What’s the required paperwork, housing options, lifestyle, food, cost of living and more…
Dubai is one of the most beautiful and lively cities in the world, especially among the Arab countries. It’s one of the most popular cities in the UAE, with its gigantic towers, countless facilities and the guaranteed promise of a better life. That is why people move to Dubai from all around the world, especially from India.
There are a lot of Indian expats in Dubai, which makes it feel like home to those who relocate there. This article talks about all you need to know about moving to Dubai from India, starting from the required papers, accommodation, lifestyle and much more.
There are different types of visas for immigration from India. The visa types needed to move to Dubai are:
- Employment Visa: This is the easiest type as your employer takes care of the requirements.
- A proof of employment or contract of foreign nationals by the company you work for.
- A certificate from your employer that has details of your salary.
- The company or the organisation you are working for should be registered in India.
- Student Visa: You will be required to enroll in a Dubai-based university and you will get a visa that lasts throughout your education.
- Investor Visa: If you plan on starting your own business in Dubai, you can get a visa permit based on your investment. This visa allows for a 3-year stay, and one of its benefits is that its holder does not pay taxes. All you need is to prove that you have sufficient funds for the required investment; a foreign national should pay a deposit from AED 10,000 to AED 20,000 to the UAE government.
- Property Owner Visa: If you own any type of property in Dubai, you will be allowed a visa based on the property value.
- Dependent Visa: There are different requirements for this one depending on who will sponsor you:
Parents: If your parents sponsor you, you must be under 18 and not married.
Children: If your children sponsor you, their monthly income should not be less than AED 20,000.
Spouse: If your spouse sponsors you, then his or her monthly income should not be less than AED 4,000, or AED 3,000 in addition to accommodation.
Here are the general documents needed for relocating to Dubai from India:
- Confirmation of graduation certificate and you may be asked for your high-school certificate as well.
- A Human Resources Development attestation, which you need to get from an HDR office. To get that confirmed, you will need your passport photos, your grade sheets from both graduation certificate and high-school certificate, and other documentation sheets according to your state.
- You will also need a validation stamp from the Ministry of External Affairs in India.
- The last thing you will need is a stamp from the embassy of the UAE.
You may want to try and go for a visit before you move, so you can get an idea of how it feels to live in Dubai. To be able to get a visitor visa, you will need a sponsor. You can learn about the details at Emirates Airlines’ website. If you have a US Green Card, you can get a 14-day visa from the airport upon arrival.
To get a visit visa to travel from India to Dubai, here is what you need:
- There is a 14-day visa, which permits its holder to stay for 14 days from the day of landing. This visa lasts 2 months, and permits a 14-day stay in Dubai only, which means its holder cannot travel to another city in the UAE.
- The 30-day visit visa allows the visitor to stay for 30 days, and its holder can travel around the UAE. But the holder has to travel to the UAE within 60 days of the visa being issued. This visa may allow for an extension of days to the visit.
The general requirements for applying for a visa online are the following:
- A valid passport for at least 6 months. If the passport expires in less than that timeframe, you will have to renew it, or your application will be declined.
- A passport scan in JPEG format
- A passport photo with a white background and no glasses or headwear, unless it is for religious reasons.
Life in Dubai
Since a majority of people living in Dubai are expats from different backgrounds, you will not feel like a stranger there. Settling in Dubai won’t be difficult for an Indian expat. Yet, there are some things you need to learn before you go so you can start enjoying your life as soon as possible.
Living in Dubai is a lot of fun, and it is definitely worth the move. The Dubai lifestyle won’t be that difficult to get used to for Indians. You will need to adjust to some minor details to be able to fit in. These include:
Weekends and language
You may need to readjust your weekend since Friday and Saturday are the weekend days in Dubai, and the work week starts on Sunday. They’re still two days, so it will not be an issue.
The official language in Dubai is Arabic, however, almost everyone speaks English.
There is a variety of cuisines available, including Indian cuisine. You will find the food you love and are familiar with, and if you need a change, the option is available as well.
Here are some of the best Indian restaurants in Dubai:
- Mumtaz Mahal Indian Speciality Restaurant
- Zafran Indian Bistro
- Sind Punjab Restaurant
You can wear modern clothes or your own traditional Indian attire if you wish. People in Dubai are used to different cultures, and you won’t be stared at. Just wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, as long as you do not wear anything too revealing or tight.
The weather is warm, but you can expect rain during the winter, and it gets pretty hot during summer. Indian weather is a bit similar to that of the UAE. Perhaps the difference in weather is that the UAE has a tropical desert climate, while India has a tropical monsoon climate. It is common for the UAE to have dust storms, while in India, wind and rain is much more common.
Another difference is winter; in some areas in India, especially in the north, winter is a bit harsh, while winter in the UAE is more lenient. You may have to get used to the higher levels of humidity, but other than that, they’re quite similar.
There are some requirements needed to get married in Dubai if you are a foreigner, depending on whether your bride or groom is Indian or not. In case both bride and groom are Indians:
- The bride and groom should submit a “Notice of Intended Marriage”
- The bride and groom each need to have 4 passport size photos
- A copy of the passport and the residence visa
- Three witnesses who have passports and residence visas
In case either is not an Indian:
- The non-Indian party should submit a form from their consulate, that should be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the UAE that proves that his/her country has no law against this marriage.
- If either the bride or groom is from the UAE, the marriage is done through the UAE government.
In case of birth in Dubai, there are some procedures that need to be followed. For birth, the parents should get a birth certificate and a passport from the Indian Embassy.
It’s relatively easy to get around Dubai. You can use a car, and if so, some traffic is to be expected, but nothing more than what you’re probably used to. As for public transportation, there are different modes available in Dubai, such as Metro, Tram, buses and taxis.
Cost of living
When thinking of relocating to Dubai for the purpose of starting a business or enrolling in a new school or university, one of the main issues is the cost of living. If you’re moving for a new job, you want to be sure that your salary will cover your expenses, and perhaps help you save a bit. For students, you want to keep expenses as low as possible. While Dubai is generally known as an expensive city, there are ways to get around all the hot price tags. You can read on for a breakdown of expenses to get an idea on the cost of living in Dubai vs India.
There are numerous buses in Dubai that reach all the major attractions. The bus ticket prices start from AED 2.
There is also a water bus that travels back and forth between Bur Dubai and Deira. Its fare ranges between AED 1 and AED 4.
There are two operational Metro lines in Dubai: the Red line and the Green line, and these lines cover many areas in Dubai.
Taxis are available and easy to find. The taxi fare starts from AED 3 and increases every 1.6 km.
You can also rent a car, but you need to have a credit card for that. It is not the most recommended means of transportation though.
Buying and renting homes
We’ve compiled a list of the best places to live in Dubai for Indian families.
- Bur Dubai: A historic district in Dubai that is on the western part of the Dubai Creek. It has the Indian High School and a Hindu temple. Rents start from AED 32,000 a year.
- Dubai Investment Park: It’s is a residential, commercial and industrial neighbourhood. It has the International School of Choueifat, Ramla Mall and other accommodations that make life more enjoyable. The rents start from AED 27,000 yearly, and the buying prices start from AED 300,000.
- Dubai Marina: One of the most popular districts in Dubai, it offers sea views. It houses a variety of restaurants and the Dubai Marina Mall. The rentals start from AED 39,999 yearly, and the buying prices start from AED 450,000.
Driving in Dubai
Driving in Dubai is fun, but it can be a bit challenging. However, the government has implemented new rules to ensure road safety. Here are some guidelines and tips about driving in Dubai:
- Seat belts need to be on, this is a general and international rule.
- Always keep a safe distance between your car and the one in front of you. This is challenging because not many drivers abide by this rule, so don’t follow their footsteps.
- Always check all your mirrors, as sometimes drivers believe if they can see at night, they do not need headlights. Use your car mirrors to check if there are any cars close by.
- Stay within the speed limit. Many people in Dubai own race cars, so they can almost fly. The speed limit rule is implemented to ensure safety on the roads.
Other than that, the rules are very general like do not jump the red light, do not drink and drive, etc.
Rest assured that there is no income tax in Dubai, which means what you earn is what you get. However, there are taxes that can be added for services, for example, if you stay in a hotel or eat at the hotel restaurant, you will have a 10% tax added to your bill.
Pensions are decided by the Indian government according to the pension rules of India.
Dubai has many public hospitals available for free or a very small fee for Emiratis, yet expats may use them if they apply for a healthcare card from the Department of Health and Medical Services.
On the other hand, there is a whole city in Dubai called Dubai Healthcare City that is available for both Emiratis and expats alike. The city has numerous hospitals and pharmacies that are open 24/7. As for health insurance, expats are eligible to receive private health insurance provided by the companies they work for.