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Advantages and features of moving to Dubai from Russia

Преимущества и особенности переезда в Дубай из России

It is much easier to move from Russia to the UAE than to Europe or the USA, so the country’s population consists of 87-90% expats — people who live on a resident visa. Dubai attracts with a high level of income, a comfortable life, culture and huge opportunities for development.

This article is a useful guide for those who are planning to move to Dubai from Russia, but do not know where to start and how much life in the UAE costs.

Reasons for emigrating to the UAE

The main reason for emigration to the UAE from Russia is a high standard of living. There are no taxes on personal income, infrastructure is developing rapidly, comfortable conditions for business have been created, and in each of the seven emirates — clean, beautiful and safe.

People often move to Dubai because of the climate. It’s cold to live in Russia, it’s much nicer to be warm, when even in winter you can sunbathe on the beach. Another advantage of living in the UAE is its favorable geographical location, so you can travel around the world from here.

In 2022, a special program for freelancers appeared in the UAE — now specialists in consulting, management and other fields from all over the world come to the country.

Obtaining a visa to the UAE

Obtaining a visa to the UAE

A resident visa in the UAE is an analogue of a residence permit. It is usually issued for 3 years, gives the right to freely reside on the territory of the country, enter and leave its borders, apply for medical insurance, and obtain a driver’s license.

After applying for a visa, you need to get an Emirates ID. This is a resident identification card or, in simple words, an identity card that you always need to carry with you.

Methods of emigration

To move to Dubai from Russia, you need to apply for a resident visa. This can be done through employment, starting a business, buying real estate (investing) or studying at accredited universities and colleges. The procedure for issuing a visa and its validity period depends on the basis on which it is issued.

Moving to the UAE through employment

There are two ways to get a job in the UAE.

The first is to come as a tourist and look for a job on the spot, the second is to find a vacancy from Russia. The employer will deal with the registration of a working resident visa. All that is required of you is a copy of your passport, photos and additional documents on request.

A work visa is issued only upon conclusion of an agreement with an offshore company.

Since 2022, Talent Pass has been operating in the UAE. This is a resident visa, which is issued to freelancers — for example, artists, marketers, IT specialists. The Talent Pass is valid for 3 years and gives the owner the right to rent an office in the DAFZ — free economic zone.

Marriage with a local resident

Marriage with a local resident

Muslims marry in a Sharia Court. To do this, you need to undergo a medical examination and get permission from the father (guardian) of the bride. The age difference between the future spouses is not allowed to be more than twice. Keep in mind that marriage with a local resident is possible only if a number of conditions are met — for example, two Muslim men must be present at registration.

Marriage with a citizen of the UAE is the basis for issuing a resident visa.

Opening your own company

Moving to the UAE for permanent residence from Russia is possible if you open your own business in this country.

A resident visa is issued upon registration of an onshore company — local or in a free economic zone. If you register an offshore company, you do not get the right to apply for a resident visa.

The company will have to be renewed regularly — to confirm that you really carry out activities. A mandatory requirement is the presence of an office. It can be rented or bought — both options are suitable.

Admission to a local university

To get a student visa, three conditions are necessary. The first is to enroll in an accredited university or college in the UAE, the second is to confirm your knowledge of English with a TOEFL or IELTS certificate, the third is to pay for tuition.

On average, studying at a local university costs from 5 to 20 thousand dollars. A student’s visa is renewed annually, it is impossible to work on it. Among the popular areas in which training is conducted in the UAE are marketing, finance, management.

Buying real estate

Another way to become a resident of the UAE is to buy real estate. It should cost from 750 thousand dirhams, be located in Free Hold areas — in an object commissioned.

The validity period of the visa depends on the value of the property. When buying an object from 750 thousand dirhams, a visa is issued for 3 years, from 5 million dirhams — for 5 years.

The requirements for real estate depend on its value and the visa you receive. For example, an apartment from 750 thousand dirhams can be paid for by 50% with a mortgage, and in the case of real estate from 5 million dirhams, when you apply for a visa for 5 years, no encumbrance is allowed — you need to buy the object only at your own expense.

What do you need to move to Dubai?

Moving to Dubai

To move to the UAE, you need to get a resident visa, rent a house and save money for the first 1-2 months of life — for food, entertainment, shopping. A prerequisite for expats is the registration of a medical policy. A comprehensive policy will cost you 5500 dirhams, but it can be issued cheaper if you receive a minimum income — for 3500 dirhams per year.

Features of moving to the UAE with children

It will not be possible to immediately move to Dubai with the children. First you need to get a resident visa for yourself, and then you need to become a sponsor of a resident visa for a child. To do this, you need to confirm solvency and kinship — legalize the birth certificate.

If you are a resident of the United Arab Emirates, you can enroll children in preschool and school institutions.

Preschool education in the UAE consists of several stages. The first is a Nursery (in Russia — a nursery), where babies from 3 to 6 months are accepted, the second is a Kindergarten (in Russia — kindergartens), where children from 4 to 6 years are sent.

School education is conducted according to several programs. The most common is American, where they teach according to the US curriculum system, based on US state standards for English, mathematics, history and geography.

Is it possible to live in Dubai without citizenship?

Live in Dubai without citizenship

Almost all expats live in Dubai without citizenship. It is difficult to get it — strict restrictions apply. Women who have been married to a citizen of the UAE for more than 7 years and children who were born in the country and one of the parents is a citizen of the UAE can count on citizenship.

Residents can obtain citizenship if they have lived in the Arab Emirates for more than 30 years, have a stable income, speak Arabic and have a good reputation. Additionally, citizenship is granted to persons with outstanding services to the state — for example, scientists and athletes.

How to live in the UAE without citizenship?

To live permanently in Dubai, you do not need citizenship, but a resident visa. This is enough to rent a house, send children to kindergartens and schools, use health services, open bank accounts, freely enter and leave the UAE — an unlimited number of times.

We tell you how life is in the UAE without citizenship — with a resident visa on hand.

Banks and currency

The national currency of the UAE is the dirham (DAE). In May 2022, 1 dirham costs 20 rubles or $0.27. Cash for payment in Dubai is rarely used — mainly for taxi rides and food delivery. Shops, restaurants and other establishments accept cashless payment.

You can open a bank account yourself or through a sponsor — for example, through an employer. The largest banks are Emirates NBD, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. The debit card is issued within 1-3 days.

Salaries and taxes

UAE salaries and Taxes

The average salary in the UAE ranges from 7,000 to 25,000 dirhams. You can get much less if you work as an assistant at a hotel — about 2,000 dirhams, and much more — for example, web developers get about 50,000 dirhams.

There is no tax on salaries, business income and personal income in Dubai.

Housing

Renting a home in the UAE is 3-4 times more expensive than in Russia. The price tag starts from 4500 dirhams per month, but the calculation goes a year ahead. Sometimes landlords make concessions and split the payment into 4-6 checks during the year.

Most often, apartments are rented empty, so you will have to buy furniture. Of the additional expenses — a deposit to the landlord and a deposit for connecting utilities, air conditioning and Internet — about 2500 dirhams.

Посуточно снять жилье можно через Airbnb, Бронирование или Dubizzle, на длительный срок – тот же Dubizzle, Bayut, Поиск недвижимости.

Cohabitation villas

It is much cheaper to rent an isolated room in a villa than a separate apartment. They come immediately with furniture, and utilities and Internet are included in the price. It is convenient that you can pay monthly, and not immediately for a year. Kitchens in such villas are shared, and bathrooms are in each room.

В среднем, ценник за комнату на вилле совместного проживания начинается от 2900 дирхам в месяц, с интернетом, уборкой и бассейном — от 3600 дирхам.

Transport, cars and parking

Almost everyone drives cars in Dubai. Carsharing is available through Eka, Udrive and FriendyCar services, you need a local or European driver’s license. Most often, carsharing is paid per minute — from 0.7 dirhams per minute, less often — daily. The price includes gasoline and Parking in the city.

If you do not have a driver’s license, you can travel by metro, public transport or taxi.

The Dubai Metro consists of two lines — red and green, with a total of 49 stations. Buses run on 119 routes — they cover more than 90% of the emirate. Taxis in the UAE can be ordered through Uber, KiwiTaxi, Careem.

You need a Nol smart card to pay for a ride or parking space. The cost of a one—time metro and bus ticket is 4 dirhams, a daily pass is 20 dirhams.

Driving license in Dubai

Driving license in Dubai

Russian citizens will have to retrain and take tests to get a driver’s license in the UAE. The number of training hours depends on the length of service — usually ranges from 20 to 40. The minimum price of training is 3600 dirhams, according to the terms — 3-4 weeks.

Entertainments

Dubai is an ideal place to relax, so there will be no problems with finding entertainment. Beaches, oceanariums, huge shopping malls, spa centers, bars, clubs and even a ski resort with artificial snow – you can have a good rest everywhere.

Tourism

The best tourist places in Dubai are Burj Khalifa, artificial Palm Jumeirah Island, Dubai Fountain, Al Jazeera Park and Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, Al Kasbah Canal in Sharjah. Oman is located next to the UAE — the only country in the Persian Gulf where you can see mountains, deserts, and oases.

Religion and special rules of conduct

The UAE is a Muslim country.

There are no strict requirements for foreigners, but observing the basic rules of conduct is the minimum that a resident must fulfill. For example, you should not dress provocatively outside the beach and the club, use loud obscenities, take pictures of residents of the country without permission, publicly express your feelings, sharply condemn the authorities even in personal correspondence.

In the month of Ramadan, when Muslims keep a fast, you can eat and drink during the day only at home or in specially designated places.

Food and alcohol

About 90% of the products in the UAE are exported, so they are expensive. For example, in 2022 beef costs 30 dirhams per kilogram, eggs — 4 dirhams for 6 pieces, cucumbers — 12 dirhams per kilogram, grain bread — 7-10 dirhams.

The most popular supermarkets are Carrefour, Spinneys, Geant Hypermarket, Waitrose and VIVA. Products with delivery can be ordered through Yalla Market, InstaShop, supermarket chain applications.

Alcohol in the UAE is sold in bars, restaurants and shops. To buy alcohol in stores, you need a special alcohol license — Alcoholic Drinks License. It is issued to applicants from the age of 21 and with a salary of at least 3000 dirhams per month, sets a certain limit on the purchase of alcohol — usually 10% of income, and is valid for 1 year.

Residents

There are a lot of foreigners in the UAE, so they speak English more often on the streets than in Arabic. There are also a lot of Russian speakers — usually Russian-speaking staff work in hotels, beauty salons and large restaurants, so there will be no problems with communication.

There are few indigenous people in the UAE — only 11%. But there are many Lebanese, Hindus and Pakistanis in the country. They usually work at construction sites, hotels and in the service sector. The attitude towards Russians is positive.

How much does it cost to move to Dubai?

Moving expenses to the UAE

Expenses for moving to Dubai in 2022:

  • registration of a UAE resident visa — from 2500 dirhams (the employer pays for a work visa, for an expat — it’s free);
  • medical insurance — 5500 dirhams per year (employers usually pay for insurance for employees);
  • accommodation — from 3500 dirhams per month (+ one—time payments: deposit to the landlord – 100% of the monthly payment, and a deposit for connecting utilities — 2500 dirhams);
  • transportation: car rental — from 2000 dirhams per month (+ parking and gasoline — about 700 dirhams per month), public transport — from 250-300 dirhams, depending on the frequency of trips;
  • products — 1500-2000 dirhams per month;
  • fitness club subscription – 300 dirhams per month;
  • clothing, entertainment, shopping — from 1000 dirhams.

On average, one person in the UAE requires from 6000 to 8000 dirhams per month if you rent a small apartment outside the city center or an isolated room in a shared villa, do not go to restaurants and buy clothes as needed.

You will be able to feel freer from 10000-12000 dirhams per month. Then you can rent a car — it is much more convenient to travel by it than by public transport, have dinner in restaurants a couple of times a month and enjoy shopping.

If you are applying for a resident visa because you have opened a business or bought a house, then add to this the costs of business and real estate.

How do Russian pensioners live in the UAE?

The retirement age in the UAE is from 60 years. It is impossible to apply for a working resident visa from this age, so most Russian pensioners are in Dubai thanks to working children who become their sponsors.

The life of pensioners in the UAE is much more comfortable than in Russia. There are no special conditions for people of retirement age in the country, but a high standard of living, a developed healthcare system and additional services make the stay as comfortable as possible.

All that working Russian pensioners can count on is a one—time payment from the employer upon retirement.

How can I extend a resident visa in the UAE?

Resident visa in the UAE

A resident’s visa can be extended if the basis on which it was issued for the first time continues to be valid.

If a work visa is issued, it is extended after 2 or 3 years independently by the employer. The student visa is renewed annually — for this purpose, the university where the training is conducted sends a corresponding notification to the migration service. The visa, which is issued when buying real estate, is extended after 3 years or 5 years — for this you need a document confirming the right of ownership of housing.

Documents for extension are submitted before the expiration of the valid UAE resident visa, but not earlier than 1 month in advance.

During the extension, the same actions are performed as when you first get a visa — you have to fill out a questionnaire, prepare documents, and get a medical commission’s opinion.

How to apply for resident visas in the UAE for family members?

The holder of a resident visa can act as a sponsor for his family members: spouse, children, parents. Most often, the sponsor is a man, a woman is subject to increased requirements and restrictions on the profession.

The requirements for sponsors depend on the type of resident visa. For example, a work visa holder can become a sponsor for a spouse if his salary is from 4000 dirhams per month — the exact amount of income depends on the emirate.

Additionally, it will be necessary to legalize a marriage certificate or the birth of children, collect documents and submit them to GDRFA — the General Directorate for Residents and Foreign Citizens in Dubai.

In general, it is possible for family members to become a sponsor for issuing resident visas to the UAE, but they will have to prove their solvency.

Briefly about the main thing

What you need to move to Dubai from Russia — instead of withdrawal:

  • An analogue of a residence permit in the UAE is a resident visa, which allows an expat to freely reside in the country;
  • Grounds for obtaining a resident visa: employment, study at a local university, purchase of real estate or business registration;
  • Housing, food and everything else in Dubai is more expensive than in Russia, but the income level is also appropriate — 3-4 times higher;
  • Residents can extend their visa an unlimited number of times, as well as act as sponsors for close relatives who want to move to the UAE;
  • The standard of living in the Arab Emirates depends on the salary — on average, it ranges from 7,000 to 25,000 dirhams;
  • It takes 3-4 months to start preparing for moving to Dubai from Russia — this is enough time to find a job, look after housing and save money for the first time.
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