If you want to experience how it is to live as a digital nomad in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, you should consider applying for the Dubai digital nomad visa. To lure remote workers and digital nomads, Dubai launched the program “Work Remotely from Dubai,” allowing digital nomads to live and work remotely in the fabulous city.
Despite being one of the world's most expensive cities, living in Dubai is a dream for many digital nomads. It's a fascinating city offering a wealth of opportunities and tax-free privileges. The modern metropolis has well-developed infrastructures competing with first world nations in various aspects.
While living in Dubai, you can enjoy high-end services, luxury shopping experiences, and the freedom to explore numerous world-record holders, such as the tallest building in the world. Digital nomads who have kids will also find Dubai a very family-friendly city to live in. It has several safe and secure residential options and a plethora of child-friendly attractions. And in case you didn't know, more than 80% of Dubai's population consists of foreign expatriates, which proves that it's an expat-friendly place.
If you find Dubai an attractive place to live as a digital nomad, here's how to apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa.
About the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa
Dubai's “Work Remotely from Dubai” program aims to lure people from all nationalities to live in the city while working remotely. Those interested in the program should apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa or the Dubai Remote Working Visa. It will serve as a temporary residence permit for digital nomads, allowing them to live in the UAE for at least a year.
Dubai's Remote Working Visa Scheme was introduced in March of 2021. It's the first digital nomad visa in the Middle East, a scheme allowing digital nomads to move into the city and enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other Dubai resident would.
Digital nomads working for an employer based outside of the United Arab Emirates are qualified to apply for the digital nomad visa of Dubai. It will allow visa holders to live in the country for up to a year, with an option to renew if they want to live longer in the city. Successful applicants will have a residential ID, which grants them access to various facilities and services in the UAE.
Dubai Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
Before you apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa, the first step is to prepare the requirements. Refer to the list below.
- Passport – ensure it remains valid for at least six months from your application date.
- Visa application form – visit the official website of Dubai's Work Remotely Program to download the visa application form.
- Passport photo – submit a digital passport-sized photo with the dimension of 45mm x 35mm and with white background.
- Accommodation reservation – you will need to submit a lease agreement for your Dubai accommodation. You can also submit a hotel booking if you wish to stay in a hotel during your entire stay in the city.
- Health insurance – you must submit a health insurance certificate with UAE coverage.
- Additional requirements for business owners – proof of company ownership for at least a year. Document showing a monthly income of at least $3,5000. Bank statements for the past three months.
- Additional requirements for employees – proof of employment with at least one year contract, pay slip for the previous month, a minimum salary of $3,500 per month, and bank statements.
Applying for the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa
Once you have all the requirements sorted, it's time to apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa. You can apply online through the website of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs. Here are the steps.
- Visit the website of the Government of Dubai – applying for the Dubai digital nomad visa is pretty straightforward as long as you have all your documents ready. You can go directly to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs Register to create a username and password. If you are already in the UAE, you can apply for the visa through the AMER service.
- Fill out the application form – fill out the form and provide personal details about yourself, including your email address, contact number, etc. Make sure you provide the correct information for your contact details since a representative from the program will contact you.
- Submit all the documents – submit the required documents, such as the scanned copy of your passport, digital copy of your passport-sized photos, accommodation reservation, health insurance, proof of income, etc.
- Pay the visa fee – next, pay the necessary fees. It will cost you around $611 to apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa. This includes the application fee, the cost of Emirates ID, and other processing charges. Provide your card information to pay the fees. When the payment is successful, you'll receive an email for confirmation.
- Wait for the processing of your visa – once you have submitted your application, all you will do is wait while they process your visa. Once approved, you will receive an email or call.
- Travel to Dubai – once you have your visa, you can travel to Dubai and enter the UAE using the digital nomad visa.
- Undergo a medical check – you have a month to undergo a medical check-up when you reach Dubai. The result should be available in two weeks.
- Visit the Biometrics Office – after receiving the medical results, you will receive a list of offices where you can do biometrics. Print the medical results and take them to the biometrics office.
- Receive a stamp in your passport – after the biometrics, you will receive a passport stamp.
- Receive the residency card – you will receive an SMS from the Dubai government to inform you about your residency card, also known as the Emirates ID. Once you have the Emirates ID, you can live in Dubai as a digital nomad for a year.
Paying Taxes while Living as a Digital Nomad in Dubai
Residents in the United Arab Emirates do not pay any income tax, which is one of the biggest benefits of living as a digital nomad in Dubai. Only foreign banks and oil companies are subject to corporate taxes. Also, most of the goods and services in the UAE have Value Added Tax. Meanwhile, goods that can cause harm to the environment or human health are subjected to excise taxes.
As a digital nomad in Dubai, you will not have to pay any tax. However, you must pay taxes back home, although you're not required to prove it.
Living as a Digital Nomad in Dubai
Dubai is one of the cities that make up the United Arab Emirates. It's a modern metropolis famous for its record-breaking skyscrapers, modern infrastructures, and vibrant culture. Home to more than a hundred different nationalities, Dubai is a melting pot of culture, with ex-pats accounting for more than 80% of the city's population.
Despite the high cost of living, there are many advantages to living in Dubai as a digital nomad. So, it doesn't come as a surprise why many are interested in applying for the Dubai digital nomad visa. Living in Dubai will grant you access to world-class services, including fast Internet, which is one of the factors that many digital nomads will consider when moving to a new country.
Several establishments in Dubai offer free Wi-Fi access, such as in shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, etc. And given the increasing number of digital nomads moving into this Middle Eastern city, more and more coworking spaces are recently popping up all over the city. Thus, you will have plenty of options if you feel like working outside your apartment. These coworking spaces are also the best places to network with local entrepreneurs and other digital nomads. Dubai is a fantastic melting pot of innovation and ideas. So, if you want to grow your business and expand your network, Dubai is an ideal place to live.
Safety is another reason why many foreigners are interested in moving to Dubai. It is all thanks to the city's strict punishments and longer prison sentences. The city has a low crime rate, so you won't have to worry about safety when going around, whether day or night.
Despite being an Arab country, the majority of the people living in the UAE speak English. As mentioned, more than 80% of people who live in Dubai are ex-pats. Therefore, you won't face any difficulty adjusting if you decide to move to this Middle Eastern city.
As a digital nomad living in Dubai, you can enjoy a healthy work-life balance since you will have plenty of things to keep you entertained when not at work. If shopping at fancy malls is not your thing, you can hang out at the beach, visit museums, go camping in the desert, and many more! You certainly will not get bored living in Dubai, given the various activities you can enjoy in the city.
FAQs on the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa
How Much Will It Cost to Apply for the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa?
It will cost around $611 to apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa, which already includes the cost of the Emirates ID and processing charges.
How Long Will It Take to Process the Digital Nomad Visa in Dubai?
The processing time for Dubai digital nomad visa is between 30 and 60 days.
How Long Can You Live in Dubai Using the Digital Nomad Visa?
Once your Dubai digital nomad visa is approved, you can stay in the city for one year. You can renew the visa if you wish to extend your stay in Dubai.
More Countries with digital nomad visas
Dubai is the only country in the Middle East to offer a digital nomad visa. Outside the Middle East there are a lot more countries with digital nomad visas check out the full list.