The UAE is home to citizens of many countries from all over the world. Expats now make up about 80% of the population of 2.4 million people in Dubai.
One of the main attractions of life and work in Dubai, and in the UAE as a whole, is the lack of taxes. There is no personal income tax, capital gains tax, social taxes and many other taxes in Dubai that are usual in the largest economies.
The UAE has a VAT tax, but the rate is very low (5%).
In addition, most companies also do not pay tax on their income, except for local banks and oil companies. Free zone companies are additionally protected from future tax policy changes with the guarantee that the tax will not be introduced within 50 years.
Despite the absence of taxation, the UAE has a wide network of double taxation treaties covering many large countries, such as India, Germany, France, China and the United Kingdom.
Terms of immigration to Dubai
Citizens of many countries can enter the UAE on a tourist visa and stay for 30 to 60 days, depending on their country of origin. Persons wishing to stay in the UAE after the expiry of the tourist visa must apply for a UAE resident visa which is a relatively fast and easy process.
To obtain a resident visa, a person must register for the National Identification card and pass certain medical tests, mainly a blood test.
When registering a company in the UAE, the owner and employees of the company are entitled to receive resident visas.
When an expat accepts a job offer from an employer in the UAE, then the company itself must file an application for obtaining the necessary permits and working resident UAE visas. It should be noted that there is a wage protection system (WPS) in the Emirates.
Expats can also get a visa by buying real estate – those who buy real estate with a value exceeding 1 million dirhams (272,500 USD) receive automatically a three-year resident UAE visa.
Nowadays, after receiving a resident visa, there is the right to stay in the UAE for three years and there are no restrictions on the number of expat applications to extend a resident visa. If the expatriate will be outside the UAE for more than six months, the visa will be revoked.
As an important step towards increasing the attractiveness of the UAE for business people and talented foreign employees, the government approved a plan to introduce new ten-year resident UAE visas for investors and specialists in the fields of science, medicine and some other industries. In addition, it is planned to introduce a five-year resident visa for students studying in the UAE, and this visa can be extended to 10 years for students with exceptional abilities.
Immigration to Dubai for starting a business
In the UAE, you can register a local company, or you can register a company in one of the free zones. There are about 50 free zones in total in the UAE and their number continues to grow.
When registering a local firm, a foreign owner can have no more than 49% of shares. However, at the end of 2018, it is expected that this restriction will be lifted for all or part of local companies.
So, thanks to the diversification of the economy and the low-tax policy pursued by the government, large private and public investments are invested in the country’s economy. Thanks to this, the UAE turned to become a prosperous, modern economy with a high standard of living.