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How to Move to Dubai From Canada: Ultimate Guide for Canadian Citizens

Jan 11, 2023 | Living in Dubai

Ever since the pandemic hit, Dubai has become a hotspot for expats. It was one of the first cities to reopen its doors to the world in 2020, a decision that has brought many people from around the world to escape the pandemic and explore what the emirate has to offer. So how to move to Dubai from Canada you might ask?

It’s no secret that Dubai depends heavily on foreign workers, which is why the city’s government has made it easier for expats to come and live there. Thanks to the emirate’s enticing migration policies, Dubai’s population reached 3.55 million by the end of 2022.

The cosmopolitan atmosphere, luxury lifestyle, and fantastic job opportunities are just some of the reasons why many people are considering moving to Dubai. So if you’re a Canadian citizen looking to move to Dubai, this article will provide you with all the information you need to make your move successful.

Aerial photo of the Dubai city highway surrounded by high-rise buildings

Source: Unsplash

Why Move to Dubai from Canada?

As mentioned, Dubai offers plenty of benefits for expats that make it an attractive destination. From its booming economy to its excellent infrastructure, Dubai is an ideal place for professionals and entrepreneurs alike.

Here are several reasons why many Canadians have decided to relocate to Dubai:

1. How to Move to Dubai From Canada- Easy Business setup

Dubai is an ideal destination for entrepreneurs and business owners. The city has created a pro-business environment that enables foreign investors to easily set up their own companies without red tape or bureaucratic delays.

The local government also provides incentives such as free trade zones, low import duties, tax exemptions, and more to help businesses grow in the city. With Dubai’s excellent infrastructure, it’s easy to access global markets anywhere in the Emirates.

2. Moving to Dubai From Canada- Free Zones

For Canadians looking to start businesses in Dubai, the city’s free zones are a great opportunity. Free zones are special economic areas designed to attract foreign investments and businesses.

The UAE has more than 40 free zones, with Dubai hosting the most. These free zones offer a range of benefits for business owners, such as 100% ownership and repatriation of profits. Additionally, they provide easy access to resources like warehouse space or office equipment at competitive prices.

3. How To Move to Dubai From Canada- Networking Opportunities

Dubai is home to one of the world’s largest and most diverse business communities. The emirate attracts people from all over the world, making it a great place to meet new contacts and build relationships with potential partners and clients.

Networking events, conferences, and seminars are held in Dubai throughout the year, giving expats plenty of chances to expand their professional network. This can be invaluable for Canadians who are looking for job opportunities or customers for their businesses.

4. Moving to Dubai From Canada- Tax-free Income

Unlike many countries worldwide, the UAE does not tax individuals who earn income. This tax-free policy is a significant benefit for foreign workers and allows them to keep more of their hard-earned money in the bank instead of paying it out as taxes.

Dubai also imposes a Value Added Tax (VAT) of only 5% on goods and services, which is relatively low compared to other countries. This means you can reap the benefits of your income without having to worry about high taxes.

5. Why Move To Dubai from Canada- Diverse Culture

Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, with residents from all over the world living and working harmoniously. This makes living in Dubai ideal, as you get to experience different cultures and customs and make new friends and connections in the process.

The city also hosts exciting events throughout the year that cater to people of all backgrounds, including food festivals, music concerts, art exhibitions, and more. Whether you’re looking for cultural experiences or just want to have some fun, Dubai has something for everyone!

6. Why Move to Dubai From Canada- Sunny Climate

As a Canadian citizen, you probably already know the cold weather that comes with living in Canada. But if you’re looking for warmth and sunshine, Dubai is the place to be! Dubai boasts an average annual temperature of 29°C (84°F), and its warm winters make it an excellent destination for Canadians looking to escape from the snow.

7. Moving to Dubai From Canada- Luxury Lifestyle

Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle and offers a range of activities and amenities that make it an attractive place to live. From the world-famous Burj Khalifa Tower to futuristic water parks, Dubai has plenty of world-class landmarks.

The city also houses some of the best restaurants, shopping malls, and entertainment venues in the region.

8. How to Move to Dubai From Canada- Incredible Quality of Life

When you move from Canada to Dubai, you can expect a significant improvement in your quality of life. The Emirates is home to some of the world’s best beaches and luxury shopping malls, which makes it an ideal destination for those who want to explore and enjoy their free time.

The city also provides an excellent healthcare system that ensures its citizens receive high-quality medical services at a reasonable cost. Plus, the UAE government has invested heavily in education over the past few years, so you can expect top-notch educational facilities if you decide to move with your family.

Budget-wise, the cost of living in Dubai is comparable to that of Canada, so you won’t experience dramatic changes.

The Best Visa for Canadian Citizens

Free People At The Dubai Beach Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

A valid visa is one of the most crucial things to secure before moving to Dubai. Fortunately for Canadian citizens, Dubai offers various visa options that make it easy to move and stay in the city. You can choose from a residency, business, employment, or student visa.

For short-term stays, the best option is a tourist visa. This visa allows you to stay in Dubai for up to 90 days. It’s also relatively easy to obtain and can be done online without hassle.

If you’re planning on staying longer than 3 months, the most suitable option would be an employment or investor visa. The former requires an employer sponsor, while the latter requires that you have a certain amount of capital invested in Dubai.

Either way, these visas allow you to live and work in the emirate for up to 3 years before having it renewed again after its expiration date.

The Golden Visa Program

An image of a boat moving on a Dubai river.

In addition to the visa options mentioned above, Dubai has a unique residency program known as the Golden Visa Program. This program allows professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, and students from all over the globe to reside in Dubai with exclusive benefits.

These include:

  • An entry visa for 6 months with multiple entries
  • A long-term, renewable residence visa valid for 5 or 10 years
  • The privilege of not needing a sponsor
  • The ability to stay outside the UAE for more than the usual period of six months
  • The ability to sponsor their family members, including spouses and children
  • The ability to sponsor an unlimited number of domestic helpers
  • The permit for family members to stay in the UAE until the end of their permit duration if the primary holder of the Golden visa passes away

To be eligible, you must either have a minimum of AED 2 million in an investment fund or own a business in the UAE with a capital of at least AED 2 million. Once approved and granted the visa, you’ll be able to stay in Dubai for up to 10 years with renewable residency permits.

Suppose you’re a Canadian entrepreneur seeking opportunities in the UAE. In that case, the Golden Visa program is your best bet, as it allows you to not only live in Dubai but also operate your own business.

Virtuzone can provide you with the assistance you need to register your business and apply for a Golden Visa.

How to Set Up a Canadian Business in Dubai

Setting up a business in Dubai is a great way for Canadian citizens to start their journey. The country has an excellent business environment and provides ample opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to set up shop.

The process of setting up a business in Dubai is simple, but it does require some paperwork and research. Here are the steps you should take to get your business up and running:

Decide on Your Industry

Before anything else, decide which industry you want to invest in and then research the specific regulations related to it.

In principle, any business with a solid concept and business plan can thrive in Dubai. However, specific business sectors are particularly well-suited to the city’s economy, such as real estate and technology. Researching your industry’s potential in the city will help you make an informed decision.

Choose Your Location

When considering how to move to Dubai from Canada, it is important to consider where in Dubai you are wishing to relocate to. When setting up your business, it’s important to choose a location that’s conducive to success. Dubai’s business landscape is divided into 3 main zones: free zones, mainland, and offshore. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to research each one before deciding which is the best fit for your business.

Define Your Business Structure

Once you’ve decided on your industry, it’s time to decide how you want to structure your business. There are various options available in Dubai, from a sole proprietorship to a branch office of an existing Canadian company.

Each type of structure has its own pros and cons. For example, setting up a branch office requires less paperwork but gives the parent company ultimate control. Consider all the options first. You can also consult our professionals about what’s best for your situation before making any decisions.

Create a Company Name

Of course, you can’t set up a business without creating a name for it! The UAE employs specific guidelines and regulations for naming a business, so ensure you understand them before submitting your application. For instance, your name should not reference any religious or political groups.

For more details on company names, you can check out our comprehensive UAE business naming guide.

Secure and Submit the Paperwork

Here is the most challenging and tedious part of the process: submitting the relevant paperwork and documents to the Dubai government. You may need to present additional documents depending on where your business is located.

Here are the basic documents to prepare:

  • Attested copies of shareholder and director passports
  • Proof of address
  • Minimum 3 months’ bank statement
  • Education certificates (if applicable)
  • Certificate of share capital deposit (if required)
  • Signed lease agreement or co-working contract (if starting a mainland company)

Once you have all the paperwork ready, you must submit them to the Department of Economic Development in Dubai. If your application is approved, you will be issued a company licence.

Open a Bank Account

When wondering how to move to Dubai from Canada, it is important to know how to open your UAE bank account. With your company licence ready, the next step is to open a corporate bank account in Dubai. The city has a wide range of reputable banks, both local and international, with competitive rates, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs. There is also a prevalence of digital banks that offer online banking services and other financial solutions.

Apply for a Visa

With your business setup in Dubai complete, you only need the appropriate visa to seal the deal. The best visa depends on where your company is located. This means different visas apply for companies on the mainland versus those on the free zones.

Additionally, businesses can apply for multiple types of visas. It’s important that you choose the right type of visa for your company and apply for it before beginning operations in Dubai.

The Bottom Line: How to Move to Dubai From Canada

By now, you should know how to move to Dubai from Canada. Moving to Dubai from Canada can be an exciting and rewarding experience, especially for entrepreneurs and professionals. The UAE has even made it easy for expats to come and live there by offering enticing benefits and opportunities. All you need to do is apply for a visa and get the necessary business documents in order.

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to start your new life in Dubai! But to ensure your move is successful, remember to research the city’s laws, regulations and procedures.

For more guidance on how to move from Canada to Dubai, Virtuzone is here to help. Our team is knowledgeable and experienced in the UAE’s business setup process, so you can trust us to ensure your move goes smoothly.

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