How to move to Dubai for permanent residence

How to move to Dubai for permanent residence

Almost 2/3 of the population of one of the largest cities in the UAE, Dubai, is made up of foreign citizens. Many come for work and often plan to move to Dubai for permanent residence as a way to live more comfortably. The city is one of the 10 most developing cities in the world. Real estate in Dubai has options for various preferences and budgets.



The truth about Dubai sounds the most realistic from the mouths of those who are already acquainted with the city’s uniqueness - they have an insider perspective, and thus have their own opinion. An increasing number of Russian citizens are striving to move to the UAE for these reasons:

  • Unique climatic conditions. Since excess heat is also not always comfortable, this requires some getting used to. However, the absence of dreary conditions more than compensates for this.
  • Coastal proximity. Even though not every area has direct access to the beach, it can often be reached in a maximum of 20-30 minutes.
  • Developed infrastructure. The city occupies a leading position in terms of development rates so everything you need is always at hand. Medicine is advanced in Dubai with qualified specialists from different countries working in the Emirate. There is a range of schools, institutes, and kindergartens.
  • Security. There is practically no crime in the region due to strict laws.
  • Affordable housing prices. Compared to major European cities, real estate here is almost half the price.
  • No taxes. Citizens and expats do not pay taxes on real estate including when renting it out.

What are the disadvantages of life and work?

The adaptation to new living conditions is the main disadvantage, followed by language barriers, if any, and local peculiar or different ways of thinking. However, even these factors are easily surmountable. There are no major difficulties with communication given that there are many Russians in the region. Based on reviews about how others experience life in Dubai, it is evident that the country is very easy to adapt to. Moreover, a measured way of life and a culture of communication and safety are highly encouraging. It is not always possible in many countries not to have to worry about the safety of possessions. For example, if a purse with money was forgotten in a cafe or taxi, it will likely be returned, or the ability to move freely in the city at any time of the day without the risk of encountering drunk people is also pleasant.

A work visa is required to work in the UAE and work is prohibited on a tourist visa. Many foreigners are involved in the service sector, but running your own business is not prohibited. English knowledge is one of the prerequisites to find a well-paying job and knowledge of other languages is also valued.

What else needs to be considered

The life of Russians and other expats comes with some restrictions in Dubai:

  • Accommodation can only be purchased in certain free zones. However, there are enough of them to find the best option in almost any area of the city.
  • Medical services for citizens of other countries have to be paid and purchasing insurance is required to access healthcare.
  • Education also requires additional costs as free schooling is for UAE citizens only.

How to organize moving to Dubai for permanent residence?


Experts recommend that you first go on an introductory tour. It is recommended that if you are visiting Dubai for the first time to set clear goals for and study the infrastructure and what each district offers. If you intend to live a quiet life in retirement, you should pay attention to communities in the suburbs or on the coast. On the other hand, if you have a family with children, it is advisable to choose a place of residence within walking distance from schools to save time on the daily commutes. Considering these little things makes it easier to move to Dubai in 2021.


These are a few tips from those who have already moved from Russia to live in Dubai:

  • The best months to move is during winter. It is easier to adapt to the climate at a comfortable temperature in the range of 23-25 degrees.
  • Do not worry about the need to obtain citizenship. It is extremely difficult to do this and emigrants from Russia feel comfortable without it. A residence permit is sufficient.
  • If you plan to move and continue working, it is important to carefully read the contract terms. An employer can pay more than just wages and also partially compensate for other expenses - for example, paying for health insurance or schools fees.

Before leaving for permanent residence, you need to imagine your ideal living circumstances in advance. Doing this will allow you to choose the optimal area for your lifestyle.


Age is not an obstacle to change your place of residence and reviews about how Russians live in Dubai confirm this. In 2021, the state launched a special program called “Retire in Dubai”, according to which a pensioner can obtain a visa for a period of 5 years. This requires the following:

  • Have retired status in your own country and being 55 years old.
  • Own real estate in the United Arab Emirates valued at at least 2,000,000 dirhams.

An alternative to this purchase can be a deposit in the bank of the country of 1,000,000 dirhams. It is also possible to live on a pension if the pensioner receives a monthly income of 20,000 dirhams. It is important to bear in mind that upon reaching retirement age, a person loses the right to hold public office and can only work as a founder of their own company.

When moving to Dubai for retirement, most people tend to weigh all the pros and cons in advance as this is the logical and safe thing to do. There are many more advantages ranging from a comfortable climate to high-quality healthcare. Only the material/financial aspect can be a disadvantage since not every pensioner has such assets.


Can I move to Dubai on my own? In theory, yes, since the law even provides a remote option to purchase a house. However, most citizens prefer to use the services of reliable real estate agencies. Experts not only help in choosing an apartment but also provide legal support for the transaction. This is the safest and most problem-free option when moving to Dubai from Russia.

There is a wide selection of housing facilities in the city, the cost of which depends on the specific community. On average, you can buy:

  • A studio apartment for 400,000 dirhams.
  • 1-bedroom apartment for AED 800,000.
  • 2-bedroom apartments are offered for approximately AED 1,500,000.

The most expensive real estate is villas. They are in demand by foreign buyers who value comfort and seek to own housing on an individual plot of land. Before leaving Russia for permanent residence, you can remotely acquaint yourself with Dubai’s real estate market.


A person can stay in the country for a month on a tourist visa. This is enough to familiarize yourself with the region before emigrating from Russia. In the future, you would need to obtain a residence permit. A visa can be issued only for residence or to allow work. A residence permit is issued for a period of 1 to 3 years. There are legal exceptions for extending the deadline but these are intended for certain categories of citizens.

An international passport is required to apply for a visa. The consular fee for registration is charged depending on the visa type.

How to organize moving to Dubai for permanent residence?


The quality of life and the separation from established habits and social circles raises many questions. However, there is a large Russian community that numbers more than 200,000 people; many are from Russia but there are also many people from other countries of the former Soviet Union. There are Russian schools, periodicals in the native language, and many cultural events in Russian.

If Russian emigrants speak English, then they face no difficulties in adapting, in principle. Knowledge of Arabic is not required as the main language of the country is English. Many newcomers work in the service sector and salary levels vary significantly. However, many strive to run their own businesses and expand their opportunities to generate income.


There is simply no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether it is worth living in Dubai. Each person has their own concept of comfort and the same city can cause conflicting responses. However, the majority of those who have moved say that they feel a special freedom which is largely due to the high-security level.

Those who have started their own businesses give positive feedback about the region as well. Favorable conditions for doing business allow you to make good profits. Many are able to find something to do to their liking. Registration of your own company does not require significant investments as the state seeks to support small and medium-sized businesses.


Most people planning to move have many questions related not only to the legal registration for changing residence but also to the living conditions in the region. A company specializing in the sale of real estate in the UAE will help you choose the best option. Experts are ready to advise on any issues regarding permanent residence in Dubai. The catalog contains current announcements on the sale of apartments, villas, and apartments - you can get acquainted with the Arab market right now.

Read also
Subscribe to newsletter