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How can I stay in Dubai permanently?

Dubai is a popular destination for expats looking for job opportunities, business prospects, and an excellent quality of life. While Dubai issues visit, tourist and employment visas for foreigners, many wish to stay indefinitely or permanently in the emirate. This article provides an overview of the main options available to eligible individuals and families seeking long-term UAE residence.

How can I stay in Dubai permanently?

Long-term visas

In recent years, the UAE government has introduced new long-term visas aimed at skilled professionals, investors and entrepreneurs:

  • 5-year visa: Available to certain professionals like doctors, engineers and graduates from top 500 universities under some specific criteria. Can sponsor family.
  • 10-year Green Visa: For skilled workers, freelancers, investors and entrepreneurs meeting income/education/talent requirements. Allows sponsoring family and owning property.
  • Golden Visa: For exceptional talents and high net worth individuals investing/earning over a certain threshold. 10 years, renewable, with family sponsorship.

These multi-year visas provide long-term, renewable residency without requiring Emirati sponsorship or a host company. They enable semi-permanent relocation to Dubai with family for eligible categories.

Property investor route

Purchasing property worth over AED 1 million entitles foreign nationals to a renewable 3-year investor visa. Key advantages:

  • Sponsor spouse and children under 18
  • Own investment property in Dubai freehold areas
  • Renewable every 3 years if property retained
  • Pathway to 10-year Golden Visa if sufficient investment threshold met

Therefore, investing in Dubai real estate provides a viable route to long-term residency for those with sufficient funds. Mortgage financing from UAE banks can help ease payment.

Business/company ownership route

Foreign entrepreneurs can attain renewable residency by starting onshore companies and obtaining trade licenses to operate in diverse sectors like technology, manufacturing, services etc.

  • 100% foreign business ownership allowed in UAE mainland and free zones
  • Sponsored skilled employee base can aid visa approval
  • Meet all regulatory approvals and renew licenses/visas routinely

Owning thriving Dubai-registered establishments that economically contribute to the emirate can facilitate permanent status.

Citizenship possibilities

UAE directly grants few citizenships but high value investors/professionals may get special naturalization:

  • No standard immigration path to Emirati passport currently
  • Naturalization laws unspecified but some exceptions made
  • Reported cases of select billionaire businesspersons securing citizenship
  • Extremely high personal wealth/capital inflows to Dubai key considerations

So while difficult and opaque currently, effective contributions and connections to ruling elite could potentially enable eventual citizenship for a rare few.

Key takeaways

  • Long term 5, 10 and 10-year golden visas suitable for skilled residents that meet income, credentials and sector-specific eligibility criteria
  • Property purchase over AED 1 million provides 3 year residency with renewals
  • Entrepreneurs opening registered Dubai firms gain residency through ownership with visa renewals
  • UAE citizenship route remains highly selective for exceptional foreign nationals

Select foreign nationals demonstrating outstanding abilities or capital can attain permanent residency or naturalization in Dubai through some dedicated routes. Sufficient financial means are usually essential.


In summary, Dubai offers several long term and permanent residency options to talented professionals, affluent individuals and entrepreneurs able to meet various visa-specific eligibility requirements. By demonstrating ongoing economic value addition through investments or niche expertise, certain qualified expats can Convincing the Emirati authorities of one’s benefits to Dubai is key in securing renewable5 to 10 year visas or in rare cases, even citizenship. So financial prowess and skillsets that materially enrich the Emirate act as key factors for foreigners seeking to indefinitely remain in Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long can I stay in Dubai on a visit visa?
A: A Dubai visit visa allows entry for 30 days initially but can be extended for another 30 days totaling 60 days maximum stay as a visitor.

Q: What are requirements for Dubai’s 5 year visa?
A: Doctors, engineers, scientists and graduates from top 500 global universities can get Dubai’s 5 year visa if meeting salary/experience criteria as per occupation.

Q: What is the eligibility for Dubai’s Golden Visa?
A: High net worth individuals (HNWI) investing/earning over AED 10 million in Dubai, remarkable talents, researchers, doctors etc. can be eligible for the 10 year Golden Visa program.

Q: Can I get permanent residency in Dubai through property purchase?
A: Buying over AED 1 million of Dubai property grants a renewable 3 year residency visa to foreign investors without permanent guarantees. Meet Golden Visa investment criteria for improved terms.

Q: How much investment is required for citizenship in Dubai?
A: No clear laws exist but naturalization seemingly reserved only for elite businesspersons/celebrities demonstrating billions in capital inflows, connections and extreme fame/goodwill for Dubai.

Q: Can I buy a house in Dubai on a residency visa?
A: Yes, expats on 5/10 year Dubai residency visas can purchase freehold property in authorized areas without mandate of Emirati sponsor.

Q: Do I need a local partner to open my own business in Dubai?
A: No local sponsor/service agent required. Expats can fully own onshore Dubai companies or in free zones to gain residency through business ownership.

Q: Can I renew Dubai investor visa forever?
A: 3 year property investor visa renewal requires retaining AED 1 million+ property. Meet higher Golden Visa investment for longer 10 year unlimited renewal.

Q: How much salary do I need for 10 year Dubai Green Visa?
A: Green visa needs AED 15,000 monthly income or meet combination of advanced degrees, skilled talent, professionals certifications based on internal score criteria.

Q: Can I bring my parents/family to Dubai on a long term visa?
A: Yes, skilled/investment based 5/10 year Dubai residency visas allow sponsorship and family joining with mandated healthcare insurance coverage.

Q: Do Emiratis get citizenship by investment programs?
A: Unlike some countries, UAE does not offer citizenship routes purely based on capital investment. Naturalization criteria remains subjective for elite candidates.

Q: Can Dubai 10 year visa holders apply for citizenship?
A: Eligible 10 year visa holders need to first maintain residency requirements. After considerable time, outstanding contributors could be selectively considered based on merit.

Q: Can my family join me while on Dubai Golden Visa?
A: Yes, the 10 year Golden Visa category enables holders to sponsor immediate family members (spouse, children, execpt any dependent family visa holders.

Q: Do I lose Dubai investor visa if I sell my property?
A: Investor visa renewal mandates retaining AED 1 million+ Dubai property. Selling before tenure end could impact renewals and residency validity requiring careful considerations.

Q: Can remote workers/freelancers apply for Dubai Green Visa?
A: Yes, remote work professionals earning over AED 15,000 per month and meeting calibre criteria can qualify for the Dubai 10 year Green Visa designed for freelancers.

Q: Which banks offer mortgages for Dubai property investors?
A: Top UAE banks like ADCB, DIB, Emirates NBD, Mashreq, CBD and ENBD offer competitive mortgage rates and financing options for foreign property buyers in Dubai.

Q: How much money is required to start a business in Dubai?
A: Legally registering a Dubai mainland LLC requires AED 1,500 capital and AED 14,000+ yearly costs. Overall 30-50k AED should allow modest professional business launch. Significant additional capital for larger commercial operations.

Q: Can I get Dubai citizenship after 10 years on Golden Visa?
A: Dubai citizenship naturalization remains non-transparent currently. But outstanding decades long contributions through a 10 year Golden visa improves prospects of UAE passport eligibility.

Q: What is the easiest way to get permanent residency in Dubai?
A: The easiest route is generally through property purchase of over AED 1 million value, making one eligible for a renewable 3-year investor visa.

Q: Can I stay in Dubai on wife’s sponsorship visa?
A: Yes, foreign husbands can legally reside in Dubai by taking residency sponsorship of their Emirati or expat wives residing in the country.

Q: What documents are required for Dubai permanent residency application?
A: Relevant documents include valid passports, educational/skill certificates, health insurance, employment proofs, business licenses, property title deeds etc. based on the specific visa category policies.

Q: Can I get Dubai PR by investing in shares/stock market?
A: No, investing in UAE equities or securities alone does not directly qualify one for residency or permanent status unlike active business ownership or sufficient property purchase.

Q: Is Dubai 10 year visa guaranteed renewal?
A: While not technically lifetime “permanent”, the 10 year Long term and Golden visas do allow renewal subject to maintaining eligibility criteria terms over the duration.

Q: What is the Dubai Virtual Working Program for remote workers?
A: This initiative grants 1 year residency to overseas remote working professionals in approved occupations to conveniently operate from Dubai enhancing eligibility for longer term visas.

Q: Do I lose Dubai PR status if my business shuts operations?
A: Visa validity is tied to business trade licenses. Sudden closures before tenure end risks non-renewal and residency discontinuation requiring careful strategic considerations.

Q: Can I buy alcohol on Dubai residence visa?
A: Yes, holders of valid UAE residence permits crossing 21 years of age can legally purchase alcohol from licensed stores upon showing their Emirates ID cards.

Q: Can I sponsor my girlfriend on Dubai residence visa?
A: Unmarried couples are not legally recognized in UAE for visa sponsorship. One option is to attest common law marriage certificates acceptable for spouse visa approval. Else best to marry officially first.

Q: How much money is required to retire in Dubai?
A: Estimates suggest retirees should budget AED 1 to 3 million corpus for a modest middle class retired life in Dubai plus any property purchase and healthcare costs given no pension benefits.

Q: Can I get a mortgage in Dubai as a permanent resident?
A: Yes, 5/10 year Dubai residency visa holders meeting bank income criteria are eligible to receive home loans and mortgages from leading UAE banks at competitive financing rates.

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