Migrate to Dubai has long been a coveted destination for expats looking to relocate to an exciting new city. With year-round sunshine, a vibrant culture, and a booming economy, Migrating to Dubai offers an appealing lifestyle for migrants. However, navigating the immigration process to Dubai can be complicated. As you consider making the move to this Middle Eastern metropolis,
You’ll want to understand the key steps to obtaining the proper work visa and residence permit. You should also be aware of some of the realities of living and working as an expat in Dubai. By going in with realistic expectations, you’ll be better prepared to thrive in this fast-paced city. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to migrate to Dubai and provide essential facts about Dubai work visas that every expat should know.
Deciding to Migrate to Dubai: Is It Right for You?
To determine if moving to Dubai is the right choice for you, there are several factors to consider:
Dubai has a very hot climate, with summer temperatures frequently exceeding 40°C (104°F). The city experiences very little precipitation, with most rainfall occurring between January and March. If you prefer a temperate climate, the extreme heat and aridity of Dubai’s weather may be challenging. However, Dubai is a popular tourist destination in the winter months from December to February when the temperatures are coolest.
Dubai has a high cost of living compared to most other countries. Rent, utilities, and transportation in Dubai can be quite expensive. While salaries in Dubai are often higher than in other places, you will need to make sure any job offer is sufficient to cover your living expenses and allow you to enjoy an comfortable standard of living in Dubai.
Dubai has a diverse, multicultural population with many expatriates. However, the official religion of the United Arab Emirates is Islam and Sharia law is practiced. If you are moving from a Western country, there may be aspects of Emirati culture and laws that differ from what you are accustomed to. Be prepared to respect the local cultural norms.
If after considering the climate, cost of living, cultural differences, and other factors you still feel that moving to Dubai is the right choice for your needs and priorities, then it can be an exciting opportunity. Dubai offers high wages, world-class infrastructure, luxury living, and an opportunity to experience a truly global, cosmopolitan city. For many expatriates, the rewards of living in Dubai far outweigh any challenges.
Obtaining a Dubai Work Visa: Requirements and Process
To obtain a Dubai Work Visa, there are several requirements and steps to the process you must follow:
To be eligible for a Dubai Work Visa, you must:
- Have a job offer from a UAE-based employer
- Meet the minimum salary requirement which is currently AED 4,000 per month
- Be between 18 to 65 years of age
- Have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in a relevant field of study
- Have a professional certification or license to practice, if required for the job role
- Be in good health and able to pass a medical exam
Once you have a job offer, your employer will submit an application for your Work Visa to the UAE’s Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE). You will need to provide:
- A copy of your passport with at least 6 months validity
- A copy of your educational certificates and professional credentials
- A medical report proving you are in good health
- A cover letter stating why you wish to work in Dubai
- 3-5 recommendation letters from previous employers (optional but recommended)
If your application is approved, your employer will arrange an entry permit (E-Visa) for you to enter Dubai. Upon arrival, you must undergo further medical tests and apply for your residency permit (or Emirates ID card) and labor card to officially begin working. The entire process usually takes 4 to 6 weeks.
With the right preparation and by following the proper application steps, you can successfully obtain a Dubai Work Visa to launch your career in this dynamic city. Best of luck!
Finding a Job in Dubai: Tips and Resources
To land a job in Dubai, do thorough research and preparation. Dubai has a competitive job market, so you need to make a strong case for why you’re the ideal candidate.
Build your skills and experience
Gain in-demand skills, pursue further education or certifications in your field, and get relevant work experience in your home country before emigrating. Dubai employers typically prefer candidates with a university degree and 3+ years of experience.
Polish your resume
Tailor your resume to Dubai job requirements. Emphasize skills, quantifiable achievements, and career progression. Include details on education, certifications, publications, honors and awards. Have a native English speaker review your resume.
Search job sites
Major sites for Dubai jobs include Bayt, Monster Gulf, Naukrigulf, and Dubizzle. Set up alerts for jobs in your target field. Research companies of interest and follow them on LinkedIn for new openings.
Tap your network
Let close contacts know you’re looking for work in Dubai. Join relevant LinkedIn groups to connect with others in your industry. Attend industry events and conferences in Dubai when possible to network in person. Someone in your network may know of unadvertised jobs or be able to provide a referral.
Consider recruitment agencies
Dubai recruitment agencies work with employers to fill positions. Register with agencies specializing in your area of expertise. Be prepared to pay agency fees if they are able to secure you a job offer. Agencies can help prepare you for the Dubai job market and may know of opportunities not yet advertised.
Prepare for interviews
For phone or video interviews, ensure you have a strong internet connection and minimal background noise. For in-person interviews, dress in professional business attire and bring copies of your resume. Be ready to discuss your relevant experience, skills, and career goals. Do research on the company and role so you can speak knowledgeably about why you’re interested in the position and company.
With preparation and persistence, you can successfully land a job in Dubai. While the process requires effort and time, the rewards of working in such a vibrant city can be well worth it.
Cost of Living in Dubai: Expenses to Budget For
To migrate to Dubai, you should prepare a realistic budget to account for the relatively high cost of living. While tax-free salaries and benefits can offset some costs, expenses in Dubai can still be significant. Some key costs to plan for include:
Rental costs in Dubai are typically paid annually upfront. For a one-bedroom apartment in a good area, budget at least AED 60,000 to AED 100,000 ($16,340 to $27,225) per year. Villa and townhouse rentals range from AED 120,000 to over AED 1 million ($32,675 to $272,250) per year depending on size and location.
While Dubai has an excellent public transit system, many expatriates prefer to drive. Budget at least AED 3,000 to AED 5,000 ($816 to $1,361) per month for a mid-size sedan leasing costs, fuel, parking, and maintenance. Taxis and ride-sharing are also widely available but can cost AED 50 to AED 100 ($14 to $27) per ride.
Dubai has a variety of dining options at varying price points. For groceries, budget at least AED 1,500 to AED 3,000 ($408 to $816) per month for two people. Eating out at mid-range restaurants will cost AED 100 to AED 300 ($27 to $82) per person. Upscale and fine dining venues may charge AED 300 or more per person.
Mandatory health insurance for residents typically starts around AED 2,500 ($680) per year for basic coverage. Private insurance plans range from AED 5,000 to AED 50,000 ($1,361 to $13,612) per year depending on coverage and provider. Prescription drugs and private healthcare services in Dubai can also be expensive, so budget at least AED 500 to AED 1,000 ($136 to $272) per month for out-of-pocket healthcare costs.
Dubai offers a high standard of living for those able to afford its costs. With prudent budgeting and financial planning before your move, you can make Dubai your new home while avoiding undue financial stress. Thoroughly research all major costs you’re likely to incur, create a realistic budget, and consider negotiating the best salary and benefits package you can to help balance Dubai’s relatively high expenses.
Settling Down in Dubai: Accommodation, Schools, Healthcare
Once you have secured a work visa and job in Dubai, it is time to settle into your new home. There are several important factors to consider for establishing yourself in Dubai long-term.
Dubai offers many options for housing, from luxury apartments and villas to more budget-friendly flats. Rent prices can vary significantly based on the location and amenities. It is best to research different areas and options to determine what suits your needs and budget. Many expats opt to live near their workplaces to avoid long commutes, while families may prefer housing near schools.
If you have children, Dubai’s education system offers many high-quality schools with diverse curricula. Public schools teach the UAE curriculum, while private schools offer curricula from the UK, US, India, and beyond. School fees vary but can be quite high, especially for higher education. It is best to research schools, admission criteria, and fees in advance.
Dubai has a mix of public and private healthcare facilities. Expats often choose private healthcare, which can be expensive. Basic health insurance is mandatory for residents. You will need to obtain health insurance, either through your employer or privately, to access healthcare services. Dubai’s healthcare system is modern, with highly qualified doctors and the latest medical technologies. Wait times to see specialists tend to be short.
Settling into a new country and culture can be challenging. However, Dubai’s high quality of life, amenities, and infrastructure make the transition smoother for many expats and their families. With advance planning for essential factors like housing, education, and healthcare, you will be well on your way to establishing a new home in this exciting city.