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Dubai Immigration Overview

This month we shed light on this Emirate that is strategically located between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Considered a melting pot of cultures, 78% of this Emirate's population consists of immigrants. Expatriates are attracted to this region due to the opportunities offered by its rapid development. It's competitive combination of cost, market and environmental advantages have created an ideal and attractive investment climate for foreigners - Dubai.

Belonging to the United Arab Emirates, Dubai's economy has been kept open and free to attract overseas investors and businesses. Dubai offers great employment opportunities and its Government is committed towards equitable rights for both employers and employees. Ranked as one of the fastest growing cities in the world, Dubai offers unrivalled employment opportunities. More than 200 nationalities live peacefully in this Emirate in a melting pot of cultures. Salaries in Dubai are tax free.

Dubai has established several Free Trade Zones to attracted foreign investors. To date the free zones have been successful in attracting a large number of companies and foreign direct investment, as well as expanding net non-oil exports. The major advantage in setting up in a free zone is:

  • 100 per cent foreign ownership of the enterprise;
  • 100 per cent import and export tax exemptions;
  • 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits;
  • No corporate taxes for 15 years, renewable for an additional 15 years;
  • No personal income taxes;
  • Assistance with labor recruitment, and additional support services, such as sponsorship and housing.

Currently, the following Free Trade Zones are operational in Dubai:

  • Dubai Aid and Humanitarian City
  • Dubai Airport Free Zone
  • Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park
  • Dubai Flower Centre
  • Dubai Gold and Diamond Park
  • Dubai Healthcare City
  • Dubai International Financial Centre
  • Dubai Internet City
  • Dubai Knowledge Village
  • Dubai Logistics City
  • Dubai Maritime City
  • Dubai Media City
  • Dubai Multi Commodity Centre
  • Dubai Outsource Zone
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Dubai Studio City
  • International Media Production Zone
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone
  • Techno Park
  • Dubai Auto Zone


Dubai's immigration policies allow it to import skilled and unskilled labor from different countries throughout the world. Visas are issued by the Dubai Naturalization and Residency Department ("DNRD").

DNRD works in close conjunction with the UAE Ministry of Interior to provide passport, visa, residency, works permits and establishment cards for its citizens, residents, visitors and businesses in Dubai and the UAE. DNRD also handles passengers' entry from Dubai airports and seaports and plays a major role in promoting the commercial and tourist activities of the UAE.

The various Departments of the DNRD are:

  • Department of Naturalization and Passports - Issues family registration cards and passports.
  • Department of Entry Permits - Issues work permits to workers and domestic helpers, Residency and Visit permits.
  • Department of Monitoring and Investigation - Monitors applications for Adjustment of Status, monitors violators of Residency and Naturalization laws, and fees and other procedures.
  • Department of Administrative and Financial Affairs - Actively manages human and financial resources, issuing of establishment cards to various companies, establishments and public relations officers in addition to collection of revenues and fees as well as audit of accounts and other functions.
  • Department of Information Technology - Responsible for preparation of necessary programs for the smooth and quick progress of work. Plays a vital role in upgrading and developing software in line with fast-pace progress in information technology, and provides equipment and programs to various sections.
  • Department of Airports and Land Border Point - Dubai International Airport - Processes Entry and Exit as well as issues related to business, transit and visit visas.
  • Hatta Border Point - Facilitates procedures for UAE citizens as well as for other passengers and tourists crossing land borders. This Department handles all procedures related to Entry and Exit.
  • Department of Seaports - Located at strategic Ports in line with Dubai's ancient seafaring tradition, DNRD issues various kinds of visa permits, especially for sailors.

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. If you require additional information on immigration related issues to this or any other country, please contact our Global Immigration Desk at (201) 670-0008 x 118 or GlobalDesk@visaserve.com

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