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How to Move to Dubai From France: Ultimate Guide for French Citizens

Jan 26, 2023 | Living in Dubai

The UAE and France have had close ties for decades, which is why you can find a large French population living in the emirates. There are about 30,000 French citizens living in the UAE and more than 600 French companies operating here. So how to move to Dubai from France for French nationals, you may ask?

Not only is the UAE a strategic location to build global business ties, but it is also a luxurious destination that offers excellent lifestyle amenities. And among the emirates, Dubai is the most popular with French expats. For French nationals, there are numerous things to consider for a visit to Dubai or when moving to Dubai. Some of these include a residency visa or an employment visa for a French citizen, visa fees and visa services, the online visa application service, private health insurance within the Dubai health authority, a tourist visa/visit visa and it’s visa fees and how foreign nationals can integrate into the culture of Dubai.

So if you a French citizen looking to move to Dubai, keep on reading! Moving to another country can be an exciting experience, but you have to secure all the necessary paperwork. This guide will help you understand what documents and visas are needed to move from France to Dubai.

Free City Buildings In Dubai during Sunset Stock Photo

Souce: Pexels

Why Relocate to Dubai From France?

Moving to somewhere new is always a big decision, but Dubai offers plenty of attractive benefits to French citizens. Here are some of the main reasons why French citizens consider moving to Dubai.

An image of boxes ready for a relocation or move.

Tax Advantages When You Move to Dubai from France

One of the main reasons why expats from France move to Dubai is for the tax advantages. There are no personal income taxes in Dubai, unlike in France, where the tax rate can go as high as 45%. This means in Dubai, you get to keep your entire salary without having to pay any income tax.

What’s more, businesses in Dubai also benefit from a tax-free environment. In Dubai, there are areas called “free zones,” which the government assigned to attract foreign companies. Any business operating in these areas can enjoy 100% ownership and repatriation of profits.

Lastly, Dubai imposes only a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services. So not only do you get to keep your income, but you also get to enjoy more affordable goods.

An image of low tax vs. high tax

Lifestyle Amenities

Dubai offers luxurious lifestyle amenities that make living here very comfortable and convenient. The city boasts world-class infrastructure, modern shopping malls, and plenty of activities to enjoy, like the beach, golf courses, skiing in indoor snow parks, and much more.

The city is also home to some of the best restaurants in the world where you can find delicious French cuisine and international dishes. As of 2022, there are 11 Michelin-starred restaurants. And with its vibrant nightlife scene too, there’s always something new to experience in Dubai.

An image of a Michelin-star restaurant dish cooked with French cooking inspired by France.

Diverse Culture

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, with more than 200 nationalities living here. This means you get to be part of a diverse and multicultural community in the emirates. There are plenty of social events, cultural activities, and festivals in Dubai that you can participate in, such as the Dubai Shopping Festival and the National Day celebrations.

You will also not feel homesick. With the large French expat community in the city, you can easily find people who share the same language and culture.

Because of the large number of expats, English is the most commonly spoken language in Dubai. You can easily hone your language skills by interacting with the locals and other expats in your area.

An image of cultural diversity- something which is common in Dubai.

Networking Opportunities

The UAE is a strategic location to build global business ties. Many multinational companies, including French firms, have set up their offices in Dubai. This makes it easier for French citizens to find employment opportunities and make professional connections in the emirates.

As we mentioned, the city is a melting pot of cultures, which also applies to the professional world. You will have the chance to interact with people from all over the world and make valuable connections that can help advance your career.

An image showing the networking opportunities in countries such as Dubai.

Sunny Weather

For many French citizens, the sunny weather is an attractive feature of Dubai. The city’s hot summers and mild winters allow you to enjoy all-year-round sunshine.

Dubai also offers plenty of outdoor activities such as beach days, desert safaris, and water sports on its stunning beaches or artificial islands. There are also many parks for those who prefer to stay indoors during sizzling summer days.

An image of the sun in Dubai.

Excellent Healthcare

Dubai has some of the best healthcare in the world. The emirate is home to many state-of-the-art hospitals and facilities, which are equipped with modern medical technology and staffed by experienced doctors. Moreover, health insurance plans are also available at affordable rates for expats living in Dubai.

The city was one of the first to open its borders to foreigners following the pandemic. This is because of the excellent healthcare system in place, which has enabled the emirate to handle the crisis relatively efficiently.

A stock photo repressing healthcare- something available in Dubai.

Low Crime Rates

The UAE is one of the safest countries in the world, and that includes Dubai. The crime rate in Dubai is very low compared to other cities worldwide. According to Numbeo’s crowd-sourced data on crime, Dubai’s crime index of 16.38 is much lower than the 56.89 of Paris.

It is highly likely because of the government’s strict laws, a zero-tolerance policy, and the high level of surveillance in public areas. This makes Dubai a safe city and a great place for French expats who want to raise their families here.

An image showing a crime.

Types of Residency Visas: A  Move To Dubai From France

See yourself living in Dubai for the long term? You’ll need a visa that allows you to work and stay in the UAE for extended periods of time. Fortunately, the UAE government offers a variety of residency visas depending on your situation.

If you’re planning to set up a business in Dubai, our experts here at Virtuzone can help you identify and secure the best visa for your needs.

Employment Visa

If you’ve been hired by a UAE employer, then you can apply for an employment visa. This type of residency visa is valid for up to three years and is typically sponsored by your employer, who will help with the application process.

You must have a valid passport from France and other documents such as educational certificates, proof of experience and skill set, medical certificate (from an approved clinic), and police clearance certificate(s).

Family Visa

If you are planning to move with your family, then you will also need a family visa. This type of visa is sponsored by the main applicant (the person who has obtained a residency or employment visa). It covers all immediate family members, such as spouses and children under 18 years old.

The sponsor should have a minimum salary of AED 4,000 or AED 3,000 plus accommodation. The document requirements include a marriage certificate, birth certificate, medical certificate(s), passport copies of the sponsor and other relatives, etc.

Golden Visa

The Golden Visa Program is one of the most popular residency visas in the UAE. It allows foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and business owners to live and work in Dubai without having to gain sponsorship or an employer’s endorsement.

The requirements for this visa are quite strict, but if you meet them, you could get a residence visa of up to 10 years with multiple entry options. You must have at least AED 2 million in capital for a business or an investment fund.

Green Visa for Investors

The Green Visa for Investors is another popular option as it allows foreign investors to participate in commercial activities in the UAE. However, it is only valid for two years.

The requirements include the approval of the ICP on the investment as per the investors rating system applied, proof of the investment, and the approval of the competent local authorities.

Retirement Visa

The UAE is a popular destination for retirees, and the government has created a special retirement visa to cater to them.

To qualify, you must be aged 55 or above, have worked for at least 15 years inside or outside the UAE, and have financial savings of at least AED 1 million (or AED 15,000 per month). The visa is valid for 5 years, and you can renew it if you meet the eligibility criteria.

How to Set Up a French Business in Dubai- Why it is a good idea to Move to Dubai from France

Free Coffee Booth on Dubai Street Stock Photo

Source: Pexels

Dubai is the perfect ground for entrepreneurs and business owners to set up shop. Setting up a business in Dubai is relatively straightforward, although you will need to prepare the necessary documents in advance.

Here’s a guide on what you need to do to establish your business in the city:

1. Finalise business details. Before setting up your business in Dubai, you must decide on the type of business structure, goals, and activities. These details are needed for the application process.

2. Choose your location. We mentioned free zones before, but those are just one of the options. You can also choose to set up a shop in mainland Dubai or even offshore. Each business zone has different rules and regulations, so make sure to assess your options carefully.

3. Prepare and submit the documents. Once you have decided on the type of business and location, it’s time to start preparing the documents. Below is a basic list of requirements:

  • 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)

4. Get the required licences. Depending on your chosen business activity and where your business is located, you may need to apply for various licences from different authorities, such as the Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) or even from local government departments like Dubai Municipality.

5. Open a business bank account. Once you have all the licences and permits, you can easily open a business bank account in Dubai. The emirate is home to some of the world’s top-tier banks and financial institutions, which makes this process straightforward.

6. Apply for a visa. Once all the paperwork is in order, you can now apply for a visa. The golden visa is the best choice for entrepreneurs as it allows you to stay for up to 10 years without a sponsor.

What You Need to Know Before You Move To Dubai From France

Aside from learning the necessary permits, licences, and visas, it pays to know what to expect upon arrival in Dubai. Here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • The cost of living is relatively high: While salaries are also high, you should be prepared to pay more for rent and other expenses. In hindsight, the cost of living in Dubai is more affordable than in cities in France.
  • You may need to learn a few Arabic phrases: English is the main language of business in Dubai, but Arabic is still spoken by many people. It pays to learn a few phrases to communicate with locals better.
  • Prepare for the heat: Dubai has warm to hot weather all year round. The temperatures can be intense during the summer months. Get ready to turn up your air conditioning and buy some sunscreen!
  • Get used to the traffic: Dubai has a high number of private cars on the roads. Unfortunately, this means that traffic can get quite heavy during rush hour. Try to avoid driving at peak times or get familiar with the public transportation system.
  • Respect Islamic holidays. The UAE is a predominantly Muslim country, so make sure you know their religious holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid. These occasions can affect business operations and other activities.

Wrap-Up: How to Move to Dubai From France

When you are thinking of a move to Dubai from France can be a smooth process as long as you prepare the necessary paperwork in advance. The emirate offers plenty of job opportunities, luxurious amenities, and a safe environment. Your life here will surely be filled with numerous professional and leisure activities.

To make the move easier, you can hire the services of a relocation company that will help you with the entire application process. From finding suitable accommodation to securing all the essential documents, they can take care of it all.

Virtuzone is the leading immigration and business setup specialist in the UAE. We have been helping people relocate to Dubai since 2009, and we can provide you with all the necessary assistance.

Contact us today for more information on how to move from France to Dubai!


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