As published on gulfbusiness.com, Tuesday 16 March, 2021.
Officials in Dubai have closed an immigration services office that falsely promoted a UAE citizenship by investment programme.
The Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection (CCCP) Sector in Dubai Economy upon investigation found that the office received citizenship applications without being authorised to do so.
Furthermore, the CCCP found that the office promised investors assistance in obtaining UAE citizenship, provided the applicant had a net worth of at least Dhs100m and paid $10,000 as processing fee for the application.
Applicants were told the details provided by them would be evaluated for compliance with the citizenship requirements after which they can submit it to the concerned authorities.
The service offered was not only unauthorised, but also in contravention of the recent amendment to the UAE Citizenship Law, which did not specify any fee or process for obtaining naturalisation.
As per the amendment made in January 2021, investors, professionals and specialised talents like authors, inventors and their families are eligible to be nominated for citizenship by the UAE Cabinet, local Emiri or Rulers’ Courts, and executive councils of the seven emirates.
The categories that can qualify to acquire the UAE passport include: investors, doctors, inventors, scientists, engineers, artists, authors and their families (spouse and children), meanwhile the amendments allow retaining the current nationality.
Officials in Dubai Economy warned that stern action will be taken against any office or commercial establishment that transgresses its authority, reminding UAE residents, investors and the public to be aware of fraudulent practices and called on the public to report any such practices they come across through the Dubai Consumer app, their website or by calling 600545555.