Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, announced on the 40th National Day for the UAE that citizenship will be granted to children (once they are legal age) of Emirati mothers who married foreign nationals.
The decision was the first of its kind for the GCC and this decision may influence other Middle Eastern countries to do the same. There are many countries in the Middle East and North Africa that allow women to pass on their nationality regardless of their father’s nationality. However, sometimes the process is not always straightforward and conflicts with other laws create delays resulting in some people to give up before obtaining the citizenship.
Countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the GCC have yet to emulate laws granting women the ability to pass citizenship to their children. The UAE has taken a positive step forward to further empower Emirati women, putting them on equal footing as their male counterparts. Now, Emirati women will be able to make informed decisions about marriage, their children’s future and UAE residency.