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Emirates Leaks: 5,000 Israelis obtained UAE citizenship in 3 months

A Jewish and an Emirati man listen as Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid gives a press conference at the new Israeli consulate in the Persian Gulf Emirate of Dubai, on June 30, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Some 5,000 Israelis have obtained UAE citizenship within the past three months, after amending the law on granting citizenship in the Persian Gulf Arab country, according to a report.

Citing sources, the website of Emirates Leaks revealed on Thursday a wide turnout from the Israelis under the cover of investment in the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The sources underlined that the UAE authorities allow the acquisition of citizenship for investors and entrepreneurs without the need to give up their original citizenship.

With an Emirati citizenship, the Israelis would be able to cross the Persian Gulf and Arab countries without a prior visa, according to the sources.

UAE demographic landscape to be ‘dysfunctional’ in 50 years

A former adviser to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi has warned about the repercussions of the United Arab Emirates’ demographic change, questioning the loyalty of those who have recently obtained the UAE citizenship.

“Hundreds of those who obtained UAE citizenship recently do not speak Arabic and their children do not make the effort to learn it and have nothing to do with Islam and do not know the customs, traditions and values of the Emirates and were given the right to retain their original nationality and we do not know the extent of their loyalty to the state,” Abdulkhaleq Abdulla said via Twitter on Wednesday.

Abdulla, a professor of political science, added that the UAE’s demographic landscape in the next 50 years will be “dysfunctional” and “strange”.

Earlier this year, the United Arab Emirates announced plans to grant foreigners citizenship as part of efforts to stimulate its economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Persian Gulf country, which is home to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, said last November it plans to overhaul its religious laws, including loosening alcohol restrictions and allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate.

The UAE has already begun to move in the direction of dismissing its deep-rooted Islamic and Arabic values by normalizing its relations with the occupying regime of Israel – a move that was condemned across the Muslim world.

Several Arab countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, normalized their ties with Israel under US-brokered agreements last year, when former US President Donald Trump was in office.

Last month, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said US assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror General Qassem Soleimani, a revered commander across the Muslim world, and the deal for the sale of US F-35 fighter jets to the UAE were deeply connected with the normalization deals.

The Israeli regime’s new foreign minister arrived in the UAE on Tuesday, marking the highest-level visit by an Israeli official to the Persian Gulf Arab country since the two normalized their relations.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi, Yair Lapid told diplomats that it was a “historic moment”.

In acknowledgment of Benjamin Netanyahu, Lapid said the former Israeli premier was “the architect of the Abraham Accords” who “worked tirelessly to bring them about.”

However, Lapid was reportedly given a subdued reception in the UAE, as the website of the Persian Gulf Arab country’s official WAM news agency didn’t immediately carry a report on his arrival, and his counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, wasn’t at the airport to meet the Israeli foreign minister.

“Israel would like to tout this as a historic visit, but evidently the UAE wants to keep it as low profile as possible and treat it like any other visit,” Abdulla told American economic news website Bloomberg on Tuesday.

“The UAE’s relationship with Israel is there, but this isn’t the time to brag after Gaza,” he added, referring to Israel’s aggression against the Gaza Strip more than a month ago, which killed over 250 Palestinians in the besieged enclave and injured nearly 2,000 others.

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