Dubai opens its doors to remote workers

  • The government of Dubai has opened the cities doors to remote workers 
  • Workers who can prove an income of $5,000 per month are eligible for the scheme
  • The application costs $287 
  • Workers who are accepted on the special visa program do not have to pay income tax whilst living Dubai
  • This blog will explore the pros and cons of moving to Dubai as a remote worker

A large percentage of people, this year, have become accustomed to the idea of working remotely. Certain groups of people are still working remotely as companies continue to take precautions to protect their workforce from COVID-19.

Some companies have allowed employees to enjoy flexible office/remote working schedules. Moreover, a growing number of companies, have decided to close offices and switch to a fully remote model.

In many countries, this switch has led to an exodus from cities with workers no longer required to live close to offices.

Bloomberg is predicting that those leaving cities will opt for the suburbs, as ”most city dwellers don’t enjoy life in rural areas or small towns”.

Bloomberg’s article focuses on those remaining within the US, but for those with an open mind to an international lifestyle the options are endless.

Below we explore Dubai’s new remote-worker visa and some of the pros of upping sticks and moving to the Gulf’s most forward-thinking nation.

The pros of moving to Dubai as a remote worker 

Income tax – Dubai has no income tax – meaning whatever income you earn in Dubai (assuming you are not a US, Eritrean or South African citizen) is yours to keep.

Great weather – Dubai has 12 months of sunshine and around 8 months of perfect weather. The summer months of June, July, August & September are rather uncomfortable. During the summer, many residents choose to migrate to Europe. For remote workers, this is generally feasible. However, it’s important to seek tax advice if you are planning to spend a prolonged period away from the UAE.

A typical day in Downtown Dubai
A typical day in Downtown Dubai

Great education – For those with children, Dubai is an excellent option. Dubai is home to a selection of excellent schools. Many of the schools in Dubai teach the British or IB curriculums. Dubai is also home to a growing number of universities, with big names such as the University of Birmingham Dubai and Cass Business School setting up shop in the UAE.

Social life – Dubai is home to one of the most vibrant social and diverse social lives on earth. People from all over the world congregate in Dubai. So whatever it is your looking for, you can usually find it.

Central geographical location – Dubai is located in the Middle East meaning for business it’s perfect, workers can communicate with Australasia & Asia in the morning, Africa and Europe in the Afternoon & the East Coast of the Americas in the early evening.

The Emirates destination map

Ease of travel – The UAE is a major international hub, with world-class airlines Emirates & Etihad servicing major cities as far away as Auckland in the East & Santiago in the West.

Excellent communication – Dubai has world-class WiFi coverage & city-wide 4G coverage.

Remote working communities – Dubai is home to a growing community of remote working spaces, initially, these communities were found in coffee shops, more recently this has grown to more developed spaces being offered by companies like WeWork & StudioRepublik.


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