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Welcome to our Know-How Hub here at The Dubai Navigator.

We are experts in tax-optimized investment and relocation strategies for individuals and businesses alike, with a focus on Dubai and the UAE. Enjoy our free articles, and if you are looking for more in-depth 1-on-1 support, check out our paid services.

4 Ways to Move to Dubai

Are you interested in relocating to Dubai or the UAE?

If so, good news. The UAE has some of the most generous immigration laws in the world.

In fact, there are multiple pathways to UAE residence.

You can get a UAE residence visa by investing in real estate, having certain skills, or even just incorporating a company.

In this article, we are covering 4 different ways how you can obtain UAE and Dubai residency.

(1) Purchase Real Estate

One of the most straightforward ways to obtain a Dubai or UAE visa is to invest in real estate.

In Dubai, three types of property visas are available.

Dubai Property Visa Types 2023

The most basic property investment visa allows real estate buyers to obtain a 2Y Dubai residence visa for an investment amount of just 750 thousand Dirham, or 204 thousand USD.

For a slightly higher investment amount of 1 million dirhams, or 272K USD, investors above the age of 55 can obtain a so-called retirement visa, valid for 5 years at a time.

The most prestigious visa is the Golden Visa for real estate investors. For an investment amount of 2 million dirhams, or 545K USD you get a Golden Residence Visa with a validity of 10 years at a time.

The visa application costs vary between visa types. Similarly, you may sponsor family members, however, the exact conditions and requirements for sponsorships vary.

We offer independent Dubai real estate analysis to allow you to find properties with the highest rental returns and appreciation potential. We are 100% independent and never on commissions.

(2) Open a Company

If you do not intend to make an investment in the Dubai Property market, you can simply open a Dubai or UAE company.

Opening a UAE company automatically allows you to apply for an investor or business owner visa. Such visas have a standard validity of 2 years at a time.

There are many ways to open a company. You may open a mainland or free zone company.

There are around 50 free zones available, and every zone has different company set-up costs and benefits.

The lowest cost business setups - in the form of a sole proprietorship - start from around 1500 USD.

If you open a company, every shareholder may apply for an investor visa.

Additionally, you are free to hire employees from abroad and issue them employment visas.

Depending on company type and free zone, there are usually no minimum revenue or profit requirements, so you may establish your UAE company simply for the purpose of obtaining residence visas.

If you are running an existing business outside the UAE and are looking to relocate, be careful, as part of the relocation process, there may be issues with exit taxes and transfer pricing.

(3) Have Special Skills

The aforementioned 10Y Golden Visa available for property investors can also be obtained through a variety of other pathways.

Scientists, entrepreneurs, medical professionals, and exceptional students, among other high achievers in their respective fields, can apply for a 10Y UAE Golden Visa without making a financial investment.

The exact requirements for the Golden Visa and the application process vary between emirates. That's why we published a complete guide on how to apply for UAE Golden Visas.

(4) Get a Job

This article would not be complete without mentioning the most common way foreigners obtain UAE residency - by taking up employment.

Companies based in the UAE can hire foreigners from around the world, no matter what their skills. As a result, compared to other countries, it is fairly easy to apply and get accepted for a job by a local company.

While larger companies are required to hire a minimum number of Emiratis, all other employees may be hired from abroad.

A local employer will pay for your visa fees if you work for them, and as a result, getting a job in the UAE is technically speaking the most affordable way to secure UAE residence.


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