The UAE says it will grant citizenship to foreign residents for the first time, providing they add value to the Gulf state.
UAE Vice-President and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum said those eligible would include investors, specialised talents, doctors, engineers and artists.They and their families would be able to hold dual nationality, he said.
It is unlikely that any low-income workers will meet the strict criteria.
Sheikh Mohammed said the aim was to attract those who could "contribute to our development journey".
There is no application procedure; instead individuals would be nominated for citizenship by UAE royals or officials, he said. The UAE cabinet would then decide whether or not to approve them.
The move comes amid the coronavirus pandemic and a period of low oil prices, which have prompted tens of thousands of foreigners to leave the country, BBC reported.