The Dubai digital nomad visa is the remote working visa that countless business owners, employees, and entrepreneurs have been waiting for. With a five-star luxury lifestyle, fantastic weather, and an incredible cultural hub (alongside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tax benefits), it’s clear to see why Dubai pulls so much interest from around the world.
Now, with a remote working visa available for digital nomads looking for a taste of the high life, your Dubai dreams can very much become a reality. Find out everything you need to know about the UAE digital nomad visa in our guide to remote working in Dubai.
READ MORE: Dubai Digital Nomad Travel Guide
What is the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa?
The Dubai digital nomad visa allows international visitors to utilize the benefits available to a resident of the UAE.
Successful applicants are free to reside and work in the UAE for up to one year, providing that the majority of their time (6+ months) is spent in the country. Visa holders spending more than six months outside of the UAE will have their documentation nullified.
There are no options to renew the visa and remote workers will instead be required to reapply for the visa via the same process. The reapplication for the Dubai remote working visa will, once again, span a year from the start. There are no nationality restrictions on the Dubai digital nomad visa, although immigration can prevent a remote worker from obtaining the country's visa for any reason they see fit.
Why is the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa Better than a Tourist Visa?
The Dubai digital nomad visa treats remote workers as residents of the country—granting access to all benefits offered to UAE residents.
Telecoms, utilities, and schooling are all available to digital nomads when staying in the UAE with a remote working goal and the correct nomad visa. The Dubai lifestyle does come at a cost, and living within the city can be expensive—especially if it is the luxury lifestyle that’s calling out to you.
However, one of the main benefits experienced by residents in the UAE is the tax-free policy offered. Naturally, for those digital nomads meeting the minimum monthly income criteria, this is a huge pull and one of the top reasons we have seen such a large number of entrepreneurs choosing to live in Dubai.
The $60,000 minimum annual income is taxed at 0% in Dubai, compared to approximately 25% in the UK. A $60,000 income would then shrink to $45,000 for nomads in London compared to an unchanged value in the UAE.
Dubai Digital Nomad Visa Requirements
The Dubai digital nomad visa requires remote workers to satisfy the following criteria when applying:
- Valid Passport: The applicant's passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of applying.
- $3,500 Minimum Monthly Income: Applicants must meet the minimum income requirement of $3,500 per month. This can be proven by the bank statements for the last three months.
- Health Insurance: Applicants must have health insurance with coverage in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
How to Apply
The Dubai digital nomad visa is quick and easy to apply for with typical processing times between five and seven days. A full step-by-step application process on how to apply for the Dubai digital nomad visa can be found below.
Step 1: Fill in an Interest Form on the Visit Dubai Site
The first step for prospective digital nomads to apply for the UAE digital nomad visa is to fill in the interest form at the Visit Dubai site. By entering your name, email address, home country, and telephone number, a member of the digital nomad team will contact you to discuss moving forward with the application.
Step 2: Gather All Necessary Documents
Once a team member/assistant has contacted about the digital nomad visa, applicants are then able to gather all required documents. Business owners, employees, and digital nomads are required to supply the following applicable documentation with their visa application:
- Passport with a minimum of six months
- Proof of employment with a minimum one-year contract
- Proof of business ownership for a minimum of one year
- Bank statements dated within the last three months
- Proof of health insurance with UAE coverage
Step 3: Complete Application Form
The Dubai digital nomad visa can then be applied for online with guidance from the dedicated visa team at Visit Dubai. It can be completed without the need to visit a UAE embassy or consulate, unlike other visa options. Additional steps upon application may be requested including a pre-application medical exam and an Emirates ID. This will be confirmed by the Visit Dubai team upon application.
Step 4: Await Approval of the Dubai Digital Nomad Visa
The UAE digital nomad visa is quick to process with all applications processed via AI Rais Travel Agencies LLC. Digital nomad applicants will be notified of the result within five to seven days of submission.
Why Choose Dubai For your Next Remote Working Trip?
There are countless reasons why Dubai could be perfect for your next remote working trip, from the incredibly diverse network to the luxury lifestyle that the city can provide.
Remote Work Culture in Dubai
Dubai is a fantastic global remote working hub, offering a huge network of digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and business owners. There are plenty of options for coworking spaces in the city with options including NEST Dubai and Letswork. Public transport is great for moving between neighborhoods, although taxis and Ubers are also plentiful and affordable. Despite the perceived high price point of living, apartments are relatively affordable.
There are thousands of digital nomads living and working in the city with meet-ups, events, and gatherings common. These can be found on Facebook, Slack, and other social groups before or during your remote work stay.
Cost of Living and Quality of Life in Dubai
Dubai has one of the fastest growing economies globally and is known for its luxurious offerings from grand hotels, fine dining restaurants, and many high-end shopping malls.
Despite the luxury connotations of the country and the city, the cost of living in Dubai is less expensive than one may first think and this cost is further offset by the lack of tax paid by residents of the UAE.
It is estimated that, without rent, a single remote worker should budget approximately $1,200 USD per month to live in the city. You can easily find accommodation on Airbnb and alternative private letting options are frequently available. Dubai quickly proves itself as a mid-range city and living in Dubai is approximately the same price as some smaller cities in the UK and Italy.
Healthcare in Dubai
Healthcare in the United Arab Emirates is good with a ranking of 36/167 on the Legatum Prosperity Index (LPI). Both public and private healthcare services are overseen by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). There are a wide range of hospitals in the city with emergency departments, and inpatient/ outpatient services. English is also commonly spoken by healthcare professionals.
Remote workers looking to apply for the digital nomad visa should ensure that they have travel insurance that covers healthcare in the UAE before applying. Similarly, remote workers or holidaymakers entering Dubai for tourism should ensure that the UAE is covered by their travel insurance policy.
Dubai has proved itself in the world of digital nomads and remote workers as a luxury hub offering a five-star lifestyle and an impressive global network.
The Dubai digital nomad visa offers all of the benefits of a UAE residency, allowing remote workers to spend up to one year in the city. Visa holders are free to leave the country for up to six months during the visa period without nullifying the documentation. It’s these permissions that digital nomads find beneficial when deciding upon a home base.
However, it’s the tax details that set the Dubai digital nomad visa apart from the rest. With a 0% tax rate in the country and a $5,000 minimum monthly income, high earners looking for tax-efficient destinations flock to the UAE.