Costs of Relocating to Dubai: Chapter One

9:46 pm  |  01.09.2023

We calculated the cost of moving to Dubai, including document design, necessary requirements, rental prices, and first-month expenses.

The key to moving to another country – money and documents. To move to Dubai, you will need about AED 30,000. (USD 8 200) for one. 


You can apply through the Consulate. The average price – from AED 294 (USD 80). 150 days is enough to choose and apply for a resident visa.

Visa costs: AED 294 (USD 80)

Important! Before visiting the emirate – buy health insurance. Since 2014, foreigners are not allowed in Dubai without a policy. Fine – AED 500 (USD 137).

What are the Resident Visas?

A visa for residence is also issued for a period of one year and extended an unlimited number of times.

Dubai has many options for residency: visa freelancer, investor, pension, training, job. The most popular among expats – visa freelancer and investor visas.

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Freelance Visa

To issue a residence permit freelancers need to obtain a license and establishment card in any freezone in the emirate. The license and the work card are issued for one year and extended. A visa for residence is also issued for a period of one year and extended an unlimited number of times. The price of registration:

  • License – AED 7 500. (USD 2 000).
  • Map – AED 2 000. (USD 545).
  • Visa application – from AED 5 000. (USD 1 400).

Freelancer visa: AED 14 000 (USD 4 000).

Important! You can apply for a work visa freelancer for a year. You need a contract with a company outside the UAE and an income over AED 18,400. (USD 5 000) per month. Price starts from AED 2 750. (USD 750).

Investor Visa

There are several options depending on the amount of investment. The minimum is AED 750,000. (USD 204,000) and is given for 2 years. Property owners worth at least AED 2,000,000 (USD 545,000) receive a Golden visa for a period of 10 years, which can also be extended.

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The cost of registration consists of several parts:

  • about AED 15,000. (USD 4 100) for two-year residence;
  • AED 14,500. (USD 3 900) for a 10-year visa.

Investor visa: AED 15,000. (USD 4 100) or AED 15,700 thousand. (USD 4 300).

Important! Since 2023, the UAE introduced an additional fee for foreigners when applying for a «Golden Visa» – AED 1,250 (USD 340). It’s a six-month entry fee.

List of the Documents

Before moving to Dubai, you need to prepare original and notarized translations into English/Arabic:

  • Passports of all family members valid for at least 6 months – the document will be stamped at Dubai airport immediately upon arrival. This is a 90-day visa.
  • Birth certificates of the parents and the child – will be needed when processing the documents to confirm the kinship.
  • A completed declaration of health – a certificate questionnaire, which is issued on the plane or on the counter at the airport before the flight, must be filled out.
  • Medical insurance – without it can not be in the emirate. You can buy from any insurance or travel agency.
  • Marriage or divorce certificate – to confirm the status of the spouse and to act as a sponsor.
  • Certificates of education – diploma or other document. It will be necessary for employment or educational institutions.
  • International driver’s license – if you need to rent a car and obtain a local license.

Cost of one document: AED 323 (USD 88).

Important! Ensure all documents are stamped at the Dubai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Duty fee is AED 150-2,000 USD (41-545).

Rental and Purchase Price

To live and pay for utilities, you need to sign a contract with the DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) and Empower.

The largest item of expenditure – housing. You can choose a rental or purchase. Rental is suitable if you have not decided on the area where you would like to live.

READ: Health System in Dubai: Information for Women


In Dubai, the procedure is clearly regulated by the emirate’s legislation, there is a special general system of registration of contracts – Ejari. You will have to pay the registration fee:

  • AED 175 (USD 48) when registering online;
  • AED 220 (USD 60) when registering with the Real Estate Service Centre.

Once you have identified a suitable option, it’s important to agree on the frequency of payments. The more frequently you make payments, the lower the overall cost will be. For example, if you’re leasing a property for a year, you can split the total amount into 1-12 checks. This will make it easier for you to manage your payments and will ensure that you pay the correct amount each time. Not all lessors agree on 12 payments, more often it is 4 – 6 cheques. A refund deposit of 5-10% of the annual rent is paid.

To live and pay for utilities, you need to sign a contract with the DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) and Empower. Fees and charges in DEWA – AED 370 (USD 104). Before the start of the lease, refundable deposits are paid. Approximate amount of contribution:

  • DEWA – AED 2 000. ( USD 545);
  • Empower – AED 2 000. (USD 545).

Most leases in Dubai take place with the help of intermediaries. The real estate agency charges a commission of 5-10% of the annual value.

The price of one-bedroom apartments in Dubai depends on location, size, condition, etc.

  • in the popular tourist area of Dubai Marina – from AED 110,000. (USD 30 thousand) per year, the month – about AED 9 200 (USD 2 500 thousand);
  • in Business Bay – AED 90,000. (USD 24,500 thousand) per year, a month – about AED 7,500. (USD 2 000);
  • A cheap option from AED 20,000. (USD 5 400) – in International City. In a month you will pay AED 1700. (USD 454).

The minimum costs in the first month of the lease will be AED 8,500. (USD 2 300).

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