Why High Income Euro Expats Are Choosing Dubai, Not U.S? (TOP 5 Tips)

Do expats pay income tax in Dubai?

  • Expats who relocate long-term to Dubai can legitimately earn their salary free from income tax. No income tax in Dubai is a big deal for many professionals, plus there are some additional tax advantages and some pitfalls as well.

Is Dubai better than USA?

The cost of living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is high compared to the US and the rest of the world. An example of costs that expats tell us all the time is you must pay rent for the year upfront. Even though the cost of living is higher, expats say their increased wages affords them a higher quality of life.

Do US citizens get paid more in Dubai?

On average a person earns AED 16,775 per month in Dubai, this is roughly 4570 in Dollars. Which is attractively higher than the average salary in the United States of 3900$ per month.

Why do expats move to Dubai?

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.

What is a good salary for an expat in Dubai?

Expats in Dubai earn more than any other city in the Mena region and also higher than most of the global cities. According to the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey released on Monday, average salary for expats in Dubai is $138,177 (Dh507,110) per annum, ranking the emirate at No. 11 among top 30 global cities.

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 Mumbai better than Dubai?

The crime rate in Mumbai is quite high, and is definitely made worse by the poverty that is rampant in the city. For those expats looking to maintain an expat lifestyle away from home, Dubai is the better choice, as most expats experience less of a cultural shock than in Mumbai.

Do Europeans earn more in Dubai?

European expatriates top the annual income survey in Dubai followed by Emiratis and Arab households. The average annual income of Europeans is Dh172,000 and the monthly average is Dh14,003, according to a household expenditure and income survey by Dubai Statistics Centre.

Are there poor people in Dubai?

The UAE is one of the top ten richest countries in the world, and yet a large percentage of the population lives in poverty — an estimated 19.5 percent. Poverty in the UAE can be seen in the labor conditions of the working class. Migrants come to Dubai looking for work and send remittances back to their families.

Can a US citizen move to 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.

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.

Is moving to Dubai a good idea?

Dubai can be a good place for those who love to work in a multicultural environment with numerous opportunities to work in a highly progressing environment. Besides offering good business and career opportunities, this city also possesses a rich history you can explore.

Is living in Dubai worth it?

For those who want to advance their careers, earn a tax-free salary, and live in one of the most exciting and vibrant locations in the world – Dubai is a top place to move to. Expats who relocate long-term to Dubai can legitimately earn their salary free from income tax.

Why are salaries low in Dubai?

According to some HR agencies, in the UAE, the lowest paying job salaries are marketing and teaching having less percentage of applicants than other professional fields, nearly a 60% dropped in these fields, this means, there has been a difference in the applications between January and April or May for example.

Why The World’s Wealthy Have Quietly Moved To Dubai

On the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, there is a tennis court. Photographs courtesy of Getty Images A IT entrepreneur from the West Coast of the United States just came in Dubai for the first time. His entourage consisted of his family, their family office, and a fleet of 30 luxury automobiles. Everything a millionaire needs to begin his or her new life in Dubai is available. “I feel really secure leaving my children here.” Los Angeles isn’t the same place it used to be. Since Covid, there has been an increase in crime,” claims the entrepreneur in his mid-50s who did not want to be identified.

After some searching, a villa on its own private land was discovered.

Similarly, establishing a family office was not uncomplicated.

“We’ve had to raise the wage for an E.A.

  • During the epidemic, a large number of expats returned to their native countries.
  • When it comes to property purchases in Dubai this year, Kohyar thinks that 20 billionaires have done so, and Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty has witnessed a roughly 300 percent increase in business compared to the same period last year.
  • In part, this was due to the selling of multiple Dh 100 million ($27 million) homes in Dubai Hills Grove, which contributed to the increase of 124 percent in villa sales.
  • “We’ve already completed nine of them this year,” explains Kohyar.
  • “Nowadays, individuals are purchasing these luxurious residences in order to live in them with their family,” says the author.
  • There is no patience among buyers for the completion of new construction projects.
  • A Rolls Royce at Dubai International Airport.

Kohyar claims that the majority of his clientele are from major European nations such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Germany.

Singapore and Hong Kong, according to other recruiters, are experiencing an increase in interest.

Vaccines were distributed rapidly to Dubai’s three million citizens, P.C.R.

“We’re busier today than we were before Covid.” “This will continue for as long as Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States are unable to get their acts together when it comes to dealing with the Covid crisis,” adds Clark.

Thousands of highly qualified expatriates began returning home as employment dried up, the cost of living skyrocketed, and they were concerned about being stuck in a foreign country.

Expats carried their enterprises, riches, and entertainment with them to their new home.

The Cartier International Dubai Polo Challenge, held at the Desert Palm Hotel in Dubai, included camels from the Cartier collection.

Despite the fact that the 10-year residence visa was just introduced in 2019, it has already been granted to top students, prominent businesspeople, and award-winning performers since the beginning of this year.

Raghad Muaiyad Asseid Danawi, a 17-year-old Jordanian student at Dubai’s Qatr Al Nada School, was one among those who perished in the attack.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) made 100,000 golden visas available to computer developers the same month.

In addition to students and computer coders, the United Arab Emirates has begun issuing golden visas to actresses and other performers.

Najwa Karam, a Lebanese singer, has been granted a Golden Visa that will last for ten years.

They can also obtain a golden visa for a sum of Dh 10 million ($2.7 million).

However, the absence of income tax in the United Arab Emirates is undoubtedly the most tempting feature of the country.

Moreover, if they start relocating their enterprises or family offices to this area, they are more likely to remain, according to Kohyar: ‘This rise right now is more personal in nature, it’s more rounded, and we believe it will be lot more sustainable in the long run because individuals are migrating here with their families and with their companies, which ensures that they will remain.’

Is the UAE still a high-paid expat haven?

Is the United Arab Emirates still a high-paying expat haven? (Image courtesy of Getty Images) ) Despite the fact that the country has long been regarded as a haven for highly compensated international experts, individuals on the ground say things aren’t exactly as they used to be. A Alison Simmonds returned to the United Kingdom in March after spending the previous two years in the United Arab Emirates. Having worked in the region for several years, the communications expert decided to relocate permanently to Dubai in January 2016 in quest of some sunshine and a more active social life in the city.

Her take-home income was larger than in the United Kingdom because she did not have to pay tax, but she had little job security because she was on a short-term contract.

Simmonds, 45, began looking for a new work eight weeks before her contract was set to terminate.

“I would like to return at some point in the future, but it does not appear like the moment is appropriate at this time.” As a result of the exodus, many highly qualified individuals with extensive experience and talent are finding it difficult to find new opportunities.” This is known as the “Employers’ market.” Millions of expatriate workers of different levels and countries live in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, attracted by the country’s tax-free salary and year-round sunlight.

  1. It is estimated that a majority of foreigners live in the main business centres of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  2. The city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has earned a reputation as a haven for well-heeled international professionals.
  3. It was formerly recognized as a destination where professionals could make high incomes and comprehensive benefits packages that included housing, education, healthcare, automobiles and travel.
  4. This enabled wise expatriates to save, while others were able to indulge in a luxurious lifestyle.
  5. In spite of a resurgence in global oil prices in 2018, Keren Uziyel, an analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, says that economic growth remains sluggish.
  6. According to Uziyel, the introduction of 5 percent VAT in January — an attempt by the government to close income shortages caused by decreased oil prices – has fostered the notion that the UAE is becoming a more expensive corporate location.
  7. On paper, the UAE’s GDP growth for 2019 is forecast at a healthy 3.7 percent, according to the IMF.

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images) ) Dubai, according to a recent report published in the Wall Street Journal, is undergoing a “White Collar Recession.” Although one local economist believes this is an overstatement and believes the economy is still “cautiously enthusiastic” about its development, he acknowledges that the economy is undergoing a “correction” as it matures.

  • It was revealed in his agency’s 2018 Salary and Employment Report that a third of the employers questioned claimed they were cutting back on their workforce.
  • In order to sustain personnel, Greaves adds that some companies are reducing pay to keep up with the competition.
  • “The work market in the UAE has changed significantly,” says Rohini Gill, a partner at Dubai-based human resource management firm GGC Consultancy.
  • “There has been a significant shift,” she explains.

Because of the high expense of living in this area, it is no longer economically feasible for many individuals to remain here.” In addition, there is fierce competition: In the opinion of Gill, a single job advertisement may generate up to 5,000 applications, with many of the applicants from from South East Asia and having lower income expectations.

She explains that the employment market is “very lethargic” at the present and that “I know a lot of individuals who are leaving because they can’t find work, or at least jobs that pay enough.” Every job I’ve seen so far appears to be providing between 25% and 30% less than I am now earning, which is not feasible when we have school fees and health insurance premiums to pay.

  1. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images) ) In comparison to the past, the UAE is no longer seen as a haven for those looking to make quick money.
  2. Nevertheless, he feels that things have “swung too far in the other direction,” stating that “what corporations want and what they are willing to pay for are two very different things.” Since relocating to Dubai ten years ago, the 45-year-old has held six different positions.
  3. He also went through a 14-month period of unemployment before landing his current work.
  4. His wife was also laid off during her maternity leave, which added to the stress on the family.
  5. According to him, “if you’ve been here for a time, you’ll need an escape strategy.” “It takes a toll on your emotional well-being.” Workers at a lower cost?
  6. The 28-year-old recent graduate is currently working as a marketing manager for a major hotel chain.
  7. Some Western expats consider individuals like Bhatti to be a danger since they are ready to take lower wages in exchange for greater flexibility.

In her experience, Indian nationals with MBAs are willing to work as financial assistants for AED7,000 ($1,900, £1,480) per month in tasks that were previously performed by Europeans, some of whom were unqualified and earning double the salary of the Indians.

“I am grateful to have a job, but it is expensive to live in this city, and I am unable to send much money back home to my family,” she explains.

“It’s still a desirable location to work, even if employers aren’t offering inflated compensation packages,” he adds of the economy.

When the global financial crisis hit in 2009, Dubai was one of the most high-profile cities to be hit.

A series of stimulus measures totaling more than US$13 billion have been unveiled by the government in response to the latest economic slowdown.

These measures should make it a more appealing place to do business and assist businesses in maintaining – or even increasing – headcount.

According to Gill, “you must complete your homework before taking a position out here.” “It’s a costly area, and we know folks who have come out intending to save but have found themselves spending down their funds simply to pay their expenditures,” says one.

“I would not suggest someone to go out looking for job unless they had a big financial cushion, since you will soon go into debt if you don’t have one.” “Although the days of Dubai’s roadways being paved with gold had passed by the time I came in 2016, I would now declare that gold has crossed the horizon and is no longer in sight.” If you have any comments or questions about this story or anything else you’ve seen on BBC Capital, please post them on our Facebook page or send us a message on Twitter.

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

Whilst the bustling metropolises of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are constantly entertaining, the smaller emirates each have their own distinct charms that are well worth visiting – not least for their incredibly Instagrammable scenery. There’s also Fujairah, which has magnificent countryside and mountains and is home to the Al Badiyah Mosque, which was erected more than 650 years ago and is still in use. In addition to Ajman, which is mostly an agricultural region, there’s also Dubai. Even though foreigners are barred from purchasing land or controlling a majority of any company in the country, they are permitted to participate in a variety of watersports like as windsurfing, water skiing, and diving.

If you want to visit Sharjah, be aware that the law mandates everyone to dress modestly and that drinking in public is prohibited (and only privately if you have a licence).

For those who don’t care about any of that, Sharjah boasts everything from a vintage automobile museum to a castle and an aquarium – and for those who are more interested in exploring nature, there’s a mangrove forest, a coastal promenade, and a stunning bird of prey center to visit.

The emirate is home to a spectacular 18th century fort and ancient buildings, as well as a water park covering 250,000m2 and accommodating 10,000 visitors every day.

Dubai Laws Expats Need to Know

Exorbitant wages and ultra-luxurious lives. it should come as no surprise that Dubai is a desirable destination for many foreigners. In reality, expatriates and migrant workers account for 85 percent of Dubai’s population. Men also outnumber women by a three-to-one margin. Even just looking at these figures, it’s clear that expat life in Dubai is considerably different from living in many other major tourist destinations worldwide. When compared to the majority of Europe and North America, Dubai and the rest of the United Arab Emirates have a very distinct political structure from each other.

Although the restrictions may appear tough to foreigners, the locals are often sympathetic of the fact that you may not be aware of what is considered appropriate behavior.

In the event that you produce a disturbance, things might rapidly get severe.

Generally speaking, the society is quite conservative, therefore avoid engaging in any activity that might be interpreted as insulting. Expatriates considering relocating to Dubai or other regions of the United Arab Emirates should familiarize themselves with the following five laws.

Alcohol Consumption in Dubai

Drinking alcoholic beverages is prohibited in Dubai, with the exception of hotel bars and restaurants. If you’re an expat who enjoys drinking alcohol, these are the only places you may go where it’s OK to consume alcoholic drinks without being arrested. Drinking is seen quite differently in Dubai’s Islamic culture than it is in most Western countries. Keep in mind that being intoxicated in public is against the law. As a result, it is prudent to maintain discretion and avoid being overly intoxicated.

Another no-no is the use of illegal narcotics.

Kissing in Public and PDA

In Dubai, public shows of affection are frowned upon, even in expat pubs where it is acceptable. Ensure that kissing and snuggling in public places is kept to a minimal, as these might be deemed indecent activities, which are prohibited under UAE legislation. Because homosexuality is also illegal in the United States, you should exercise extreme caution if you are dating or living with someone of the same sex. When it comes to members of the LGBTQ community, Dubai is not exactly a welcoming environment.

However, even for those who are interested in the other sex, it is important to be cautious of your activities.

Dubai Clothing Restrictions

Dubai’s culture is quite conservative, especially when it comes to women. Women should dress in a conservative manner and avoid wearing any attire that might be considered exposing. Keep in mind that the “business casual” dress code should be followed in general. Clothing should be long enough to cover the stomach, shoulders, and back. No shorter than a short sleeve shirt and no shorter than a skirt that falls below the knees should be worn by females on formal occasions. Long slacks and a collared shirt are the standard attire for guys.

A breach of the legislation can result in a one-month jail sentence with deportation if it is repeated.

Sex Outside of Marriage in Dubai

Extramarital sex is completely forbidden in Dubai, despite the fact that the country’s drinking and dress regulations are less stringent for expats. You must use caution when choosing a place to stay and with whom you stay, regardless of whether you are an expat or a visitor on a short holiday. There have been reports of a British couple being detained for reportedly having a sexual connection in their own hotel room, according to reports. In 2017, an unmarried couple on vacation in Abu Dhabi went to the clinic because the lady was suffering stomach problems, which the doctor treated.

Especially if you are single, bear this anecdote in mind before traveling to or relocating to Dubai. If you are married, you might consider bringing a copy of your marriage certificate with you to avoid any misunderstandings.

Photography in Certain Areas

When you’re out in public, keep your camera in your pocket. The taking of photographs of locals without their consent is strictly prohibited. There are even certain government buildings where taking photographs of the exterior is strictly prohibited. If you do snap images of these structures, please do not post them on social media. If UAE authorities come across this, they will immediately assume it is evidence of a crime. Posing for photographs on the streets of Dubai is not a smart idea unless you are certain that it is safe to do so.

Many expats like the warm environment and richness of the region, but you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not these benefits exceed the social restraints.

Before moving to Dubai, like you would with any other expat location, do your homework so that you are aware of the activities that are available to you and the activities that are not available to you once you arrive.

  • Understanding the Cost of Living in Dubai
  • Work Visas in Dubai
  • Health Insurance in Dubai
  • Understanding the Cost of Living in Dubai
  • Understanding the Cost of Living in Dubai Five Points to Keep in Mind If You Want to Move Abroad
  • The world’s most expensive cities are listed below. Learn to live as an Expat in a Happy City
  • The Difficulties of Relocating Abroad

Who needs expats?

Work Visas in Dubai; Health Insurance in Dubai; and other topics include: Understanding the Cost of Living in Dubai; Work Visas in Dubai; and other topics. How to Become an Expat: Five Points to Keep in Mind Listed below are the world’s most expensive cities. Acquire residency in a happy city as a foreigner. Moving to a foreign country has unique challenges.

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

Expats from the United States can work in Dubai as long as they have the proper visa in place — and they must remain working in order to maintain their visa, unless they are in the nation on a spouse visa. The construction and real estate sectors, tourism and hospitality, technology, and finance are among the most important in Dubai. 5 There is little chance that the process of getting a job in Dubai will be very different from what you are accustomed to.

It is, on the other hand, a very competitive environment in which to seek job. We’ve put together this guide on obtaining a job in Dubai to assist you in getting your foot in the door of the job market.

What is the average salary in Dubai?

Expatriates from the United States can work in Dubai so long as they have the proper visa in place — and they must remain working in order to maintain their visa, unless they are in the nation on a spouse visa. The building and real estate sectors, tourism and hospitality, technology, and finance are among the most important in the United Arab Emirates. 5 You should expect the procedure of looking for work in Dubai to be similar to that of your previous job hunt. The job market, on the other hand, is often quite competitive.


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.

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. The UAE takes drink driving very seriously, and you might end yourself in prison even if you do not appear to be intoxicated. For more information about driving in Dubai, please see our driving guide.

American women living in Dubai

A Western woman moving to Dubai may discover that the city’s customs are quite different from those she is accustomed to in her home country. It is recommended that women wear modestly in Dubai, with their shoulders, thighs, and midriffs covered. A minimum monthly salary of AED 10,000 (US$2,723) is required for women who wish to sponsor their family’s immigration to the country. 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.

Health Insurance In Dubai for Expatriates and Foreigners

Emirati nationals are entitled to free public health care. Medical treatment for foreigners, on the other hand, is provided separately. All citizens – foreigners and Emiratis alike – are required to carry medical insurance under new regulations adopted by the Dubai Health Authority in 2014. Additionally, the legislation demanded that corporations furnish private health insurance policies in Dubai for all of their foreign employees, regardless of their nationality. When it comes to primary medical care, the Essential Benefits Plan (also known as the EBP) is a valuable resource for expatriates and international citizens earning modest wages.

  • Employers that have workers earning more than 4,000 dirhams per month are able to pick an international health insurance plan other than the EBP for their employees.
  • Employers in Dubai are prohibited from paying a decreased wage to an employee in order to comply with low-cost EBP coverage regulations.
  • Depending on the company, some may offer family coverage, but many do not.
  • Co-payments are limited to a total of 1,000 dirhams each year.

Year-round sunshine, pool days and zero taxes: How to move to Dubai and work remotely for a year

(CNN) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is urging farmers to plant more crops in the coming year. While global business and tourism centres continue to be mostly walled off to the general public, Dubai is making it simpler than ever for overseas tourists to enter the country. Despite the fact that the once-strict resident and visitor visa regulations in the dazzling metropolis, as well as the United Arab Emirates as a whole, have been gradually relaxed in recent years, the coronavirus outbreak has hastened the pace of these reforms.

With the visa, remote workers may take advantage of the country’s cheap taxes – citizens of the UAE do not pay income tax – as well as its year-round sunlight and five-star lifestyle, according to the marketing materials.

However, Dubai is also capitalizing on a broader worldwide trend; other tourist locations, including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Estonia, Georgia, and Mauritius, have introduced similar remote working permits in response to the expanding global trend.

Tourists can enter the nation several times and stay in the country for up to 90 days on each visit, which can be extended for a total of another 90 days under the terms of the five-year visa.

Long-term destination for expats

In July 2020, sunbathers on the beaches of Dubai are photographed. AFP photo courtesy of KARIM SAHIB/Getty Images It’s the latest in a series of efforts that Dubai has launched in recent months in an attempt to establish itself as a long-term destination for expats. Previously, persons could not relocate to Dubai unless they had a job offer from a business established in the United Arab Emirates, with employers responsible for supplying two-year renewable residence permits as well as medical insurance to employees.

  • However, the first seeds of permanent residency were sowed in 2018, with the introduction of a five-year retirement visa, which marked the beginning of the process.
  • This meant that high-profile investors and entrepreneurs would be able to apply for visas valid for ten years and five years, respectively.
  • And in January of this year, probably the most significant statement of all, the government announced that foreigners will be able to apply for Emirati citizenship.
  • He claims that “the vast majority” of these applications have been accepted and issued.

As a result, Kazim believes that many of these will “transform into full-time-working virtual candidates in the coming weeks.” In reaction to the epidemic, “Dubai’s response has further enhanced its view of itself in terms of our proposal, and this is translating into a significant increase in the number of individuals who are selecting Dubai as a permanent or semi-permanent base,” Kazim explains.

‘One of my favorite cities’

The OxfordAstraZeneca vaccine is being prepared for injection by a Dubai health professional in February 2021, as shown in the photograph. AFP photo courtesy of KARIM SAHIB/Getty Images The United Arab Emirates is now spearheading one of the world’s most rapid vaccination campaigns, with the government claiming that more than half of the country’s eligible population has been vaccinated. A number of digital nomads who have filed for the remote working visa have told CNN that Dubai’s lifestyle, weather, and relative cost when compared to other expat hubs such as Singapore or Hong Kong are the primary reasons for their decision to migrate.

  1. He intended to operate remotely from the United Arab Emirates for up to a year to begin with, with the possibility of extending his stay beyond that.
  2. Perhaps we should take advantage of the opportunity to acquire vaccines while we’re there “Walsh expresses himself.
  3. Walsh submitted his visa application on February 16 and was awarded an entrance permit on March 2, according to the U.S.
  4. From there, he will have 60 days to enter the United Arab Emirates.

However, due to the introduction of a 14-day quarantine for anyone coming from overseas in Canada, as well as the comparatively expensive fees of sponsoring families in the United Arab Emirates, he has not yet been able to make it to Dubai.

The tax question

businesswoman Deeya Khemlani is certain that trading 4 p.m winter sunsets in London for year-round sunshine in Dubai is a good investment since it allows her to work from home. Khemlani, one of the creators of the fashion company Izaak Azanei, has been traveling to Dubai for business purposes for several years and is looking forward to the idea of dividing her time more permanently between the two cities in the near future. According to Khemlani, “the city truly has it all, and it’s in a perfect geographical location for me to be able to go to the nations where I need to be for work.” Khemlani had been going “back and forth” between London and Dubai on a regular basis prior to the closure of the UK travel corridor, thus she had not completed her application at that point.

“To be quite honest, Dubai is a wonderful respite during the winter months,” she says.

According to David Daly, a partner at the UAE-based Gulf Tax Accounting Group, residents of other countries who wish to receive a tax-free wage would first need to identify themselves as non-residents of their home country, which is not feasible while working full-time in that nation.

Image courtesy of GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images The issue of double taxation is then determined by the tax treaties that exist between the two countries.

Conscious decoupling

There are a few things to keep in mind while you go through this process. To be eligible for the remote working program, you must earn a minimum of $5,000 per month in order to apply. This service costs $287 per year, plus the cost of medical insurance with valid UAE coverage and a processing charge for each individual. To be eligible for a retirement visa, candidates must be 55 years or older, have valid UAE health insurance, and meet one of the following three criteria: You must have a monthly income of Dh20,000 (about $5,500), Dh1 million in cash savings, or Dh2 million in real estate in Dubai in order to qualify.

In order to recruit and keep the greatest and brightest individuals, the country’s immigration policy must give adequate alternatives, according to the author of the report.

He believes that the new remote working visas will help to further enhance Dubai’s status as a tourism destination, as well as enable it to become renowned as a “virtual workers paradise.”

4 Countries Without Income Taxes

There are a number of prominent nations that provide the financial benefit of not having to pay income tax, including Bermuda, Monaco, the Bahamas, and the United Arab Emirates, to name a few (UAE). There are a handful of nations that are free of the burden of income taxes, and many of them are really pleasant places to live. However, taking advantage of the fact that you are residing in a nation with no income tax is not as simple as packing a suitcase and purchasing an airline ticket.

Key Takeaways

  • Personal income taxes are not levied in Bermuda, Monaco, the Bahamas, or the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Nonetheless, citizens of the United States are required to file and pay U.S. income taxes even if they reside in another nation. If you choose to renounce your citizenship in the United States, you may be subject to a financial penalty known as an expatriation tax.

Escaping Taxes by Renouncing Citizenship

Citizens of the United States cannot avoid paying income taxes in the United States simply by relocating to another nation. All United States citizens, regardless of where they choose to live, are legally compelled to submit their federal income taxes in the same manner as if they were physically present in the United States. Although it may appear enticing, giving up one’s citizenship is not a simple process. The first point to mention is that many nations do not provide simple access to citizenship.

Some governments would purposely make the barrier to entry as high as possible in order to attract only the most elite investors.

The government has responded by making it increasingly difficult and expensive to renounce citizenship in the United States by charging an expatriation fee, which may become exceedingly expensive in some cases.

Please see the next section for our examination of certain countries that are completely habitable – and even rather attractive – but do not levy an income tax.

United Arab Emirates

Several oil-producing nations in the Middle East do not levy personal or corporate income taxes, and the United Arab Emirates is regarded to be one of the most appealing due to its relatively stable government and economy. Although the United Arab Emirates has a booming economy, it has a more multicultural atmosphere than the bulk of nations in the region. As a result, there are several good dining and entertainment alternatives. There are also excellent educational opportunities accessible, as well as a significant English-speaking population.

Taxes on most products and services are levied in the form of value-added tax (VAT).

The Bahamas

The ability to profit from not having to pay income taxes in the Bahamas is contingent on residency rather than citizenship, making it one of the most straightforward countries in which to live a tax-free lifestyle. For permanent residents, a minimum of 90 days of residency is required before they may qualify for the tax reduction, and expatriates are not permitted to stay in another country for more than 183 days. Furthermore, a minimum investment of $500,000 in a completely completed house is required for permanent residency to be granted.

In general, the country’s infrastructure and services are excellent.

Many American expats who have opted to make the Bahamas their home continue to fly back to the United States for major medical treatment.

Nassau has a somewhat high crime rate, which is to be anticipated in a vacation destination like this. Overall, the Bahamas appeals to many tax ex-pats because of its remoteness from the United States and its lovely environment.


In terms of tax-free income, Bermuda is an even more enticing Caribbean option than the Bahamas; but, it is a far more costly country in which to reside. Bermuda’s remoteness makes it one of the most costly places to live in the Western hemisphere due to the high cost of living there. Bermuda is far more developed than the majority of Caribbean islands, with good roads and public transit infrastructure. And beyond that, from its world-renowned pink sand beaches to its expensive restaurants, Bermuda is often regarded as one of the Caribbean’s most picturesque and pleasant countries.

While Bermuda does not have a personal income tax, it does impose a payroll tax on employers as well as a land tax on homeowners and long-term tenants who own their homes.


Monaco has long been regarded as one of Europe’s most attractive and desirable locations to live, owing to its reputation as a year-round holiday destination for ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families. As part of the French Riviera, Monaco boasts a number of huge and well-developed marinas, which are frequently filled with a diverse range of boats from around world. The Monaco Grand Prix is a favorite of the wealthy, with several apartments renting for $10,000 or more a night during the race.

It boasts one of the lowest rates of crime of any country in the world, if not the lowest.

Accessing Monaco’s tax-free financial environment is quick and easy, but it is not inexpensive.

Honorable Mention: Andorra

Andorra, which is located in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, has long had a reputation as a tax haven since it does not charge personal income taxes. As of 2015, the government has a graduated tax rate, with the top rate capping out at 10 percent for those earning more than 40,000 euros per year. With its low personal income tax rate as compared to other nations, Andorra may be a more attractive alternative, especially considering the country’s other distinguishing characteristics.

Aside from the influx of ski tourists, life in Andorra is largely calm and uncomplicated.

According to its tax-friendly policy, Andorra has one of the most established offshore banking businesses in the world, which is consistent with its tax-friendly policy.

Correction dated November 13, 2021: Andorra was wrongly characterized in an earlier version of this article as a country that does not impose income taxes.

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