ABU DHABI // Ninety-seven children born to Emirati mothers and foreign fathers were granted citizenship under the orders of President Sheikh Khalifa.
The General Directorate of Naturalisation in Abu Dhabi presented the naturalised citizens with their documents during a ceremony on Tuesday, reported Wam, UAE’s state agency.
Brigadier Saeed Rakan Al Rashidi, Head of Naturalisation Department, who headed the ceremony, said: “This wise and humanitarian decision embodies our leadership’s continuous engagement with the concerns and problems of our citizens, and the measures taken to solve these problems quickly.
“It also reflects the special position of women within Emirati society,” he said.
The decree came into effect five years ago, on the 40th National Day, when Sheikh Khalifa announced children of Emirati mothers and foreign fathers would be granted citizenship on their 18th birthday, as long as they met certain conditions.
Mr Al Rashidi said providing the citizenships would provide the families with social security, stability and psychological comfort while having a significant impact on the development of Emirati society.
Last year, 152 people aged 18 or older and with Emirati mothers and foreign fathers were granted full citizenship.
They are granted the same rights as any other Emirati regarding education, health benefits and employment.
Previously, citizenship could only be passed on through a father.
The recipients thanked Sheikh Khalifa and said the occasion marked a turning point in their professional and social lives.