Although the United Arab Emirates does not grant citizenship to non-Arab individuals, the country that heavily relies on imported foreign talent has a Golden Visa for certain foreign expats. Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza have now been granted a golden visa
This is the UAE equivalent of a long-term residence visa. Given the constraints between India and Pakistan, Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza reside in Dubai.
While Sania spent a lot of time with her family in Hyderabad when baby Izhaan was born, after Indo-Pak tensions peaked in February 2019, they needed living arrangements where the fam could be together.
With their Golden visa, the family finally has a long-term living solution. The duo already lives in Dubai and has a home there. Now they’ll have more stability.
UAE Immigration Law
Although the UAE did not traditionally grant citizenship to non-Arab individuals, earlier in January 2021 the monarch of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed changed that rule.
We adopted law amendments that allow granting the UAE citizenship to investors, specialized talents & professionals including scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families. The new directives aim to attract talents that contribute to our development journey.
— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) January 30, 2021
In a historic move, the Emirati ruler announced major changes to the citizenship law to grant citizenship to foreign talent contributing to Dubai. This included foreign investors, doctors, scientists, artists, and other talented people and their families.
It was felt that the naturalization and social stability of these foreign expats would boost the national development process.
Prior to that, all these people stayed in Dubai on golden visas.