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Mon 20 Feb 2012 10:38 AM

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1,117 ‘foreign’ children granted UAE citizenship

The children are of Emirati women married to foreigners according to WAM reports

1,117 ‘foreign’ children granted UAE citizenship

The UAE is to grant citizenship to over 1,000 children of Emirati women married to foreign men, it was announced on Sunday.

"President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan has issued decrees granting citizenship to 1,117 children of UAE women married to foreigners who satisfied requirements for citizenship," the state-owned WAM news agency said.

The children will be granted full UAE citizenship once they reach 18 years old, the report added.

The Gulf is home to a disproportionate number of expatriate workers, but in the past few children born to a foreign father were not eligible for citizenship in the country of birth. Tunisia was previously the only country to offer gender equality in terms of parents being able to pass citizenship to their children.

Algeria allows women to pass citizenship to their foreign husbands and children, while Morocco and Egypt also allows foreign husbands to apply for local passports.

The issue of citizenship has been a hot topic for debate in the Gulf in recent years. Bahrain expatriates in August called for a review of the country’s citizenship rules in sessions of a national dialogue for reforms in the Gulf kingdom.

Expat workers called on the National Dialogue, a state-appointed body tasked with airing political grievances in the wake of widespread political protests that rocked the Gulf state earlier this year, to review rules relating to citizenship, suggesting the children of longtime residents should receive residency automatically after the age of 18.

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Adnan 8 years ago

This is historical day for UAE!!!!
Big congratulations for the rulers of UAE for making such a good decision.

Faith 8 years ago

This is a big day for UAE Women and one of the best desicon for UAE mothers married to non UAE nationals...Let's hope this will be a bench mark and a milestone to be followed by rest of the Arab nations .

Abdul Hamid 8 years ago

My father has been here for 40 years, and I have more than 30 years of my life here, grown, my happiness and sadness, all our hearts beating for this country, speaking Arabic better than our mother languages, and culturally and life style Arabic. When I am in this land feel home, when out feel I don’t belong to anyplace than UAE. When my kids asking me where we belong I tell them Emirates, but they say our friends tell them you are Ajams (Foreigners), a piece of paper made separation in mind of children, and I wish H.H ruler, will decide to grant the citizenship to those whom are here more than 40 years, having base, culture companies, and benefitting the country and their hearts with UAE.

Ahmad 8 years ago

Correction: Egypt DOES NOT grant a foreign husband of an Egyptian woman the right to citizenship, while it DOES grant the foreign wife of an Egyptian man the right to citizenship very easily (all they need is husband's ID Card copy, birth certificate of the husband and his father to prove he's a natural born Egyptian and not a naturalized one, four personal photos of her, one of him and 75 EGP which is roughly $12 USD, and she gets it 2 years later !!).

Andys 8 years ago

I wonder why he chose to delay their citizenship until after they were 18 years old. In most countries they are offered citizenship at time of their birth. I'm a US Citizen and my wife is a Taiwanese Citizen. When my daughter was born in the US she was immediately given a US passport and we went to the Taiwan consulate after and they immediately gave my daughter a Taiwan citizenship and passport as well as her mother was from Taiwan. My daughter has dual citizenship now.

procan 8 years ago

One step at a time Andys, right is the celebrating time .Good job UAE.

Mike 8 years ago

But Ahmed, you are NOT from the Emirates and never will be. Time to face the facts.

If you haven't planted seeds in your home country, you will find yourself old and grey in the UAE some day without a job, and consequently without a visa.

Then what will you do??

Paolo c 8 years ago

who satisfied requirements for citizenship???????????? This article is propaganda! In fact it fails to specify what are the requirements.