Relocate to Dubai - Your 2021 Immigration Guide

Relocate to Dubai

Updated on Thursday 19th August 2021

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Dubai is definitely a city of wonders and good living, where anyone can enjoy the tax-free environment, as a businessman or as a person who wants to work in the Emirates. Numerous expats choose to relocate to Dubai each year, but there are several things to know before making the big step and starting a new life in the UAE. Our lawyers in Dubai can help you in visa matters or can provide you legal assistance if you want to set up a business in Dubai. Here are a few tips and important information to consider before you decide to relocate to Dubai.
Our lawyers can also be your guide if you are interested in moving to Dubai with family members.

Apply for a UAE visa

If you want to relocate to Dubai, you should apply for the proper visa, such as an employment visa if you want to work here, a business visa if you are interested in opening a company in Dubai, or a family visa to establish with your partner in Dubai. It is good to know that a work permit can be issued by the authorities in charge as soon as you have found a job in the Emirates, with the help of your sponsor or employer who can apply on your behalf. This document, also known as a residence visa for employment in Dubai, is available for three years and then it can be extended for an indefinite period. Our Dubai lawyers can offer legal support when drafting the documents for any type of visa to enter the Emirates.

The main types of visas under which one can immigrate to Dubai


The UAE is one of the most welcoming countries when it comes to foreign citizens who want to move and stay here for long periods of time. Among the visas under which one can obtain residency in Dubai are:


  1. student visas which a great option for those interested not only in studying, but then remaining in Dubai for work;
  2. business visas which is the most sought option thanks to the opportunities of starting companies in various sectors here;
  3. employment visas which are a great option for those interested in living and working in one of the most beautiful cities in the world;
  4. investor and retirement visas which are conditioned by a minimum investment, respectively monthly income received as a pension;
  5. dependent visas which can be used for family reunification purposes.
If you are interested in moving to Dubai, our lawyers can help you apply for the type of visa you qualify for. Let us work for you and find the most appropriate option for successful relocation.

How to relocate to Dubai based on employment


Employment is one of the most sought and safest ways of immigrating to Dubai because it relies on a work contract. Compared to a few years back, when a job offer would suffice to apply for the work permit, the legislation has changed and now alongside the offer, the contract must also be enclosed in the relocation dossier.
The work contract is one of the simplest ways to relocate and obtain residency in Dubai as a foreign citizen.
Considering that sponsorship is a requirement in certain cases, the employer can act as a sponsor and thus ease the immigration procedure. Before being issued the work permit, the foreign citizen will obtain an entry permit and enter the UAE.
As mentioned earlier, students can relocate to Dubai through study visas, however, while here they can apply for work visas and remain here. This is one of the main ways through which Dubai has managed to have a young and diverse workforce.
The Dubai company hiring foreign citizens must also comply with certain requirements, among which filing a petition with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.
Those interested in moving to Dubai with family members can sponsor them when applying for residency. The main condition is for the sponsor to have a minimum income and accommodation here in order to support incoming members.
Our law firm in Dubai is at your service with the latest information on how to move and obtain residency in the UAE.

The freelance permit for Dubai


In 2018, the TECOM authority has enabled a new visa scheme under which foreign citizens who do not want to relocate to Dubai through employment or by starting a business even if they are professionals in their field of work can apply for freelance permits.
This type of residence permit is available for the following category of applicants:
  • media specialists;
  • education specialists;
  • technology professionals.
The same permit can be used for operating in Dubai Media City, Internet City and Knowledge Village free zones.
If you are interested in this type of visa, you can rely on lawyers in Dubai for more information about it.

Moving to Dubai through investment


Foreign citizens who want to relocate to Dubai can use investment as a main way to live here on a long-term. They must meet certain requirements based on the option they choose.
For example, one can immigrate to Dubai by purchasing a property. The main condition to meet in this sense is for the real estate to have a minimum value of 1 million AED or around 275,000 USD. This type of investment lead to a 2-year residence permit.
When it comes to those who plan on moving to Dubai with family, they must know that they can bring with them the spouse, children, and parents. For each category of dependents, the financial requirements are different.
Our Dubai lawyers can provide the support you need to apply for residency by investment.

Relocate to Dubai through retirement

Retiring to Dubai can be a dream come true for those who meet the following requirements:
  • they are at least 55 years old and have a minimum monthly income of 200,000 AED;
  • they can invest at least 2 million AED in real estate or
  • they have saved at least 1 million AED in a bank account.
This visa will grant them the right to stay in Dubai for 5 years. 

Search for a place to stay in Dubai

Once you have decided to relocate to Dubai, it is recommended to search for an apartment. A real estate agent in Dubai can offer suggestions of houses for rent, according to your budget and to your new place of work. For instance, the rental price for a decent, spacious and luxurious apartment in Dubai can start from AED 50,000 per year.  If you plan on moving to Dubai with family, our law firm can offer all the needed information about residency options.

The means of transportation in Dubai

The transportation in Dubai develops in a fast manner every year and offers numerous facilities, connecting each corner of the city. People can choose the Dubai metro, the buses, the taxis, or the water taxis. Without a doubt, Dubai is known for its excellent infrastructure and the investments made in this important field, in a continuous search of life improvement.
We have also prepared a video about the relocation to Dubai, so please watch it below: 


How to open a company in Dubai 

Each year, numerous investors from abroad decide to start their activities in the Emirates, and Dubai is the preferred place to relocate and make money as a young or experienced entrepreneur. The company registration in Dubai is an easy process with minimum bureaucracy. Entrepreneurs have numerous benefits once they set up their activities in the Emirates, due to the interesting taxation system where there are no levies on incomes or profits. Businessmen can choose to set up their company in Dubai Free Trade Zones where they can benefit from 100% ownership of their firm.  We remind that our attorneys in Dubai can help you with drafting the documents for your company in Dubai. In this matter, an entrepreneur must set up a business plan, search for a suitable name for the business, apply for the proper license, prepare the statutory documents, and rent an office which is going to be used as the address of the company. It is good to know that a company registered in Dubai Free Zones is exempt from corporate taxation for up to 50 years.

Taxation in Dubai

Dubai is a major business hub and a tax haven where foreign companies do not have to pay taxes for their profits, especially if a double taxation agreement has been signed in this matter. The exception regards the branches of foreign banks and oil & gas companies which are subject to a corporate tax set at a maximum rate of 55%. It is good to know that there are no withholding taxes on dividends and capital gains, and also no personal income taxes, but starting from January 2018, Dubai will implement for the first time the VAT (value added tax) on certain goods and services. 
Moving to Dubai with family members is not difficult, however, you should rely on specialized assistance for a stress-free relocation procedure.

Why relocate to Dubai?

Dubai is made of two worlds apart: one is made of opulence, luxury, imposing buildings and architecture, and the second one is full of Arab traditions. The city perfectly blends these two special worlds where there are more than 200 nationalities living here and enjoying a stress-free life full of varied opportunities. A young entrepreneur can start his/her business in Dubai and benefit from a great taxation system and an open market for everyone, no matter the chosen field. There is no need for a local partner to set up a company in Dubai and a minimum capital for investments is not mandatory. The real estate and the tourism sectors are profitable and continue to grow each year. The innovation field is also quite attractive for entrepreneurs willing to invest in technology and align with the important players worldwide.
If you want to relocate to Dubai, make investments or start your own company, we recommend you contact our law firm in Dubai and ask for legal help.