Saudi Arabia opens citizenship for ‘talented’ expats

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Saudi Arabia has decided to grant citizenship to talented and innovative expats settled in several countries across the world.

The decision was taken to end the Kingdom’s dependence on oil.

According to the state press, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz has issued a royal order to grant citizenship to the highly talented, qualified, and innovative expatriates of the Kingdom. It will help applicants equipped with specialised skills in the fields of legal, medical, scientific, technological, cultural, and sport obtain Saudi citizenship.

The development will drive and diversify the economy, the government said.

Saudi Arabia, in a bid to move away from oil, has been working on reforms to attract tourism and business in the country.

King Salman’s decision to enhance a business-friendly environment will attract qualified professions and open opportunities for scientists, intellectuals, and innovators.

The new system would allow experts and investors to establish deeper roots in the country.

It has, however, been reported that citizenship might be difficult to obtain as it is not traditionally offered to foreigners and expatriates.

Earlier, the United Arab Emirates, too, announced citizenship for foreign residents.