ABU DHABI // More than 1,000 children with Emirati mothers and foreign fathers are to be given full Emirati citizenship.
The move follows a decree by the President, Sheikh Khalifa, on the 40th National Day.
A list of 1,117 names provided by the Ministry of Interior has been approved by a committee headed by Ahmed Juma Al Za’abi, the Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The list has been submitted to the President. Once passed, those named will be granted citizenship after their 18th birthday, giving them all the rights of an Emirati, including education, health benefits and employment.
Maj Gen Nasser Al Minhali, the acting assistant undersecretary for Naturalisation, Residency and Ports Affairs, said the number was in line with expectations.
Mohamed Darwish, a 29-year-old with a Jordanian father and an Emirati mother, is among those waiting to find out if he will soon have an Emirati passport.
He applied as soon as the law was passed.
“It will make my year. I am definitely happy, I see the UAE as my home country,” he said.
He previously applied after a similar decree by Sheikh Zayed, the country’s Founding President, more than a decade ago.
This time, Mr Darwish said, the approval process has been much swifter.
“Nothing happened then, but seeing things moving so fast now is exciting,” he said.
Mr Darwish said the ministry’s naturalisation and residency department had set up a special section for cases such as his, requiring that the mother and child’s passport copies and family book be given.