investments in the UAE. United arab emirates has no personal income tax.
  3. Ability to buy property like UAE nationals and open local bank accounts.
  4.  High standard of living in a very safe and prosperous country.
  5.  Healthcare, education, and other benefits for citizens.
  6.  Potential to pass citizenship to spouse and children, though not guaranteed.
  7.  However, natural-born UAE nationals may receive preferential treatment in areas like government jobs. And dual citizenship is not legally recognized.

UAE citizenship by investment program offers attractive benefits in return for investing in the country’s economy. But obtaining  uae citizenship by investment is at the discretion of the UAE government, the process can take time, and there are some limitations to be aware of.

Read also: Historic Dubai

Conditions for obtaining UAE citizenship 

Conditions obtaining UAE citizenship

The acquisition of uae citizenship by investment must comply with a number of controls prior to receipt of nationality:

  • Oath of allegiance to the State.
  • Undertaking to abide by the laws in force in the State.
  • Notification to the competent department in case of acquisition of another nationality or loss of any nationality.

The decision also stipulates that uae citizenship by investment may be withdrawn when it has acquired one or more of the conditions for granting citizenship or has breached its obligation.

Mechanism for the acquisition of uae citizenship  

 According to the decision, uae citizenship by investment can be obtained through the nomination of qualified persons of nationality, via:

  • Governors’ Offices and Crown Princes.
  • The Executive Boards of the Local Emirates.
  • Council of Ministers.

 The most strategic sectors for investment

most strategic sectors invest in

Some of the most strategic sectors for uae citizenship by investment include:


The UAE government sees technology as critical for future growth and diversification. Investing in areas like AI, blockchain, cybersecurity, fintech, biotech, etc. especially with partnerships between UAE and international tech companies stands a high chance of merit for citizenship. 


The UAE has the largest financial hub in the region and aims to strengthen its position globally. Investment in areas such as asset management, wealth management, private equity, insurance, reinsurance, etc. especially with a focus on infrastructure, renewable energy or real estate would be strategic. 


The UAE plays a key role in global trade with its strategic location and ports. Investments in shipping, logistics, pharmaceuticals, food & beverage, etc. that enhance Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s position as trade hubs can bolster a citizenship bid. Partnerships to expand trade with key regions like Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, etc. would be compelling. 

 Renewable energy 

The UAE aims to maximise renewable energy and achieved its 2020 targets early. Investing in solar, wind, hydropower, nuclear or waste to energy projects especially with utilities and developers provides opportunity to contribute to strategic goals. Going off-grid or thru partnerships would improve chances of citizenship approval. 


UAE aims to rank among the world’s leading destinations for education and skills development. Establishing vocational schools, universities or skill training programmes especially in STEM, technology, finance, trade domains underscores strategic merit. Higher tier collaborative programmes with global institutions are appealing investment options for citizenship. 


 The UAE seeks to enhance medical tourism and provide the highest standard of care for citizens and residents. Investing with leading hospitals, medical centres and professional service providers especially advanced areas such as cancer treatment, neurology, cardiology, embryology, etc. sends a strong signal of ability and intent to contribute strategically. Public-private partnerships work well for these pathways. 


 The UAE imports over 80% of its food and water and seeks to enhance self-sufficiency. Opportunities exist around food production, aquaculture, precision agriculture, distribution, and food security solutions. Exemplary projects, especially those that deploy innovative techniques in arid climates, have potential for merit-based citizenship. However, government sponsorship would likely still be required, given the interests in this sector.

Also Read: Abu Dhabi History

uae citizenship for foreigners

Becoming a citizen of the UAE, known as Emiratization, is generally restricted to Arabs and individuals of Arabic descent, but there are 6,000 residents to get uae citizenship. However, the UAE does have procedures for foreigners to become naturalized Emirati citizens in limited circumstances:

 Exceptional skills and talents

Individuals with exceptional skills, talents or expertise in areas of strategic importance to the UAE can apply for Emirati citizenship.


Non-Arabs who invest a significant amount of capital in the UAE, typically at least AED 10-50 million, can apply for uae citizenship by investment. The investment amount depends on the type of business and location. 

Long-term residence

Non-Arab expatriates who have lived in the UAE for at least 20 years continuously can apply for Emirati citizenship. Additional requirements like investment, skills, etc. may apply.

Military service

Non-Arab professional military and security personnel employed by the UAE armed forces or Dubai Police for at least 20 years can apply for citizenship.

Marriage to an Emirati woman

A non-Arab man married to an Emirati woman for at least 20 years can apply for citizenship. The husband must not have any criminal record. You can say that all the above answer to how to get permanent citizenship in dubai.

Can you get Dubai citizenship by investment?

Dubai citizenship by investment is possible for those able to build a case through multi-million dirham investments. proven track records of success, value to Dubai’s key industries and society, and potential to contribute at scale to the emirate’s priorities and prosperity over the long-term. With the proper investment, experience, partnerships and perseverance, citizenship in Dubai is achievable through this path, though it remains challenging and not guaranteed.

How to get UAE citizenship by investment?

Here are some of the best ways to pursue UAE citizenship:
Invest in the UAE.
Develop exceptional skills.
Long-term residence.
Strategic partnerships.
Sponsorship by influential Emirati.
Marriage to Emirati woman.

UAE citizenship by investment; Benefits are substantial, but not the only motivation. While citizenship by investment provides major advantages like permanent residence, business benefits, education, healthcare, etc. applicants should have realistic motivations. Obtaining citizenship should not be seen as an entitlement. 

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