Those considering a transfer to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be relieved to learn that the process is straightforward. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made it simple and convenient for foreigners to settle there; the number of expats in the country is now about five times that of native Emiratis.
The United Arab Emirates consists of seven individual emirate states (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain), each with its own government and culture.
These states may be ruled by a unified federal government, but they also have their own distinct municipal governments. Expats should research the legislation of their chosen Emirate in regard to matters like health insurance, school selection, and housing requirements.
One of the many excellent things about the United Arab Emirates is that local businesses often deal with all the paperwork and red tape involved in an expat’s move for them. Employers in the UAE will not only pay for their workers’ residency visas, but they will also handle the necessary paperwork. Healthcare for expats and their families is a legal requirement in various emirate states.
Visa types and work permits for expats in the UAE
Whether you’re moving to the United Arab Emirates for a job, to be closer to family, or to start a new life, you’ll need to know the process for obtaining a visa and work permit. Most expats will require an entrance visa to visit the UAE if they want to stay longer than 90 days.
Don’t worry if you can’t find work in the UAE just now. Airlines, hotels, or even a friend or family member already living in the UAE might sponsor your entry visa application.
Applying for a visa in the UAE is simple if you have an entrance authorization. The majority of expats have their employers handle the visa application procedure. Many businesses will also pay for dependents’ visas and other related expenses.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) accepts a variety of visas. If you plan on setting up shop in the United Arab Emirates as a freelancer, you’ll have to register in one of the country’s several tax-free “free zones.”
In the seven emirates, there are roughly 40 such zones, but only some of them offer sponsorship for independent worker visas. Requirements for the self-employed visa vary per Emirate, but generally speaking, all that an expat has to do to get one is set up, shop in a free zone, and have their business licensed.
If you want a more detailed guide on the UAE’s different visas and which will be better suited for you, you can read our guide on UAE visas.
How to get health insurance as an expat in the UAE?
The healthcare system and health insurance of the United Arab Emirates are both world-class and all-encompassing. Any medical operation is available to expats in the Gulf countries, but they must always pay for it. Only citizens of the United Arab Emirates can make use of the government-funded healthcare system. Residents from other countries are required to pay the same fees or choose between public and private healthcare options.
It’s expensive but well worth it to have health insurance in the UAE. The medical system has earned international acclaim. Patients from all around the world are increasingly traveling to the UAE for medical operations, a phenomenon known as “medical tourism.” Medical tourists flock to Dubai because it is home to some of the region’s finest medical facilities.
Finding a physician now primarily involves searching for one online. Due to the frequently lengthy wait times to visit a specialist, expats should focus their search on a select few specialists after consulting with other expats and conducting independent research.
The United Arab Emirates is a safe and welcoming place for international mothers to give birth. United Arab Emirates hospitals, in contrast to those in certain Western nations, allow newborns to spend their first night with their mothers in the same room.
Limitations on moving your belongings to the UAE with you?
Many foreigners find that relocating to the United Arab Emirates is a breeze. Many individuals from all over the world are drawn to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the country’s promise of tax-free earnings and year-round warm, sunny weather.
Expats in the UAE should be aware of the many things that are forbidden as well as the many that are authorized. You should know, for instance, that the United Arab Emirates does not allow the importation of any pets that fall under the category of “fighting dogs” The maximum number of pets an expat can bring into the nation is two.
No materials may be brought into the nation that directly contradict Islamic doctrine. Bringing a Bible or other religious book is OK, but you should be discreet about it.
Although alcoholic beverages are legal in the United Arab Emirates, visitors are limited in the quantity they may carry with them. Expats are only allowed to carry a three-month supply of medicine into the nation due to government regulations. A health permit from the Ministry of Health may be required even for medication that is deemed light or over-the-counter in other nations.
Since the United Arab Emirates is such a technologically advanced nation, expatriates may get by only bringing their own furniture, clothing, and household items. Despite the high cost of living, apartment furnishings in the UAE are inexpensive. Unless they have a strong emotional connection to their belongings, expats may find almost everything they need in the United Arab Emirates.
In order to enter the United Arab Emirates, no special immunizations are needed. To be on the safe side, expats may opt to be vaccinated against rabies and hepatitis A and B before venturing out into the neighboring Middle Eastern nations.
For the most up-to-date information on customs regulations, it is best to check in with your shipping agency.
Used home items and personal possessions can be brought into and out of the UAE duty-free if you have a Residence Permit. There can be a charge for brand-new furniture and appliances for the home. Cash amounts more than UAD 100,000 (GBP 19,740) must be disclosed upon entry or exit.
Before importing any of the following, you must first get permission from the UAE Customs Ministry.
While packing for your move to the UAE, keep in mind that the Ministry of Health will need to examine your food and medicine before you can bring them into the country.
Printed goods, photos, video materials, compact discs, and computer software must also be packaged individually for entrance into the UAE. All of these objects can and will be confiscated and inspected for compliance with censorship and other regulations.
How to open a bank account after moving to the UAE?
Financial institutions and taxation systems dominate most discussions about the United Arab Emirates. Expats are drawn to the United Arab Emirates in part because of its “tax free” status. There are taxes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, they are very low compared to those in other nations.
While there is no personal income tax in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), expats are still subject to the rental tax rate and excise taxes on hazardous goods like soda and cigarettes.
Opening a bank account in the UAE is simple but requires a physical presence in the country. Since account holders may need to physically sign some documents, this is standard practice at many financial institutions.
In the United Arab Emirates, you can choose from commercial, industrial, merchant, or Islamic banking. Each of these financial institutions will create accounts for non-native residents who have obtained a residency visa. While waiting for a residence visa, for example, foreign nationals are only allowed to create a savings account.
Some financial institutions provide expats with ATM cards in conjunction with a savings account. The requirement can be avoided if the expat chooses to do so by opening a bank account with a foreign institution that has branches in both the UAE and their home country. International banks provide some of the most convenient banking options and services in the UAE.
Getting around and public transportation in the UAE
You must have a local driving license in order to drive in the Emirates. The specifications for these will change depending on your location. You can also learn more about the specific types of foreign licenses that are eligible for exchange. A temporary driving license is available for usage in rental automobiles during short-term trips.
Expats in the UAE often buy cars upon arrival, so keep in mind that you’ll need third-party liability insurance. The roads and infrastructure are typically satisfactory. However, you should always yield to pedestrians and animals. Due to the prevalence of fast and aggressive drivers, extreme caution is required. Though signs are usually in both English and Arabic, it’s still a good idea to map out your route before setting off.
If you don’t feel like driving, the taxi service in the Emirates is a viable option. They may be seen often and cheaply across urban areas. In case the driver does not know English, having instructions written in Arabic is a prudent precaution to take. Avoid using Taxis late at night by yourself, and don’t start a conversation with the driver. Limos are also often used by business travelers and expatriates.
Despite an extensive bus system across the Emirates, few foreign residents choose to take public transportation there. Each major Emirate’s bus system—Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah—has its own dedicated website. Each station on the Dubai Metro has links to nearby bus and taxi stops, and the system is entirely automated. You may use the abra to get from Deira to Dubai, and there are other water taxis all across the city.
What clothes to pack for living in the UAE?
Adapting to Western dress norms is necessary due to the environment and strict Islamic moral rules. It is impolite to dress in the manner of traditional Muslims, and this includes wearing open-necked shirts. Shirts and suits without extra fabric are preferable in hot weather, although ties are usually required.
Women in the corporate world should wear clothes that are professional but not restrictive. According to severe Islamic regulations, necklines should be high, upper arms and shoulders should be covered, and hemlines should end far below the knee. The appropriate footwear for the workplace can vary.