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How to Move to Dubai from India: Ultimate Guide for Citizens, Business Owners, and Entrepreneurs

Jan 10, 2023 | Living in Dubai

Dubai and Abu Dhabi, dynamic cities in the United Arab Emirates, are increasingly attracting Indian entrepreneurs and business owners with their blend of vibrant lifestyle and business opportunities. This guide will discuss how to move to Dubai from India whilst exploring the allure of Dubai for Indian expatriates, highlighting its robust infrastructure, thriving job market, and tax incentives.

We delve into the essential steps for relocating from India to Dubai, including understanding visa requirements, navigating accommodation choices, and adhering to local laws. Additionally, we outline the process of establishing a business in Dubai and provide insights into the golden visa program, making your transition smooth and informed.

Visa Options for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Indians planning to move to Dubai can explore several visa options like the Investor Visa, Partner Visa, and the Golden Visa, each providing distinct opportunities for residency and business in Dubai.

The Golden Visa

The UAE’s Golden Visa program offers 10 years of residency for investors and specially talented individuals. It has shown remarkable success since its inception in 2019. Over 150,000 Golden Visas have been issued, attracting a diverse range of individuals, from global celebrities to professionals in sectors like health, engineering, science, and art.

This program is central to the UAE’s efforts to attract and retain top talent, contributing significantly to its economic and social fabric. The success of the Golden Visa scheme highlights the UAE’s appeal as a destination for international talent and investment.

Golden Visa Eligibility:
  • Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million
  • Entrepreneurs owning a project of at least AED 500,000
  • Specialized talents in science, knowledge, and art
  • Outstanding students and graduates

The Golden Visa in the UAE offers numerous benefits, such as long-term residency, increased business opportunities, and access to a diverse and dynamic economic environment, enhancing the lifestyle and investment prospects of expatriates.

When it comes to the application process for a UAE golden visa, Virtuzone can help! We offer a seamless and thorough end-to-end support system, ensuring that all necessary documents for your application are meticulously organized and complete, facilitating a smooth and successful application process.

Investor Visa

The Investor Visa in the UAE is designed for foreign nationals making substantial investments in the country’s economy. It typically offers residency for a period linked to the scale and duration of the investment, providing investors with the opportunity to live, work, and engage in business activities within the UAE. This visa is an attractive option for those looking to leverage the UAE’s dynamic economic landscape and investment opportunities.

Investor Visa Eligibility:

  • Foreign nationals investing at least AED 1 million in real estate in the UAE
  • Foreign nationals investing at least AED 72,000 in a company

Partner Visa

The Partner Visa in the UAE is specifically designed for individuals who are co-owners or partners in businesses based in the UAE. This visa offers residency for the duration of the business’s operation, allowing partners to live and work in the UAE as long as their business remains active. It’s an ideal option for those engaged in entrepreneurial ventures within the UAE’s diverse and growing economy.

Partner Visa Eligibility:

  • Co-owners or partners in UAE-based companies
  • Valid as long as the business remains operational

A list of the most popular visa options for moving to Dubai from India.

How to Apply For a Visa in Dubai

To apply for a business visa in Dubai, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Type of Visa: Choose the appropriate visa from the Golden Visa, Investor Visa and Partner Visa, depending on your circumstances.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Prepare necessary documents such as a valid passport, completed visa application form, proof of investment, company shares, or professional qualifications.
  3. Submit the Application: Apply online via the UAE government’s website or in person at an embassy or consulate.
  4. Pay the Visa Fee: Fees vary based on the type of visa and duration of stay.
  5. Wait for Processing: Processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well before your planned travel.

This can be a long and tricky process; however, the team at Virtuzone will make it feel like a breeze.

How to Move to Dubai – Essential Tips for Indians

An image of a packed suitcase for the move to Dubai from India.

Source: Pexels.com

Moving to Dubai can be an exciting yet intimidating experience for Indians.

With its mix of culture, tradition, and modernity, newcomers must learn the lay of the land in this Middle Eastern city. The following are some essential tips to help Indians make the transition to life in Dubai smoother and more successful.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Dubai can vary depending on several factors, including your lifestyle choices and the specific location where you live.

Here are some general daily necessities associated with living in Dubai:

  • Housing: The cost of housing in Dubai can vary significantly depending on the location and quality of the property. For example, districts that are close to the beach, such as Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, are more expensive as they are highly desirable. In contrast, properties situated on the outskirts of the City are more affordable.
  • Healthcare: Healthcare in Dubai is generally of high quality and is widely available. Private healthcare is typically more expensive than public healthcare. Still, many ex-pats choose to use private facilities using their medical insurance due to the shorter wait times and higher quality of care. The cost of healthcare and health insurance can vary depending on the type of treatment or procedure you require, but it is generally more expensive than in many other countries.
  • Education: The cost of education in Dubai can vary depending on the type of school and the level of education. International schools are high quality and widely available, which greatly facilitates the transitioning process for children who attend school in India.
  • Transportation: The cost of transportation in Dubai can vary depending on your mode of transportation and the distance you need to travel. Public transport, including buses and the metro, is generally inexpensive, while taxi fares can be higher. Owning a car in Dubai can be more expensive due to the high cost of fuel and car insurance, as well as the cost of owning and maintaining a vehicle.
  • Food and groceries: The cost of food and groceries in Dubai can vary depending on your shopping habits and the type of food you buy. Fresh produce and locally-grown foods tend to be less expensive than imported items, and dining out can be more expensive than cooking at home.
  • Other expenses: Other expenses to consider when living in Dubai may include utilities (such as electricity and water), phone and internet services, and leisure activities.

It’s important to note that the cost of living in Dubai may vary depending on your specific circumstances. It’s a good idea to budget carefully and plan to ensure there aren’t any surprises when you emigrate.

An image of a calculator and money, whilst a person looks into the cost of living in Dubai.

What are the Benefits of Relocating to Dubai from India?

Dubai is located in the Middle East and is a city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Along with Abu Dhabi, It has become a popular destination for immigrants and businesses due to its favourable business climate, low corporate tax rates, high standard of living, and attractive lifestyle opportunities.

If you’re considering how to move to Dubai from India, here are some compelling reasons why it could be the right decision and an amazing opportunity:

  • Robust economy: Dubai has a diversified economy based on trade, tourism, and real estate development. The city has a well-developed infrastructure, including a modern port and airport, and is home to several major international companies.
  • Favourable business climate: Dubai has a business-friendly environment that makes it attractive to entrepreneurs and investors. The city has a low corporate tax rate, minimal bureaucracy, and a well-developed legal system, making it easier to set up and operate a business.
  • High standard of living: Dubai has a high standard of living, with modern amenities and a high quality of life. The city has a well-developed healthcare system, good schools, and a wide range of recreational and cultural activities.
  • Attractive lifestyle opportunities: Dubai is known for its luxurious lifestyle and world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment options. The city also has a diverse population and a tolerant, cosmopolitan culture that makes it an attractive place to live for Indian expats as well as people from many different backgrounds.
  • Good location: Dubai is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it an ideal hub for international trade and business. The city is also well-connected to other major cities worldwide, with direct flights to many destinations.

So how to move to Dubai from India with your business? Let us delve further into the primary aspects to consider when launching or relocating your business from India to Dubai.

Main Factors to Consider When Starting a Business in Dubai

An image of two business men from Dubai and India shaking hands.

To set up a business in Dubai, there are several points that you need to consider.

Setting up a business in Dubai involves the following steps:

  1. Determine Business Type: Choose a free zone company, mainland company, or branch office, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages.
  2. Select Location: Decide whether you set up in a free zone or on the mainland. Depending on the type of business you operate, a free zone offers tax-free business operations and a streamlined process for setting up and operating a business. In contrast, the mainland offers greater access to local markets but may have more stringent regulations.
  3. Obtain Licenses and Permits: Secure a trade license and other necessary permits for your industry.
  4. Register Your Business: Complete your business registration with the Department of Economic Development (DED) or the respective free zone authority. Each visa application will require different documentation. However, you may need to include your business plan, Memorandum of Association (MoA), and shareholders’ details. You will also be required to pay registration fees, which vary depending on the business structure and location.
  5. Set Up Infrastructure: Find the perfect spot for your office that fits the vibe of your business. Assemble a dream team of employees who share your vision and passion. Get your hands on all the gear you need, from comfy chairs to the latest tech, making sure your workspace feels like a second home. Finally, don’t forget the essentials like internet and utilities to keep everything running smoothly.

It’s a good idea to seek legal advice and consult with an advisor such as Virtuzone to ensure you meet all requirements and comply with local laws.

Free Zone vs Mainland

When choosing between free zone and mainland company setup in Dubai, think about what’s best for your business. Are you going for a free zone? You’ll get 100% ownership and no taxes, which is awesome for global business but comes with trade limits in the UAE mainland. Or are you leaning towards the mainland? You’ll need a local partner for majority ownership, but you get to trade freely in the UAE market and can set up shop anywhere in Dubai. So, weigh your needs: international focus or local market access?

A comparison of free zone company set up and mainland company set up, in the UAE.

Main Factors to Consider When Moving a Business From India to Dubai

  1. Do Your Homework: Dive into Dubai’s business scene. Check out the rules, chat with advisors like Virtuzone, or scour government sites for the lowdown. It’s important to carefully research the business environment in Dubai and understand the specific requirements and regulations that apply to your business.
  2. Visa Time: Sort out those visas for you and your team. Every situation is different, so tailor your approach.
  3. Get Set Up: Register your business in Dubai. Pick a business location, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and set up the necessary infrastructure to start operating.
  4. Move Your Gear: You will need to plan for the transfer of your business assets, including equipment, supplies, and any intellectual property. This may involve shipping or transporting your assets to Dubai, and you will need to consider any customs or import duties that may apply.
  5. Establish a Local Presence: Hire some local talent, open an office or commercial space, and start mingling with local businesses and customers.

It’s a big leap, but with the right plan, you’ll land smoothly in Dubai’s business world!

You Will Love the Culture of Dubai

From its ornate decorations to its vibrant nightlife, Dubai is a city characterized by a unique and varied culture. This culture is also deeply influenced by the many Indian ex-pats living in the area.

From traditional Indian restaurants all over the city to cultural events featuring art, music, and performances from all parts of India, Dubai is home to a vibrant and diverse population that has enriched its local culture in numerous ways.

Whether it’s exploring the colourful Bazaars or attending an international film festival hosted at one of the world-class resorts, visitors or those looking to relocate to Dubai can find themselves immersed in a colourful blend of both traditional Emirate and Indian cultures

A picture if Dubai at night, featuring lit up buildings behind a lake.

How to Move To Dubai from India 

So, making the big leap from India to Dubai? It’s a journey that takes patience and planning. Exploring visa options is the first port of call. The Investor Visa is ideal for those making substantial investments, the Golden Visa suits individuals with specialized skills or significant financial contributions, and the Partner Visa is perfect for business co-owners in the UAE. Each caters to different entrepreneurial needs and ambitions in Dubai.

Relocating your business to Dubai’s dynamic environment, though a bit complex, is an adventure filled with opportunities. You’ll need to dig into details like business zones, company structures, and local laws. Choosing between setting up your business in a free zone or on the mainland requires careful consideration of their distinct benefits.

Remember, it’s not just about getting there; it’s about settling in smoothly. With careful research and a solid plan, you’ll find your place in Dubai’s vibrant business landscape and lifestyle.

Seeking legal advice and consulting with a business advisor such as Virtuzone can help you ensure that you are fully compliant with local laws and regulations and can successfully set up and operate a business in Dubai.

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