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Country Details

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a dynamic and rapidly developing country located in the Middle East. Here are five important facts about the UAE:

  1. Economic Powerhouse: The UAE has emerged as a major global economic hub. It is known for its thriving business environment, particularly in sectors such as finance, real estate, tourism, and energy. The UAE's economy is highly diversified, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi being major centers for international trade and investment. The country's strategic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and business-friendly policies have attracted multinational corporations and entrepreneurs from around the world.
  2. Cultural Diversity: The UAE is home to a rich tapestry of cultures and nationalities. While the UAE's population is predominantly composed of expatriates, the local Emirati culture is deeply rooted in traditions and Islamic values. The country embraces religious tolerance and offers a vibrant mix of cultural experiences, ranging from traditional Emirati heritage to a wide array of international cuisines, arts, and entertainment.
  3. Architectural Marvels: The UAE is renowned for its impressive skyline and iconic architectural landmarks. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai stands as the tallest building in the world, symbolizing the country's ambition and innovation. Other notable architectural marvels include the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago shaped like a palm tree, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, one of the largest mosques in the world.
  4. Tourism and Entertainment: The UAE has become a popular tourist destination, offering a range of attractions and experiences. Dubai, in particular, is famous for its luxurious hotels, shopping malls, and entertainment options, including indoor ski slopes, water parks, and desert safaris. Abu Dhabi boasts world-class cultural institutions, such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the upcoming Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The UAE also hosts major international events, including the Dubai Expo 2020.
  5. Visionary Leadership: The UAE's success can be attributed, in part, to its visionary leadership. The rulers of the seven emirates have focused on economic diversification, education, innovation, and sustainable development. Initiatives like the UAE Vision 2021 and the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 outline ambitious goals to build a knowledge-based economy, enhance social welfare, and protect the environment.

These facts highlight the UAE's remarkable transformation from a desert region to a global powerhouse. With its thriving economy, cultural vibrancy, architectural wonders, and visionary leadership, the UAE continues to attract attention and visitors from all corners of the world.

Immigration Details

Immigrating to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be done through various visa categories, such as employment visas, business visas, investment visas, real estate visas, study visas, and residency programs. Here is an overview of each option, including estimated timeframes, fees, and supporting documents:

  1. Employment Visas: To work in the UAE, you need a job offer from a UAE-based employer. The employer must sponsor your employment visa. The process includes obtaining a work permit and residency visa. The estimated timeframe to obtain an employment visa is around 2-4 weeks.

Supporting Documents:

  • Valid passport with at least six months' validity
  • Job offer letter
  • Employment contract
  • Educational certificates and qualifications
  • Passport-sized photographs
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Police clearance certificate (depending on the country of origin)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: Fees for employment visas include application fees, medical examination fees, visa stamping fees, and Emirates ID card fees. The costs can vary depending on the specific circumstances and type of employment.

  1. Business Visas: To establish a business in the UAE, you can apply for a business visa, also known as a trade license. The requirements and capital requirements differ based on the emirate and the legal form of the company.

Supporting Documents:

  • Business plan
  • Proof of sufficient funds for investment
  • Passport copies of shareholders
  • Tenancy contract for office space
  • Memorandum of Association (MOA)
  • Bank statements
  • No-objection certificate from current sponsor (if applicable)

Estimated Fees: Fees for business visas include trade license fees, visa application fees, registration fees, and Emirates ID card fees. The costs can vary based on the emirate and legal structure of the company.

  1. Investment Visas: The UAE offers various investment visa options, including the Golden Visa program. The eligibility criteria and investment amounts depend on the specific program and can vary.

Supporting Documents:

  • Proof of investment, such as property deeds, business ownership documents, or financial investments
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Police clearance certificate (depending on the country of origin)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: Fees for investment visas include application fees, visa stamping fees, Emirates ID card fees, and any additional costs associated with the specific investment.

  1. Real Estate Visas: Purchasing property in the UAE can also lead to residency. The minimum property value required for this option varies based on the emirate.

Supporting Documents:

  • Property purchase documents
  • Title deeds
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of sufficient funds
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Police clearance certificate (depending on the country of origin)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: Fees for real estate visas include property registration fees, visa application fees, visa stamping fees, Emirates ID card fees, and any additional costs related to the property purchase.

  1. Study Visas: To study in the UAE, you need to be accepted into a recognized educational institution. The specific requirements and timeframe depend on the duration and level of study.

Supporting Documents:

  • Acceptance letter from an educational institution
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Police clearance certificate (depending on the country of origin)
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: Fees for study visas include application fees, visa stamping fees, Emirates ID card fees, and any additional costs charged by the educational institution.

It's important to note that the UAE does not offer a direct path to citizenship for foreign nationals. Residency is typically granted for a specific period and is subject to renewal based on the visa category and compliance with UAE laws and regulations. The allocated timeframes and fees mentioned are estimates and may vary based on individual circumstances and changes in UAE immigration policies. It is advisable to consult with UAE immigration authorities or seek professional legal advice for accurate and up-to-date information.

  • Time To Citizenship
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The United Arab Emirates does not levy personal income taxes and therefore there is no legal definition of tax residency. However, residents may be able to obtain a UAE Tax Residency certificate, subject to certain conditions.

There is a real property tax levied on the transfer of properties, at rates that vary from 2% to 4%, depending on the Emirate where the property is located. Some municipalities, e.g. Dubai, also levy an annual property tax on the assessed rental value of the property.

The V.A.T. rate, first introduced in 2018, stands at 5% on most goods and services.

Regarding corporate taxation, most economic activities are exempt from income tax, except companies engaging in oil and gas exploration and production, and companies providing financial services. Corporate foreign-ownership is restricted to 49%, except for companies incorporated in the Free Zones and offshore companies.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax No
  • Transfer Tax Yes
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days -
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 0%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 0%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 9%
  • Territorial Taxation Yes
Study Details

Studying in the United Arab Emirates (UAE):

can be an exciting opportunity for international students. The UAE is known for its world-class universities, diverse cultural experiences, and a vibrant lifestyle. Here's a guide to help you navigate the process of studying in the UAE:

  1. Choose a University and Program: Research and select a university and program that aligns with your academic goals and interests. The UAE is home to several reputable universities, including the United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University, American University of Sharjah, and University of Dubai, among others.
  2. Admission Requirements: Check the admission requirements for your chosen university and program. These may include academic transcripts, standardized test scores (such as the SAT or ACT), letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and English language proficiency test results (such as IELTS or TOEFL). Ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria before applying.
  3. Application Process: Follow the university's application process, which typically involves submitting an online application form, required documents, and paying an application fee. Be mindful of application deadlines and provide accurate and complete information.
  4. Student Visa: Once you receive an offer of admission, you will need to apply for a student visa. The university or relevant authorities will guide you through the visa application process. Prepare the necessary documents, including a valid passport, admission letter, medical fitness certificate, and proof of financial means to cover your tuition fees and living expenses.
  5. Tuition Fees and Scholarships: Familiarize yourself with the tuition fees associated with your chosen program and university. International students are generally required to pay tuition fees, which vary depending on the institution and program of study. Additionally, explore scholarship opportunities for international students, both from the universities and external sources.
  6. Accommodation: Determine your housing preferences and explore the available options. Many universities offer on-campus accommodation, while others provide assistance in finding off-campus housing. Consider factors such as location, cost, facilities, and proximity to your university when making housing arrangements.
  7. Student Support and Services: Universities in the UAE provide a range of support services to international students, including academic advising, counseling, career services, and student organizations. Take advantage of these resources to enhance your academic and personal experience.
  8. Cultural Adaptation: The UAE is a culturally diverse country with a blend of traditional and modern values. Familiarize yourself with local customs, traditions, and laws to ensure a smooth transition. Embrace the multicultural environment and engage in intercultural activities to enrich your experience.
  9. Health Insurance: International students are generally required to have health insurance coverage while studying in the UAE. Check the specific requirements and arrange for comprehensive health insurance that covers medical expenses during your stay.
  10. Explore the UAE: Take time to explore the country's attractions, landmarks, and cultural heritage. The UAE offers a wide range of recreational activities, from vibrant cities and modern architecture to beautiful beaches and desert landscapes.
Education System

At the forefront of the UAE’s efforts to usher in a modern era of knowledge and empowerment, they have established an excellent and diversified higher education system over a very short period and consequently witnessed an increase in the number and quality of public and private higher education institutes.

The higher education system is divided among the different institutions in the seven emirates — composed of local and international universities and colleges, both private and public— and though most are located in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you will find that some institutions will have campuses in the smaller emirates.

There are only three government institutions of higher education across the country and the competition to attend is high for international students:


  • UAE University, the country’s flagship university that offers many internationally accredited programs.
  • Zayed University, which used to be a female-only campus and has now opened to male students.
  • Higher Colleges of Technology, the UAE’s largest university.


Fortunately, the number of private institutions is high and very sought-after by both expats and locals due to many of them being internationally accredited. To this is added a great presence of prestigious international universities, also called global partnerships, that allow students to study in some of the best universities in the world and attain an international education right in the UAE.

Proof of proficiency in English may be required in the form of a TOEFL test, so be sure to read the requirements to attend to the institution of your choice very thoroughly.

Student Visa

In order to study in the UAE, you will need a student visa, also knows as a student residence visa. Student visas in the UAE must be sponsored by a higher education institution or by a local relative and are only valid for up to one year at a time and will have to be renewed annually.

In order to be granted a UAE Study visa, the following documents will be necessary:

  • Passport with a minimum of 6 months validity. Ensure you have two blank pages for stamps and the visa.
  • Filled-out application form (provided by the institution).
  • Passport copies (generally 2-4 copies).
  • Photographs of yourself (12 copies).
  • Admission offer letter from the UAE higher education institution you applied for.
  • Proof of funds for tuition fees and living expenses.
  • Copy of visa fees and tuition fees receipt.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • If applying for a postgraduate program, proof of your undergraduate degree.
  • Candidates from certain countries might be required to undertake a security check.
  • Medical test at a certified UAE medical center (fee will be around AED 350-500).

You can submit these documents online to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs(GDRFA) in each emirate, which offer both online and offline channels.

Applicants will be required to cover the fees of the visa application and must take a medical fitness test upon arrival to the country.

International students aged 18 and over can apply for work permits for part-time jobs in the UAE. Therefore, you can apply for internships or jobs to help fund your expenses and build your resume while studying for a degree in the UAE.

Tuition Fees & Scholarships

Tuition fees in the UAE vary widely across the country depending on university, location, level of study and course. For example, in Dubai, the UAE’s most expensive city, tuition fees for an undergraduate program ranges between 37,500 to 70,000 AED per year and a postgraduate program is between 55,000 to 75,000 AED per year. An extra 1,200 AED (330 USD) per month should generally be included for general living expenses.

Some universities will charge an annual fee for students taking between 12 to 16 credit hours (plus additional fees), but anything above or below will be charged per credit hour. In some other cases, no annual fee is charged, and tuition is based on the amount credit hours the student is taking.

That said, Emirati higher education institutions do offer scholarship programs and financial aid to international students to help fund their studies, so be sure to get in touch with the institution of your choice to inquire about their scholarship opportunities.

Housing & Living Costs

One of the most important factors to consider when studying abroad will be your budget. As a student, it’s important to think about what kind of accommodations you will have, how much travelling you plan to do, and whether you will try and find part-time work. The costs of living in the UAE will vary depending on the emirate you’re living in and your lifestyle.

Some approximate living costs in the UAE are:


AED 58 (USD $16)


AED 27 (USD $7.50)


AED 44 (USD $12)

Cinema Ticket

AED 44 (USD $12)

Monthly rent

AED 3,000 - 4,000
(USD $816 - 1,088)

Monthly Transport

AED 107 (USD $29)

Student accommodation is more accessible than private housing in the UAE, but it’s important to consider that some universities will have a limited number of student housing facilities and you may be required to find a private accommodation. Costs will vary depending on location and standard; Dubai is the most expensive of the seven emirates, followed by Abu Dhabi. Sharjah, Fujairah, and Al Ain are all less expensive options.

The cost of living in the UAE is quite high, so it’s important to plan your stay carefully and budget your finances. The good news is that international students can apply for a work permit in the UAE and can attain a job to help fund their study abroad journey.

Application Process

Thinking of studying abroad in the UAE? We’re here to help you make the process easier. Since there is no centralized application system, the admission process in the UAE might vary depending on the field, program level or institution, so make sure to consult the institution to which you are applying to check their requirements or if you have specific questions. In the meantime, take the following steps to get you started!

1. Choose a program

Start by choosing a degree program that is right for you. Select the level of studies you are looking for (bachelor, master, PhD), your field of study and the institution you’d like to attend. There are many English programs available at several institutions, but keep in mind that you may be required to take an English proficiency test.

Need to book the TOEFL test to study in the UAE? Do it right here and now!

2. Prepare the Paperwork

Once you've chosen a program, look up the admission requirements on the institution’s website and remember that these may vary between degree and program level. While the necessary paperwork will differ between institutions, you will generally be asked to provide some of the following documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Certificates and transcripts of your academic qualifications (e.g. high school certificate or its equivalent, university transcripts for credit transfer, etc.)
  • Recent passport-sized photo, in color
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Application fee

3. Check Specific Admission Requirements

Depending on the university and the program, specific documentation could be required. Always consult the university website for specific admission requirements and contact the appropriate university office if you have any questions. In the UAE, applications and admissions are handled by the institution to which you are applying.

4. Wait to Be Admitted

After you’ve submitted all the necessary documents, admission results can take some time to arrive. Once you’ve been accepted, the institution will send you a formal letter of acceptance that confirms your course details and the starting dates. You will need these documents to attain a student visa to travel to Israel to study.

5. Apply for a Visa

Once you’ve been accepted by a higher education institution in the UAE, you can begin the application process for a student visa. You’ll need a sponsor from a relative in the UAE for your visa application. If you’ve no relatives there, most universities will do this for you but be sure to contact your institution to check if they offer this service.

You can submit your application online to the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) or to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the corresponding emirate where you will be studying, which offer both online and offline channels.

A student visa is only valid for one year and needs to be renewed annually, with an official proof of continuation of study from your university. It’s important to note that admission in a UAE university does not guarantee that you’ll be issued a student visa.

6. Arrive in the UAE

After you’ve been admitted to a higher education institution in the UAE and have received your visa, it’s time to start your study abroad adventure! Make sure to investigate the cost of living in the city you will be staying in and what your budget will be. Once you have that, you can begin to look for accommodation. Finally, it’s time to purchase your transportation to the UAE and arrive in your new home city! No matter where you’re staying, there are plenty of sights and attractions to be enjoyed.

Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Emirati Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Emirati passport holders can travel visa free to 142 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Canada
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Gambia
  • Tonga
  • Tunisia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Zambia
  • Eswatini

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

Where Can Emirati Citizens Go Without a Passport?

Emirati citizens can enter the following countries without a passport with only an ID card:

  • Bahrain
  • Kuwait
  • Oman
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia

What Countries Issue eVisa to Emirati Citizens?

The following 14 countries issue eVisas for Emirati passport holders:

  • Angola
  • Australia
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Montserrat
  • Taiwan
  • Türkiye
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Emirati Passport Holders?

If you are an Emirati citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 35 countries listed below:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cabo Verde
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Gabon
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mongolia
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Palau
  • Samoa
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Tanzania
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tuvalu
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Emirati Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 35 countries with an Emirati passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Eritrea
  • Falkland Islands
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Guam
  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Myanmar
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palestine
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Sudan
  • Saint Helena
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkmenistan
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • United States
  • Venezuela

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in United Arab Emirates. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Emirati Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Emirati citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Emirati passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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    September 16, 2023 at 2:43 pm

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