Moving to Dubai
All visitors, except GCC nationals, require a visa, however free visit visas are issued to most nationalities upon entering Dubai. Some nationalities however do require visa so enquires should be made before travelling.
A visit visa is valid for 60 days, but can be renewed for a further 30 days upon paying a fee of Dhs 500 at the Department of Immigration. Alternatively, a ?visa run? can be made, which entails flying to Doha or Muscat at a cost of approximately Dhs 300, and re-entering Dubai on a new visit visa.
In order to work in Dubai, open a bank account or lease accommodation you must have a residency visa. There are two types of residence visas, one being sponsored by a company for employment, and the other being sponsorship by a family member (for residency only ? labour card to be obtained separately).
Banks & Credit Cards:
Most International banks base their regional headquarters in Dubai, providing full commercial and personal banking services. Banking hours vary depending on bank but are generally open from 8.00 ? 13.00 (except Friday).
Money exchanges are available all over Dubai, and offer reasonable exchange rates, which are usually better than the banks. Hotels will usually exchange money and travellers cheques (at a standard hotel rate).
Credit cards ? American Express, Diners Club, Mastercard & Visa ? are acceptable at most shops, hotels and restaurants. Some smaller retail shops prefer cash and will charge an additional 5% for processing credit card payments.
Health & Medical:
In order to obtain a residency visa and labour card all expatriates are required to undergo a medical and blood test. Employers usually arrange for all the necessary paperwork and procedure.
As medical care is very expensive, if residents are not covered by a company or private medical insurance it is advisable to apply for a health card which entitles residents to low cost medical treatment at public hospitals and clinics. An application form can be collected from any public hospitals then submitted (typed in Arabic), along with the correct documents to your local Health Care Centre. The health card is valid for one year.
Documents required to obtain a health card:
- Passport copy.
- Covering letter from sponsor.
- Visa application copy.
- 2 passport size photographs.
- Completed Ministry of Health form.
- Dhs 300/- for health card plus Dhs 200/- for medical examination.
Until you obtain full residency, most nationalities are able to hire a car provided they hold a valid driving licence from their country of origin, or an International licence.
For private vehicles a temporary Dubai licence must be obtained from the Traffic Police, which is valid for one month. A privately registered vehicle cannot be driven on an International licence as the vehicle is insured for UAE licence holders only.
Always carry your Dubai Driving Licence and car registration with you. If you are stopped by the police and cannot produce your licence you are liable to be fined.
Office locations: Bur Dubai Police Station - Sheikh Zayed Road (Tel. )
Traffic Police HQ ? Dubai/Sharjah Road (Tel. )
Documents required for UAE licence:
- Traffic Police application form (typed in Arabic).
- Sponsors passport copy or copy of company?s trade licence.
- NOC from your sponsor/company in Arabic.
- Original driving licence + photocopy.
- Passport + photocopy.
- 2 passport size photographs.
- Dhs 10/-
Note: Careful attention should be paid when driving in Dubai as drivers are very unpredictable and road etiquette leaves a lot to be desired!
All mail in Dubai is addressed to post office boxes. Most residents use their company P.O. Box address for private mail. It is possible to rent a personal P.O. Box from the central post office in Karama (Tel. ), and select a P.O. Box located close to your residence. The fee is Dhs 210/- per annum.
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