The UAE says it will grant citizenship to some

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The United Arab Emirates on Saturday announced plans to grant the oil-rich country some foreign citizenship in Abu Dhabi and Dubai as part of efforts to stimulate its economy amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The UAE had earlier granted citizenship to Palestinians and others who helped form the country’s government after its formation in 1971. Others have also achieved it over time.

The offer, made by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum on Saturday as the country’s prime minister and vice president, could apply to artists, writers, doctors, engineers and scientists as well as their families.

Seth Mohammed wrote on Twitter that the country’s seven emirates and hereditary rulers at the federal level would appoint them for citizenship. The citizenship granted will also allow them to retain their initial citizenship.

It was not immediately clear whether that citizenship would also give the UAE’s cradle-to-grab social programs rights for its citizens.

The UAE is home to 9 million people, of which only one-tenth are citizens. In November, the UAE announced plans to comply with the country’s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to abstain from alcohol, reducing alcohol consumption and criminalizing so-called “honor killings”.