Digital nomads, take note…

The global pandemic has changed the way we work, and more people than ever now have the option to work not just from home, but anywhere they want in the world. And the UAE is catering to this new-age workforce with its new remote working visa, which will be rolled out from today, Monday September 5.

The remote working visa was first announced in March 2021, but will open for applications this week, alongside an array of sweeping UAE visa reforms. Inviting digital nomads to switch their #WFH setup to the UAE’s golden beaches, gorgeous cafes and luxe hotels, the one-year visa will allow those working for international companies to live in the UAE while doing so. The one-year visa can also be renewed for a further 12 months for those that wish (and we wouldn’t blame you if you do).

At the time of announcement, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai wrote on Twitter, “With remote work technologies today, we provide an opportunity for everyone to live in the most beautiful and safe cities in the world.”

Who is eligible?

Of course, you’ll need to be working for a company overseas and be able to prove your employment. On top of that, you’ll need at least six months validity in your passport and valid medical insurance that covers the UAE.

How to apply?

This depends on which emirate you’d like to work remotely from. For Dubai, you’ll need to apply via and for Abu Dhabi and the Northern Emirates applications should be done on the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) permit website.

Requirements for Dubai

To apply for the remote working visa in Dubai as an employee, you’ll need a valid contract for one year from your employer and you must be earning at least $5,000 (Dhs18,250) per month. You’ll be required to submit salary slips and bank statements for the last three months as proof. Company owners need to prove company ownership and also earn at least $5,000(Dhs18,250) per month. Company bank statements for the last three months must be submitted to validate this.

The application fee is $287 (Dhs1,050), although paying the fee doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a visa. All applications will be reviewed by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA).

Requirements for Abu Dhabi and Northern Emirates

To apply for a remote working visa in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, you must go through the ICA portal to get the 60-day entry permit. To do this, register on, then go to the smart services channel, log in and choose the remote work visa option. Follow the steps to upload all the relevant documents and then pay the Dhs300 fee.

The ICA will then review and approve applications that qualify.

Perks of a remote working visa

Once you’ve been granted an entry permit, you’ll need to complete your medical and obtain your remote working visa within 60 days, as is the case with all UAE visas. Once that’s complete, you’ll be eligible to live and work remotely from the UAE, while also being able to open a bank account, rent in the UAE and send any children to school in the emirates.

Photo: Visit Dubai