1) Rights and obligations of a foreign national who has been working in the UAE for the past 24 years under a work visa and living in the UAE under a residence visa 2) whether that person can exit and re-enter the country while the visa remains valid 3) whether this person can obtain UAE nationality [ARE42096.E]

Information in addition to that provided in the Country Reports 2002 on the rights and obligations of foreign nationals working or living in the UAE and the conditions for exiting and re-entering the country is scarce.

With respect to the right to exit and re-enter the country, the International Parental Child Abduction Website states that although no exit visas are required from travellers departing from the UAE, all travellers must exit the country "on the passport that shows proof of the person's legal status in the UAE, meaning either their residence or entry visa" (19 Feb. 2002).

For more detailed information on the right to exit and to re-enter the country, please refer to Country Reports 2002.

With respect to nationality, the March 2001 United States Office of Personnel Management summary of citizenship laws entitled Citizenship Laws of the World states that, in accordance with the United Arab Emirates' Nationality Law No. 17 of 1 January 1972, as amended by Law No. 10 of 1975, nationality in the UAE can be acquired by naturalization under the following conditions:

Citizens of Qatar, Oman and Bahrain must reside for three years. Citizens of Arab descent must reside for seven years. All other persons must reside in the country for at least 30 years, 20 of those years occurring after January 1, 1972.

A copy of the UAE naturalization and passport law No. 10 of 1975 could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

However, as a correspondent for the Manchester-based daily The Guardian stated in a February 2001 article in Le Monde diplomatique,

those who come here do so to earn a living and must leave the country once their work is terminated. And only those who earn more than $1,000 US can bring in their families. Some, who have been here a long time, have become very wealthy, and they are born here in ever increasing numbers. Nethertheless, naturalization is only granted with the special, and rare, permission of the sovereign.

Furthermore, Country Reports 2002 states that there is no formal procedure for naturalization in the UAE and naturalization is granted sparingly, on an arbitrary basis (31 Mar. 2003, Section 2d).

No further information on whether a person who has worked in the UAE for the last 15 years or more can, in practice, obtain UAE nationality was found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2002. 31 March 2003. United States Department of State, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2002/18291pf.htm [Accessed 3 Oct. 2003]

Le Monde Diplomatique [Paris]. February 2001. David Hirst. "Les émirs à l'heure d'Internet: portrait de Dubaï, ville globale." http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/2001/02/HIRST/14865 [Accessed 3 Oct. 2003]

IUnited States (US). March 2001. Office of Personnel Management. Citizenship Laws of the World. http://www.opm.gov/extra/investigate/IS-01.pdf [Accessed 3 Oct. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB databases

Internet sources, including

European Country of Origin Information Network (ECOI.net)

The Naturalization & Residency Administration - Dubai

World News Connection (WNC)

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