How Long Can You Live In Dubai As An American? (Question)

American passport-holders are entitled to a visa-on-arrival at the airport, should their stay be shorter than 30 days. However, if you decide to take the plunge and move to Dubai longer term, you will need a residence visa.

Do Americans need a visa to live in Dubai?

  • American passport-holders are entitled to a visa-on-arrival at the airport, should their stay be shorter than 30 days. However, if you decide to take the plunge and move to Dubai longer term, you will need a residence visa.

Can American citizen live in Dubai?

If you’re a U.S. citizen moving to Dubai, you will need a residence visa and work permit beyond your initial 30-day entry permit. However, to live in the UAE, you will require a work visa. Your employer will apply for the visa for you and sponsor you to live in the city.

How long can a US citizen live in Dubai?

Stays longer than 30 days: Visitors on a 30-day visa may request a visa extension, which is at the discretion of immigration officials. Anyone planning to work or study in the UAE must obtain the appropriate visa.

Can I live in Dubai permanently?

One can obtain residency in Dubai or in another emirate in UAE if sponsorship by an employer is provided. The Dubai residence visa must be renewed every three years. Another way to obtain residency in Dubai is by purchasing real estate.

What are the disadvantages of living in Dubai?

Con: strict laws Dubai is a strict Muslim state. Non-Muslim expats should therefore be respectful of the country’s religious ways – especially during Ramadan. For example, ‘modest attire’ is recommended and public displays of affection can cause offence and lead to arrest, even between married couples.

Is Dubai worth living?

Dubai attracts expats from all over the world, with more than 200,000 new arrivals each year. While some may find the cost of accommodations expensive, the large supply of attractive housing units, high salaries and low taxes motivate many people to move to Dubai and live the expat lifestyle.

Can I retire in Dubai?

A sunshine-filled city, Dubai offers an outstanding quality of life for retirees. The Dubai retirement visa is your chance to live in one of the world’s fastest growing, safest and most culturally-diverse places.

Can I move to Dubai without a job?

Since there is no way for foreigners to receive permanent residency or citizenship in the UAE, there is logically no true Golden Visa. However, through investment into the country, expats can receive 3-year, renewable temporary residency to live abroad long-term in Dubai without having to seek employment.

Can foreigners buy property in Dubai?

In Dubai, foreign ownership is permitted in areas designated as freehold. Foreigners (who don’t live in the UAE) and expatriate residents may acquire freehold ownership rights over property without restriction, usufruct rights, or leasehold rights for up to 99 years. There is no age limit to own property in Dubai.

Can I live in Dubai for 6 months?

Just make sure your passport is valid for 6 months. This can be quite beneficial if you want to visit the city before you relocate there. If you’re looking for a longer stay, you can pay a fee to extend your stay twice, for 30 days each.

What are the rules of living in Dubai?

Dubai Laws Expats Need to Know

  • Alcohol Consumption in Dubai. With the exception of hotel bars and restaurants, drinking alcohol is illegal in Dubai.
  • Kissing in Public and PDA.
  • Dubai Clothing Restrictions.
  • Sex Outside of Marriage in Dubai.
  • Photography in Certain Areas.

Can a woman work in Dubai?

Can women work in Dubai? A common misconception that people often have is that women can’t work in Dubai. In fact, the opposite is true; women can work in Dubai and many who do would claim the opportunities are better than many places in the West.

Is it better to live in London or Dubai?

Overall, we found that the better place to live was Dubai over London. Dubai provided a better standard of living, whilst also being safer, and offers better salaries in comparison to the cost of living.

Where do foreigners live in Dubai?

Al Barsha is one of the most popular destinations for expats moving to Dubai. Because of its close proximity to 2 of the major roads, Al Barsha is easily commutable for workers in Media City, Internet City and Emaar Business Park.

What’s it like living and working in Dubai as an American?

What are your plans for residing in Dubai as an American citizen? Around 40,000 individuals from the United States live in the city, with Americans being one of the most significant expat populations in the emirate. 1. The vast majority of American citizens in the United Arab Emirates live in Dubai, with only 10,000 others scattered around the country. If you’re relocating or taking on a long-term work assignment, read our guide on visas, career prospects, and cultural differences before making your decision.


If you’re planning a move to Dubai, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure are in order before you go.


If you are a citizen of the United States going to Dubai, you will require a resident visa as well as a work permit in addition to your initial 30-day entrance permission. If you are planning to remain in the nation for less than one month, you will not be required to submit an application for a visa in advance; visas will be available upon arrival at the airport in the emirate. A work visa, on the other hand, would be required if you want to live in the UAE. Your company will take care of obtaining a visa for you and arranging for you to live in the city.

A tourist visa is required for entry into Dubai, which may be converted into both a work permit and a residency visa later on.

Obtaining a spouse visa, which allows you to remain in the nation with your spouse who is already employed, is another option for those looking to relocate to the city of Dubai.


It’s probable that you’ll want to make arrangements for your housing before you relocate to the nation. When you are not married or living with a close family member, it is unlawful to live with someone of the opposing sex in the United Arab Emirates. Consequently, if you intend to relocate with your spouse but are not married, this is something to take into consideration. Despite the fact that many expats would do so without consequence, if anybody lodges a complaint or the police enter your residence for any reason 2, you might find yourself in serious legal difficulties.


When traveling to Dubai, it is critical to understand which medications you are permitted to bring with you and which you are not. Some medications that are easily available in the United States may be prohibited in the United Arab Emirates, which has a stringent drug policy 3. The Ministry of Health in the United Arab Emirates must approve the transportation of prescription medications before they may be brought into the country (MoH). If you bring any illicit or regulated substances to the airport without permission, you may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Also available is ourexpat’s guide to medical treatment in Dubai, which provides further information on the health-care system in the United Arab Emirates (remember that international health insurance coverage may be required if moving to the UAE or Dubai).

Is it safe for Americans to live in Dubai?

In most cases, the answer is yes. The crime rate in Dubai is extremely low 4, particularly when it comes to acts of serious crime — but it can be difficult to assess because the United Arab Emirates does not publish its crime statistics. Petty crime, on the other hand, is frequent in large cities, just as it is in any other large metropolis. Pickpocketing, frauds, and sexual harassment should all be avoided at all costs. Shopping malls, airports, hotels, and resorts, among other popular sites, are thoroughly watched, resulting in a reduction in the number of crimes committed.


As a Westerner, you may discover that relocating to Dubai necessitates a shift in perspective when it comes to cultural differences. Not only are many norms in the United States disapproved of here, but they are also illegal. If you are relocating to Dubai, it is critical for your personal protection to understand what is prohibited by the law. It is against the law to:

  • Live with a person of the opposing sex who is not your husband or a member of your family Participants in public displays of affection are permitted to do so – married couples holding hands is acceptable
  • Don’t be afraid to be homosexual. Being intoxicated in public or drinking and driving are both prohibited. Dress in attire that is deemed to be overly exposing
  • Swearing or making disrespectful hand gestures are prohibited. Without their consent, take photographs of other individuals

Working in Dubai as an American

Live with a person of the opposite sex who is not your spouse or a member of your immediate family Participants in public displays of affection are permitted to do so — married couples holding hands is acceptable. It is acceptable to be gay; however, Not being able to function properly while intoxicated or driving while intoxicated Clothing that is deemed too revealing is encouraged. swearing or making obscene hand motions Without their permission, take photographs of people.

What is the average salary in Dubai?

The average monthly wage in Dubai is AED 16,775 (6,570 dirhams), which is approximately $4,570. The average monthly salary in the United States is $3,900 7. The cost of living in Dubai, on the other hand, is fairly high – albeit not as high as in places such as New York. 8


Dubai is frequently referred to be a tax-free sanctuary. However, while you are not required to pay income tax in the UAE, you may be required to do so in the United States. If you generate an income in the emirate, including through the rental of a property you own in Dubai, but you are a tax resident of the United States, you will be required to report your earnings and may be required to pay tax in the United States. More information can be obtained from the United States Embassy 9or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Please see our page on Dubai’s taxation for additional information on the subject.


If you’re relocating to Dubai with children, you’ll want to learn about the educational opportunities available in the emirate. Dubai has both public and private education, with private schools accounting for 90 percent of all enrollments. All public schools are exclusively available to UAE natives and are mandatory for Emirati boys and girls aged 5 to 15 who live in the country. Expat children have been eligible to attend public schools in Dubai since 2001, when the country opened its doors to them.


The majority of school weeks run from Sunday through Thursday, in accordance with the working week, with hours varying depending on the institution.

Students who do not have Arab ancestry are expected to attend Arabic language studies until they reach the ninth grade (age 13). Please see our guide here for additional information on Dubai’s educational system and curriculum.


Drivers in Dubai are required to travel on the right-hand side of the road. With maximum speeds of 160km/h (99mph) on the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain and Sheikh Khalifa roads 12 and 160km/h (99mph) on the Sheikh Khalifa highway 12, the speed limitations in the emirate can be challenging to adjust to. In contrast to the 160km/h restriction, several motorways in Abu Dhabi have had their maximum speeds cut to 110km/h, notably Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road. Never drive in Dubai if you have drank alcohol, no matter how small an amount you have consumed.

For more information about driving in Dubai, please see our driving guide.

American women living in Dubai

A Western lady relocating to Dubai may discover that the city’s customs are much different from those she is accustomed to in her own country. It is recommended that women wear modestly in Dubai, with their shoulders, thighs, and midriffs covered. A minimum monthly wage of AED 10,000 (US$2,723) is required for women who wish to sponsor their family’s immigration to the nation. The minimum pay for males is AED 4,000 (US$1,089) per month. The city’s metro system includes a carriage reserved exclusively for women and children, and women-only lines frequently form outside government buildings.

For a more in-depth look at living as a woman in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, check out our guide here.

Things You Should Know Before Moving to Dubai

As a new inhabitant of Dubai, you may take pleasure in the rush and bustle, as well as the always changing skyline.|Hanna Slavinska / Alamy Stock Photo The most crucial piece of advice for anyone relocating to Dubai is to leave all prejudices at home. Remember that you will only be prepared to embark on the thrilling adventure that is living in Dubai if you let go of your preconceived notions about the emirate. In many ways, Dubai is unlike any other city in the world: it is bursting with life, vitality, and surprises around every turn.

  • The lifestyle is non-stop, and the term “hustle” is commonly used while interacting with friends and acquaintances.
  • No one can completely escape the hustle and bustle of Dubai, therefore it’s important to be prepared for a busy and sometimes frantic schedule.
  • Weekends are not observed in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday and Sunday.
  • Due to the fact that Friday is considered a holy day in Islam, individuals should refrain from working on this day.
  • courtesy of Delphotos / Alamy Stock Photography People are sometimes unaware of the fact that the cost of living in Dubai is quite expensive.
  • Although many people who relocate to Dubai believe they will soon be driving a Lamborghini and drinking champagne on a regular basis are mistaken, this is not always the case.
  • They may appear bizarre at times, such as the prohibition on public displays of affection, but they are an integral aspect of life in Dubai, and breaching one can result in your imprisonment or expulsion.

courtesy of Alessandro Biascioli / Alamy Stock Photography Because expats account for more than 80 percent of Dubai’s population, anyone who relocate here will quickly make friends with people from all over the world.

Having an open mind and avoiding any prejudice against different nations and cultures is essential when visiting this country.

Please be courteous.

Almost every bar and club in the city will have a ladies’ night, which is generally held on a Tuesday and includes free beverages as well as substantial discounts on food and drinks.

Alamy Stock Photo courtesy of Q-Images It is unlikely that you would ever feel the need to be fluent in Arabic if you are relocating to Dubai from another part of the world.

Everyone who lives in Dubai, on the other hand, is familiar with a few important terms from the local language.

As a result, when a buddy says “yalla,” they are requesting that everyone speed up; when someone says “inshallah,” they are expressing their hope for the best outcome from a certain event.

Massive cranes can be found in every corner of the city, working on the latest and greatest thing the world has to offer.

No matter how hard you try to explain what living in Dubai is like to your family and friends in other countries, they will never be able to truly comprehend what it is like to live in this country.

Traveling in the Wild / Alamy Stock Image Those considering relocating to Dubai are likely to have heard about how hot the city is.

With summer temperatures frequently reaching highs of 40 degrees Celsius (115 degrees Fahrenheit), it might seem like you’re trapped inside an oven.

Everyone in the city has access to air conditioning — including bus stations, which are equipped with units.

Picture of the Middle East courtesy of Alamy Stock Photo Brunch is quite popular with Dubai locals.

Whether you’re among colleagues at work, friends at home, or family around the table, this is the most important meal of the day.

Photo courtesy of Robert Harding / Alamy Stock Photo This will come as a surprise to many individuals, especially those who are used to living in cities with excellent public transportation.

The bus is no better – it may take three times longer than taking a cab, which is why virtually everyone has their own vehicle (or several), and there is just too much traffic to make it worthwhile.

Image courtesy of Nino Marcutti / Alamy Stock Photo There will never be a dull moment in Dubai.

This city assures that every single one of its people will have improbable stories to tell, no matter how much fun they are having, how chaotic their lives are, or how insane they are.

20 Reasons Not to Move to Dubai (In No Particular Order)

Being a resident in Dubai is not as fantastic and glamorous as many people would have you believe it to be. Forget everything you’ve read, seen, and heard; those gleaming structures and man-made islands are nothing more than a smokescreen to deceive the public. There are so many things wrong with this town that I’ve decided to build a list of them, which you should read if you’re thinking on moving to Dubai in the near future.

1. Try Getting Something Delivered To Your Place

Because there is no standard address system in place, mail-to-door delivery is not an option. In fact, it makes practically everything nearly hard to accomplish. The cab driver, who has just been here for two days and has only learned English through listening to old Beatles recordings, has no idea where your home is. He won’t tell you that, of course; he’ll simply keep phoning and repeating, “All right, all right. “Yeah, that’s right.” When you purchase something that requires delivery, you will not see an address line, but rather a box in which you will be requested to create a map of the location.

As an example, consider the following: After the airport road, but before the roundabout, I live on a side street that is quiet and peaceful.

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The government of the United Arab Emirates has blocked all websites that it considers to be “offensive” to the “religious, moral, and cultural values” of the country. That’s difficult for a freedom-loving American to accept, but I understand why. Why all VOIP access and related web pages are restricted, on the other hand, is something I don’t understand. I suppose the government is also offended by folks who use low-cost methods to communicate with their family back home. Calls made using the analog service offered by the government-owned telephone monopoly will be charged at a higher rate, although they will be significantly more expensive.

Even though the government claims that voice over internet protocol (VOIP) is forbidden for security reasons, people of communist China and North Korea have access to these low-cost calls.

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Excellent podcast with Paul Rosenberg about virtual private networks (VPNs).

3. It Is Hot Here, Like REALLY Hot

Not hot like Florida in July; hot like if you were stranded in a car in Florida in July with enough humidity to make you feel like you are drowning. Heat indexes of 120 degrees with approximately 100 percent humidity are considered extreme. Avoid looking on the wind for assistance. Using this method is the equivalent of directing a hairdryer directly at your face at full intensity. You should imagine that you are pouring fine moon dust-like sand over your head while doing this.

4. Does Anything Even Grow Here?

There are much too few trees, plants, and grass — indeed, there are far too few living things other than us insane people – in the world. Have you ever seen a bird pant? Yes, I have. Human beings were not created to exist in such a hostile environment, in my opinion. If we were, there would be enough of water and shade for everyone. The only vegetation in the area is provided by the roadside gardens established by the government, which is responsible for watering them constantly throughout the day.

Thank you very much! Were you not the one who stated that we should reduce our water use since you were unable to keep up with the demand? It occurred to me that we should all relocate somewhere where it is not 120 degrees outside.

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This country takes such pleasure in its glitter and glamour that it has emblazoned an image of its 7-star hotel on the back of its registration plates. Despite this, the public bathrooms in the glitzy Gold Souk neighborhood are nothing more than holes in the ground with no toilet paper or soap available. Hoses, on the other hand, are provided for cleaning your underwear. Due to the accumulation of water on the floor, you must stand up to go to the bathroom. You may try squatting without putting your hands on anything and not letting your trousers come into contact with anything.

In addition, the temperature is 120 degrees in there.

6. Modern-Day Slavery

It is encouraged by this government for companies to employ individuals from other poor countries to come and work in this country. They force them to sign contracts that are ten years in length, and then they confiscate their passports. Despite the fact that snatching passports is technically against the law, the government is aware of the practice and does nothing to enforce the law. They are promised a specific wage, but the corporations fail to inform them that they would be subtracting their cost of living expenses from their paychecks, leaving them essentially destitute – if they choose to pay them at all – as a result.

They are imprisoned when the employees go on strike as a result.

These individuals will never be able to earn enough money to purchase a return ticket home, and even if they do, they will not be able to do so since they will not have their passports.

The kicker is that they are constructing hotels that will cost more to stay in for a single night than they would earn in an entire year, according to Forbes.

7. Things Are Not Cheaper Here

I’m tired of hearing people say things like that. People remark to individuals who worry about the growing expense of living in this nation, “Well, it’s cheaper than your home country or you wouldn’t be here,” according to the letters to the editor page of the newspaper I am reading. The only thing that is less expensive here is labor. Yes, you can hire a cleaner – but a bag of washed lettuce can set you back about $6 in labor costs.

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This is what I perceive to be cheating. Where have all the police officers gone? I traveled around this city for several weeks before I ever came across a police officer. I can assure you that traffic officers are desperately needed here. People behave in a clumsy manner. Turning left from the far right lane is totally legal, however exceeding the speed limit by even a few miles can result in a fine.

These cameras are deliberately positioned when you travel down slopes or just before the speed limit changes to prevent accidents. Before you know it, you’ve been BAM! Fined. You will have your automobile detained if you do not pay your payment on time.

9. What The Hell Are You Wearing?

The clothes that some of these women are wearing is just incomprehensible to me. I realize that you are obligated to dress in a certain manner as part of your faith, but wearing a black robe over your jeans and turtleneck and covering your head while it is 120 degrees outside seems a little excessive. Some ladies go to the gym dressed in five layers of clothing.sweatpants and t-shirts over sweaters with headscarves, for example. The men’s apparel, on the other hand, is completely logical: white, breezy, and with nothing below except their skivvies.

10. People Stare At You

I’m tired of being gazed at all the time. Men who have never seen a fair-skinned blue-eyed woman before, or who have seen one but believe we are all prostitutes and so it is OK to gaze, look at me. Whether I am fully clothed or with my spouse, they look at me and sometimes even follow me around the room. It’s just frightening, and it’s reduced me to tears on more than one occasion in the past. Men are not the only ones who are gazing at you. My husband and I are having a few drinks at the bar when we are approached by a group of female prostitutes who are enraged that I am intruding on their domain.

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There are prostitutes, there is no doubt about that. There were a ton of them. To clarify, I am not allowed to look at a naked photo of someone on the Internet in my own house, but I am allowed to go out in public and purchase a few for the night? Is that correct?

12. Alcohol Can Only Be Sold In Hotels And a Handful of Private Clubs

To enjoy alcoholic beverages in the privacy of one’s own home, one must possess a valid liquor license. If you want to receive a liquor license, you must first gain written clearance from your supervisor, then verify that you earn a particular amount of money, which affects how much you are permitted to buy, and then submit numerous mug shots (also known as passport photographs) to the state for review. Drinking at home is permitted if you pay the charge as well as the additional 30 percent tax on every purchase.

Why not simply go out to Ajman, where it’s a free-for-all, and fill up the SUV with all of your belongings instead?

It’s strange how things work out.

13. I Have to Ask Permission For Everything!

To get a liquor license, you must first seek permission from your employer. You must also receive permission from your employer if you wish to rent property, use a telephone, or subscribe to satellite television.

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While traveling down the highway at 160 kph, I’ll stop if I see one more youngster standing up and waving to me from the back window. How did seat belts end there in the first place?

15. When is the Weekend Again?

I want to make sure I understand what you’re saying: the weekend used to be Thursday and Friday, but no one took off all of Thursday, only a half-day at the most. However, although though the government declares Friday and Saturday to be weekends, many employees choose to merely take off Friday, while others choose to work a half-day on Thursday, while others choose to work a half-day on Saturday instead.

Monday through Friday are considered workdays, with only a sliver of activity completed on Sundays and Monday through Wednesday.

16. There are a Few Satellite Television Operators

The movie networks broadcast films that are antiquated and out of date. Many of them moved directly to video when they returned to the United States. Every comedy that was a failure in the United States has been acquired and is being broadcast here. Old episodes of Knight Rider are marketed as though they are the most amazing thing that has ever happened to mankind. Because the television ads are repeated so frequently, I am resolved not to purchase anything offered on television in this country just for the sake of principle.

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It is not uncommon to have to drive 10 minutes out of the way in order to perform a U-turn. People are unable to provide instructions the majority of the time (remember reason1), and maps are of little assistance because they do not have road names or have only a few of them. What is the location of interchange number four? The only thing you can do is hope you got on the motorway in the correct spot and start counting because they are not numbered on the freeway. If you miss it, you’ll most likely find up on the other side of town before you have the opportunity to turn around and return.

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Cab drivers work really hard to make a livelihood in this country because, despite the fact that the cost of living is rising, travel by taxi is still quite affordable (see reason7). As a result, you may find yourself with a driver who has had little sleep or had no time to shower for many days. In addition to having just as much difficulty finding their way about as you do, many of these drivers have a driving style reminiscent of a third-world nation and are extremely exhausted. Please remember to strap up for your own protection.

19. Speeding is an Emirati sport and Emirates Road is Just an Extension of the Dubai Autodrome

I know I keep bringing up the subject of the roads, but the fact is that many of the city’s problems can be traced back to the chaotic and illogical behavior that is demonstrated on its streets. As I pull into the highway, visions of flashing lights on even flashier, limo-tinted SUVs plague me. Somehow, locals are able to obtain the sun-blocking black window tint that we lowly foreigners are refused, and they use it to conceal their faces while they tailgate you ceaselessly at ridiculously high speeds, their lights flashing constantly on and off and their horn blasting constantly.

Don’t even consider giving someone the middle finger; doing so might result in you being arrested and sentenced to prison.

20. Dubai is Far From Environmentally Friendly

You’ve probably wondered how much harm those man-made islands are causing to the fragile maritime environment. A deluge of dredged up sea sand has engulfed coral reefs, seagrass beds, and oyster beds that were formerly part of protected marine areas, causing them to become strangled. When you combine the garbage generated by the construction of structures on top of these sand monsters and the waste generated by the people who live in them with the lack of an effective recycling program, you have the makings of an environmental disaster on your hands.

The fact that there are more gas-guzzling SUVs on the road than fuel-efficient vehicles, as well as the necessity for strong air conditioning that is available 24 hours a day, makes it clear that the environment is not a top priority in the United Arab Emirates.

20 Reasons Not to Move to Dubai (In No Particular Order)

Apart from tax incentives, multi-cultural surroundings, and gorgeous skyscrapers, I’m sure there are many advantages to living in Dubai. But if any of the reasons listed above resonate with you, I strongly advise you to reconsider your decision to relocate to this city. Dubai is a metropolis that is suffering from an identity problem. With its head stuck somewhere between its ambition to be a playground for the wealthy and its allegiance to traditional Islamic traditions, the city of Karachi struggles to maintain its delusions of grandeur while lacking the necessary infrastructure to sustain them.

If you are looking for the ideal location to call home, please contact our officeHERE, and we would be delighted to discuss your future plans with you.

Check read this post to check if you qualify for the quickest and most straightforward resident visa in history.

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Visa Options in Dubai

UAE’s Dubai is a significant corporate hub and economic capital of the Middle East, and it is located in the country’s United Arab Emirates. As a result, numerous multinational firms and enterprises have flocked to the region in order to establish a foothold. The rich tend to follow the businesses wherever they go. Tourism increases in areas where the rich congregate. From 2010 to 2016, the number of annual overnight visitors to Dubai climbed considerably, rising from 8.41 million to 14.87 million people each year.

Let’s take a look at the most common visa options for expats moving to Dubai.


Citizens of certain countries will not be required to apply for a visa in advance of their travel to Dubai, instead receiving one upon arrival at Dubai International Airport. Despite the fact that they would not be permitted to seek paid job in the nation, persons will be able to live abroad in Dubai for tourism reasons for a maximum of 30 or 90 days in a calendar year.

Countries Granted 30-Day Tourist Visas on Arrival

Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, The Vatican, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Russia are among the countries that have signed the agreement.

Countries Granted 90-Day Tourist Visas on Arrival

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland are among the countries that have joined the EU. Anyone planning to live overseas for an extended period of time, such as in Dubai, will require a residency visa, regardless of whether they are traveling for business or pleasure.

A fantastic podcast from Gunnar Garfors, host of the Expat Money Show, who has traveled to every nation on the planet twice.

Work Visa

If you want to be able to prolong your stay in Dubai beyond the 30-day and 90-day visas that are available to you while working overseas, you have a few possibilities. If you would want to go to Dubai in order to look for a potential employer, you can do so under the terms of a tourist visa. Even if you have gotten a job offer and an employment contract, you will not be allowed to legally work unless you have obtained a work permit from the appropriate government agency (Labor Card). In certain cases, a tourist visa can be changed to a work visa while still in Dubai (provided both the hiring procedure and the application/processing of the work permit are completed within the tourist visa schedule), but in most cases, persons must leave the nation in order to apply for a work permit.

They must first apply for a work visa in their home country before traveling.

Requirements for a Work Visa

A valid passport with at least six months remaining before the date of your intended arrival in Dubai (plus additional passport-style photographs), a health certificate, copies of your employment contract, a curriculum vitae detailing your educational and work experience, and a Dubai sponsor who holds a valid trade license are all required in order to submit a successful application for a work visa to live abroad in Dubai.

This will offer you an Entry Permit, which will allow you to reside or remain in Dubai while your employer/sponsor submits an application for your specific Labor Card to the government.

In most cases, this sponsor will be your employer in Dubai, who will assist you in filing the work visa application on your behalf.

Please keep in mind that if you are seeking for any other sort of visa, you will still require a sponsor.

Sponsors other than your employer are acceptable, and they include tourism enterprises and hotels, relatives and friends who are UAE residents or nationals, and local groups with which you are affiliated.


Due to the fact that Dubai does not provide permanent residence or citizenship to foreigners and that the working age for expats is capped at 65, finding out how to legally retire abroad in Dubai while not working can be difficult at best. The most advantageous method is to become eligible for an investment visa (see below). Funding an already-existing firm in the UAE, creating your own company in Dubai, or acquiring permitted real estate are all options for accomplishing this goal.

Dependency Visa

If you have a non-dependent kid who is working in the UAE and has a valid residency permit, they may be able to qualify you for a dependency visa so that you can accompany them to their place of residence. The visa is authorized and/or renewed on an individual case-by-case basis with the UAE government, although in general, sponsors must earn a minimum of $65,000 USD each year in order to qualify.

Investment Visa

Because there is no means for foreigners to get permanent residency or citizenship in the United Arab Emirates, there is no such thing as a genuine Golden Visa. Foreign investors, on the other hand, can acquire a three-year, renewable temporary residence permit that allows them to live abroad for an extended period of time in Dubai without having to look for work.

Business Investment

To be eligible, investors must make a donation to the UAE government in the amount of 10,000 AED (about $2,700 USD) and demonstrate that they have considerable finances to invest in a UAE firm or to start their own that employs UAE people. The firm must be based in a free-trade zone, and each zone has its own set of minimums and conditions for qualifying startup fees and business formation that must be met.

Real Estate Investment

Foreign investors who wish to purchase property in Dubai as a means of obtaining residency in the country will be required to purchase real estate worth at least 1,000,000 AED (approximately $272,000 USD) and demonstrate a monthly overseas income of at least 10,000 AED ($2,700 USD) (through investments, pensions, and other sources). If the property is jointly held, the total shared value must be greater than one million AED; however, various property values cannot be bundled into a single application if the property is jointly owned.

An estimated $1,400 USD in additional costs for bringing a spouse and dependent children is required to cover the complete application procedure for residence via investment.

Perks of Investing in Dubai

Personal income, corporate income, property income, and capital gains tax shall not be levied on those who get a resident permit in Dubai through investment.

Permanent Residency and Citizenship

Unfortunately for expatriates considering a transfer to Dubai, permanent residency and UAE citizenship are not available to foreigners in the United Arab Emirates. To be able to stay in the nation continuously, you’ll need to renew your temporary residence visa every 2-3 years and continue to complete the conditions. At the moment, only individuals who are born to a biological father who holds UAE citizenship are eligible to apply for a passport in the country. It will be necessary for children of expats who are born in Dubai to seek for temporary residence through their parents within three months of their birth.

Mikkel Thorup hosts The Expat Money Show on CBC Radio.

Follow Mikkel Thorup on Twitter @ThorupMikkel for the latest updates.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office by clicking HERE.

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In the unfortunate case of expatriates wishing to relocate to Dubai, permanent residency and citizenship in the UAE are not available to them. Keeping your temporary residence visa valid for more than two years and satisfying the conditions will allow you to remain in the nation forever. In order to receive a passport in the United Arab Emirates, one must be born to a biological father who holds UAE citizenship. Children of expats who are born in Dubai will be required to apply for temporary residence through their parents within three months of the birth of their children.

  • A conversation with Mikkel Thorup on the topic of international money.
  • in addition to following Mikkel Thorup on Twitter at @ThorupMikkel.
  • For any further information, please contact our office by clicking HERE.
  • Please read them with pleasure!
  • These are the three best Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
  • There are five things you should know before traveling to Dubai from another country.

Living in the UAE: 21 Things to Know Before You Move

Unfortunately for expatriates considering a transfer to Dubai, permanent residency and UAE citizenship are not available to them. In order to live in the nation continuously, you’ll need to renew your temporary residence visa every 2-3 years and continue to satisfy all of the conditions. At the moment, only individuals born to a biological father who holds UAE citizenship are eligible to apply for a passport in the country. Children of expats who are born in Dubai will be required to seek for temporary residence through their parents within three months of their birth.

  • Mikkel Thorup hosts The Expat Money Show.
  • in addition to following Mikkel Thorup on Twitter (@ThorupMikkel).
  • If you have any questions, you may reach out to our office by clicking HERE.
  • Where Do You Want to Work?

How to move to Dubai: Step-by-step guide

No matter if you’re starting a new career or embarking on an exciting trip, Dubai is unlike any other location on the planet. In this comprehensive relocation guide, you’ll discover all you need to know about what it’s like to live in Dubai, from the basics to more advanced topics.

You’ll discover information on securing new housing and work, as well as instructions on how to set up bank accounts and health insurance, as well as information on the normal cost of living.

Living in Dubai – quick stats:

No matter if you’re starting a new career or embarking on an exciting trip, Dubai is unlike any other location in the world. Within the pages of this comprehensive relocation book, you will discover all there is to know about living in Dubai, from the basics to the more advanced aspects. Instructions on how to locate new housing and work, as well as instructions on how to set up bank accounts and health insurance, are included below. You’ll also discover information on the average cost of living.

  • Total population: 2.8 million
  • Total land area: 1,500 square miles
  • Capital: Dubai
  • Total population: 2.8 million Dirhams, often known as ‘Dhs’ or ‘AED,’ are the currency of the United Arab Emirates. Expats from the United States account for 50,000 of the total
  • Expats from Australia account for 16,000
  • And expats from the United Kingdom account for 240,000. Arabic is the official language, however English is frequently spoken as well
  • Weather: During the summer months, Dubai is extremely hot and humid, however it is significantly cooler at night. Temperatures can reach 54 degrees Celsius (129 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summer and 10 to 16 degrees Celsius (50 to 61 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter, depending on the time of year. The city of Dubai may be separated from the Emirate of Dubai
  • Dubai is the largest city inside the Emirate of Dubai
  • And the city of Abu Dhabi is the second-largest city within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Conventions: Because Dubai is a Muslim city, the customs and etiquette may differ significantly from what you are accustomed to at home. In order to avoid getting into problems with local law enforcement, it is recommended that you dress modestly, abstain from being intoxicated or rowdy, and limit shows of love such as embracing or kissing to a bare minimum while in public. The average wage for a teacher is Dhs 15,000 per month, for an architect it is Dhs 25,000 per month, for a project manager it is Dhs 35,000 per month, and for an engineer it is Dhs 25,000 per month.

Step 1: Figure out the legal requirements to move to Dubai

Before relocating to Dubai, it is critical to ensure that all of your documentation is in order. If you’re a citizen of the United Kingdom, you’ll need a passport that’s valid for at least six months beyond the date of your admission. The validity of your passport must be at least three months longer than the duration of your residence permit if you already have one for the nation. For visitors arriving from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada or most of Europe, a visa on arrival is not required.

  • The government offers a number of different sorts of visas that will allow you to remain in the country for an extended period of time or permanently.
  • If you do have a job lined up, your company will most likely take care of all of the paperwork for your work visa and work permit.
  • If your case is more complicated, it’s a good idea to consult with the official General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs office in Dubai.
  • You must also provide documentation that you earn at least Dhs 10,000 per month in order to secure an admission visa for your family members if you intend to bring them with you to Dubai.
  • Your hotel or tourism company, a potential place of work, or a friend or family member who is a permanent resident of the United Arab Emirates are all examples of what you may do.

Requirements for Australian, American, EU, and UK citizens

Citizens of Australia, the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States are permitted to visit Dubai for a period of 30 days without making prior arrangements. You will be given a 30-day visit visa when you disembark from your aircraft once it has been stamped in your passport upon arrival. A residence visa is necessary if you want to remain longer than the duration of your visa. A job offer, a family member who resides in Dubai, or completing certain additional requirements can all help you get your visa processed quickly and easily.

An investor resident visa is also available. If you invest Dhs 70,000 (£14,500) in a UAE firm and pay a Dhs 300 fee, you will be eligible to acquire a three-year residency permit.

Requirements for students

Students in the United Arab Emirates are required to get a student visa, which is typically valid for one year. It is possible to renew it on a yearly basis via their program of study. Students must submit a passport, pictures, a letter of admission to a UAE educational institution, as well as a tenancy agreement, if they have one, in order to be granted a visa to study in the UAE. In addition, applicants for this visa may be needed to submit to a security check as well as a medical exam to screen for TB, HIV, and hepatitis B or C infection.

Step 2: Make sure you can afford the cost of living in Dubai

For the most part, the cost of living in Dubai is far cheaper than the cost of living in places such as London or New York. Here are some basic costs of living in Dubai for the average person:

Good or service in Dubai Approximate cost
Average Monthly Rent Dhs 7,300
Fuel Dhs 6.89 per gallon
Average Restaurant Meal Dhs 30
Cinema Ticket Dhs 35

Step 3: Set up your finances in Dubai

The process of opening a bank account in Dubai is rather straightforward. There are around 45 commercial banks in the United Arab Emirates from which to pick. There are also a few bank branches from other parts of the world, including London, Germany, and China. To open a checking account, you must be a resident of the UAE, although certain banks may let non-UAE citizens to create a savings account. A copy of your passport, as well as any residency or work permits, will be required, as will a letter from your current employer verifying your pay, if you do not already have one.

Step 4: Find a job and get to work in Dubai

Working in Dubai may be a financially rewarding experience no matter where you come from in the globe. Because there is no personal income tax in the United States, net income is often significantly higher than in other nations. The weekly day of rest in a Muslim nation is Friday, and some businesses operate from Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday serving as their weekends. In the month of Ramadan, working hours are shortened to six hours; nonetheless, an usual workday is from 8:30 a.m.

Many new workers in Dubai are recruited from abroad by head-hunters or employment agencies, thus it is essential that you locate job before arriving in the city.

  • Recruitment agencies in the United Arab Emirates, Caterer Global, GoToGulf (a job board for Gulf nations, including Dubai and the United Arab Emirates), Gulflancer (an online job recruiter for the Middle East), and others.

Step 5: Get a place to live in Dubai

When relocating to a new nation, finding a place to live may be a scary prospect. The majority of firms in Dubai will either offer housing or have additional living expenses written into their contracts for new employees. It’s also fairly unusual for people to choose to buy a house rather than rent one. If you’re renting an apartment or a condo, many of them will likely come equipped, but it’s not impossible to locate a property that doesn’t include furnishings. Most landlords will need you to pay either six months or a full year’s worth of rent in advance, so be prepared to make a significant financial commitment.

The Arabian Ranches also have an excellent reputation for having well-built residences, which may be found at the higher end of the market price spectrum.

There are certain districts that are a little less pricey, such as The Lakes, The Meadows, and The Springs. There’s always room in the suburbs if you’re willing to make the lengthy trip down the famed Sheikh Zayed Road, which is the longest motorway in the UAE.

Step 6: Make sure your healthcare is covered in Dubai

There are public hospitals in Dubai that provide services at no cost or at a very cheap cost to citizens. A health card, which may be obtained through the Department of Health and Medical Services, will be required if you wish to be treated at one of these hospitals. Employers in Dubai are required to offer health insurance coverage for their workers, and sponsors are required to get health insurance coverage for their resident dependants in Dubai. If you don’t already have insurance coverage from your place of residence, you’ll have a few options to choose from while shopping for insurance.

Step 7: If you haven’t already, learn the language

The official language of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. The majority of the population, on the other hand, speaks English. Because of the large number of foreign guests, you’ll also hear Hindi, Chinese, and Urdu being spoken very often. Online Arabic lessons are accessible for free if you wish to brush up on your Arabic language skills. Learners frequently resort to Duolingo or Madinah Arabic for assistance. Local language programs are also available at colleges and schools in the surrounding area of Dubai.

Step 8: Don’t be lonely – make friends and get in touch with other expats in Dubai

You’ll discover a variety of forums and gatherings in Dubai where you may make friends with other expats:

  • A general forum for expats living in Dubai
  • A British Expats in the Middle East forum
  • Americans in the UAE Meetup
  • Dubai Aussie Meetup
  • InterNations for Australians living in Dubai
  • And many more.

Step 9: Make sure you’re prepared with important contacts in Dubai in case of an emergency

The following are the most significant emergency numbers in Dubai:

  • Important emergency contacts in Dubai are listed below:

When it comes to travel, there is no other location like Dubai, which attracts visitors from all over the world. Moving to another nation involves several steps that must be completed, but the effort is well worth it if you’re seeking for a new adventure in a different culture. This book is offered solely for general informational reasons and is not designed to cover every element of the issues included in it. It is not intended to be comprehensive. It is not meant to be construed as advise on which you should base your decisions.

TransferWise Limited and its affiliates make no representation that the material contained in this publication constitutes legal, tax, or other professional advice.

Neither we nor any third parties make any representations, warranties, or guarantees, whether stated or implied, that the information contained in this book is accurate, complete, or current.

Pros and Cons of Moving to Dubai from the UK

For British expats, Dubai is a desirable area to live and work. Every year, hundreds of British citizens travel to Dubai in search of better work opportunities, and it is believed that 240,000 British expats currently live in the country. Dubai is a popular destination for expats from all over the world, with more than 200,000 new residents arriving each year. Many individuals choose to relocate to Dubai and live the expat lifestyle despite the high cost of living for some. The enormous supply of attractive housing units, good wages, and cheap taxes are all factors that encourage people to relocate to Dubai and live the expat lifestyle.

In reality, just 15% of the city’s people are Emirati, with the remainder consisting primarily of migrant laborers and foreigners. Whatever the reason for your consideration of relocating to Dubai in 2022, the following are some advantages and disadvantages to consider.

The Pros of Moving to Dubai

For eight months out of the year, the weather in Dubai is ideal. The long hot days are dominated by cloudless blue skies, and the nearby mild sea waters are ideal for cooling down in the summer heat.

Job Opportunities

Numerous big worldwide firms have established a presence in Dubai, resulting in numerous employment possibilities for foreigners.

No Income Tax

Every penny of money you generate in Dubai is exempt from taxation.

Good Education

It is important to note that the educational standards for foreign schools in Dubai are quite high. Many of the schools follow the British educational system, with the National Curriculum of England being taught in the elementary schools and IGCSE and A-Level degrees being provided at the upper secondary level in many cases.

Vibrant Social Life

Dubai’s social scene is both diversified and remarkable in every way. Expats who live in Dubai often join a private beach club and spend a significant amount of their non-working hours taking use of all of the amenities that are available, while others join one of the many sports clubs that are available in the emirate. In addition, there is a diverse selection of clubs, pubs, and restaurants to choose from in the evening, with a diverse selection of cuisines to suit every taste and budget.


Over the years, Dubai has grown increasingly accessible, with its international airport serving as a hub for flights to and from the majority of the world’s main cities.

English is Widely Spoken

Despite the fact that Arabic is the official language of Dubai, English is frequently spoken as well.

High Standard of Living

Living standards in Dubai are quite good, crime rates are extremely low, and shopping opportunities are many and varied (and mostly tax-free).

Low Transport Costs

Because of the exceptionally low price of gasoline in Dubai, it is quite economical to operate a car in the city. Taxi prices are also reasonably priced, and the government is making a significant investment in modernizing public transit infrastructure.

Accepting of Other Religions

Despite the fact that Islam is the official religion of Dubai, the emirate is extremely accommodating of people of all faiths and beliefs. It is considered to be one of the most moderate places in the world when it comes to implementing Islamic law to everyday life. During Ramadan, expats can purchase alcoholic drinks in Dubai and dine and drink as long as it is still light outside.

The Cons of Moving to Dubai

For expats, especially when they first come in Dubai, the bureaucracy may be a major hassle. Permits are required for a variety of activities in the emirate, including employment, driving, and the purchasing of alcoholic drinks, among others.

Premarital Cohabitation

While Dubai is a liberal country in most respects, there is one area where it might be troublesome for some – it is prohibited for unmarried couples to reside together in the same house or on the same floor.

Rent Can be Expensive

The cost of renting an apartment may be too high if you are moving from a rural location of the United Kingdom rather than from Central London.

The average rental price for a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai is around £1,200 (compared to approximately £1,800 in London), while the average rental price for a three-bedroom apartment is approximately £2,200.


In the case of a move from a regional location of the United Kingdom rather than from Central London, you may find that rents are too high. For a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai, the average rental price is around £1,200 (compared to approximately £1,800 in London), while the average rental price for a three-bedroom apartment is approximately £2,200 (see table below).

Intense Heat

Because the weather may be quite hot from June through September, many expats choose to take their vacations during those months and go to a more moderate location. At the end of the day, it is up to you to determine whether or not living in Dubai is for you. Start by contacting us, learning more about our international removals services, or just requesting a quotation to get the ball rolling on your move to Dubai.

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