Dubai has become a popular destination for holidaymakers in the past decade, and a home for many others attracted by the quality of life on offer and the sheer ease of doing business.
With the rise in remote working – where entrepreneurs or employees can work anywhere outside the traditional workplace, as long as they have a laptop, phone and good Wi-Fi access – many people are looking to move to Dubai and benefit from the lifestyle it offers, while maintaining their existing employment.
But to do this, a person requires a remote work visa. This article covers all you need to know about what this is, what it costs and how to apply for it.
Company formation specialists such as Worldwide Formations can help applicants navigate the process. Contact Worldwide Formations for a personalised quote.
This article covers:
- Remote Work Visa – an overview
- Dubai’s virtual working programme – explained
- Applying for Dubai’s remote-working programme
- Benefits of working remotely from Dubai
- Cost of Dubai’s remote work visa?
- Can I work remotely from Dubai?
- Dubai remote work visa processing time
- Are there any restrictions on nationalities?
- Why choose Worldwide Formations?
Remote Work Visa – an overview
The remote work visa was introduced earlier this year, having been initially announced in 2021 to give people from across the globe the opportunity to live in Dubai while working remotely. The visa, which is valid for one year, enables non-nationals to self-sponsor to come to Dubai and work, although this is subject to certain conditions.
The visa – thought to be the only one in this part of the Middle East so far – also enables entrepreneurs to use Dubai’s world-class facilities and infrastructure to build a business remotely in the thriving regional economy.
Dubai devised the remote work visa to capitalise on the growth of remote working in recent years – especially post-COVID-19 pandemic – as a way to boost the local economy, given that people will come to Dubai and spend money in local shops and with local businesses. Other countries have implemented similar visas, including Bermuda and Cyprus.
Dubai’s virtual working programme – explained
Dubai offers a virtual working programme where workers living outside the UAE can move to Dubai and maintain their job with their existing employer remotely. Start-up businesses and entrepreneurs can also take advantage of this, providing they meet certain requirements.
It should be noted that if an application to move to Dubai is approved, the applicant can sponsor their family to come with them.
The programme, launched in October 2020, lasts for a year, but those on it can renew it at the end of that year. People already resident cannot apply for the virtual working programme.
Applying for Dubai’s remote-working programme
Applicants are required to hold a passport valid for more than six months, as well as health insurance covering living in the UAE.
Additionally, employees must give evidence of their employment status, such as a contract lasting one year; earnings of at least $5,000 per month, including their most recent salary slip; and bank statements for the previous three months.
Meanwhile, business owners have to show they have owned the operation for at least 12 months and demonstrate an average income of at least $5,000 per month, with business bank statements for the past quarter to prove this.
Applications can be made online or through approved typing centres, although specialists such as Worldwide Formations can help with this and ensure applications are correct before they are submitted to ensure the process is as quick and smooth as possible.
Benefits of working remotely from Dubai
There are numerous benefits. For example, Dubai is renowned for the modernness, quality and efficiency of its utilities, medical provision and schools. Those who use the visa also benefit from Dubai’s zero income tax for individuals, which can make a big difference to the amount of money they have to spend.
Another benefit is that, thanks to the Emirate’s location, workers can serve a variety of time zones. This means that, if you are part of a business with offices worldwide, you can still take part in videoconferences or collaborate with colleagues with relative ease and not have to get up ultra-early or stay up to all hours to do so. Whether colleagues or clients are based in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa or North America, correspondence is easy.
Likewise, Dubai’s location makes it easy to travel to other countries for work trips – much of the globe is accessible within an eight-hour flight – so there is no issue attending conferences or in-person meetings.
Cost of Dubai’s remote work visa
A Dubai remote work visa costs $81, although people applying need to factor in the cost of things such as the medical and Emirates ID – both required to stay in the Emirate.
The virtual working programme costs $287, but, again, there are other costs on top of this, such as UAE-valid medical insurance and processing fees. The total cost is about $610. It should be noted that payment of the processing fee isn’t an indication that an application will be approved.
Can I work remotely from Dubai?
The simple answer is yes. Dubai is an ideal place to work remotely because of the advanced telecoms infrastructure in place – the government has invested millions in recent years to ensure that it is a world leader in this area. With high speed and stable internet available across Dubai, people can work from anywhere they choose. The UAE was ranked third in a global list of ‘Most Connected Countries’ recently, and in 2021, it was reported as having the fastest mobile internet speed in the world.
There are also numerous co-working rental spaces available in Dubai for those looking for comfortable workstations.
Dubai remote work visa processing time
Processing a remote work visa in Dubai usually takes between five and seven days – although it can be more than this if the application doesn’t include the correct information and documents.
Are there any restrictions on nationalities?
While no restrictions have been imposed on any nationalities wanting to come to Dubai, the Immigration Service can refuse applications on national security grounds.
Why choose Worldwide Formations
As this article shows, there are many reasons to come to Dubai, but applying for a remote work visa can be complex, which can cause difficulties for those unfamiliar with local regulations. However, specialists such as Worldwide Formations can help people make an application successfully and ensure the process is completed as quickly as possible.
Worldwide Formations has many years of business setup experience in the UAE and is skilled in making the complex nature of licence regulations seem straightforward. This means our clients can concentrate on the most important things – readying their business for trading and ensuring it is profitable from the start.
Contact Worldwide Formations for a personalised quote and more information today.