Relocating to the UAE

Moving to the UAE is an exciting prospect for most, and you certainly would not be the first to go through it: more than 80% of the UAE population is comprised of expatriates from all over the globe. We at Business Boutique | are no stranger to the process either, having all moved here from our home countries at some point or another.

Relocating to another country is unfortunately not as simple as moving from one house to another which just happens to be far away. There are many so many components to a move, which can be challenging to undergo in a country you are just arriving in. Generally, in the UAE you will have to go through many procedures. It is, therefore, necessary to prepare yourself for the move well in advance.


The first thing you’ll need to do to begin living in the UAE on a long-term basis (without having to do frequent visa-runs) is applying for a residency visa. Residency visas can be attained one of three ways:


  1. Via Employment:
    1. Here you will need to find a company which exists in the UAE, who are keen to hire you and act as a sponsor to your visa.
  2. Establishing a Company:
    1. In the UAE one of the ways to acquire residency status is to set up your own company. It can be very small, using shared office facilities where you are the sole shareholder/ director/ manager/secretary. This is a cost-effective means of getting a residency visa for those who do not intend to come here to work for someone else.
  3. Residency via Property Investment:
    1. The final way is through investing in property. The property will need to have a value of at least AED 1 Million, amongst other conditions that need to be met.


Acquiring a residency visa is the first step in settling yourself into the UAE.  It is a requirement for:

-       long-term rental of an apartment;

-       for getting a UAE driving license



It also plays an instrumental part in opening a local bank account and is needed to apply for subsequent dependency visas if you intend to bring your family along with you to the UAE.

Schooling is something you need to think of far in advance if you intend to bring your children to the UAE with you. The school term starts in August, but the deadline for applying to the more popular schools is in November the year prior. There are of course backup solutions if you have missed the deadlines, with some of the less coveted schools offering places year round.




Another part of sponsoring your spouse and your children is that you would also need to prove your family ties. Documents proving such ties are a marriage certificate and a birth certificate. Please note that in order for the UAE authorities to accept these documents, documents need to be legalized. Legalization involves attestation of copies of both documents by the notary in the home country, translation into Arabic, attestation by the authority, which issued documents, next follows attestation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the home country, then you have to approach the UAE Embassy in the home country and finally the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE. We know, how time-consuming this process is and how difficult it is to complete it if you are not residing in your home country at the moment. Therefore, our advice is to take care of the documents far in advance, so that you have everything in place, as soon as you come to the UAE.




Over the years we have helped clients with many different aspects of settling into their lives in the UAE. We handle some of the fundamental tasks, such as preparing visa applications and opening bank accounts on a daily basis.  But we also assist with the more personal tasks, providing Businessmen Services. We understand that having a well-resourced team local to the UAE can be crucial in making sure that everything is in place prior to your arrival in the country, as well as to ease the settling in the process once you arrive. 



Business Boutique | has an expertise in company formations and all business consultancy matters within Dubai and the UAE. We would be happy to assist you with any follow-up queries within our competency. You can contact us via or via our office phone no. +971 4 368 48 84.



Prepared by Business Boutique | Published on Oct 3, 2018


Disclaimer: Business Boutique is not affiliated with any particular government or legal entity. Business Boutique does not give professional legal advice nor any other professional advice subject to a public office in the government. This article merely sets out a simple and basic idea of requirements for the relocation to Dubai and the UAE. Business Boutique in no way holds nor imposes any official governmental or legal authority and the article herein is only to be taken as a guide. All further governmental or legal issues should be addressed to the corresponding authorities.
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