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Working remotely from Dubai

Dubai has done everything it could to attract travelers in 2021. Indeed, Dubai wants to attract teleworking employees, with special conditions. It is one of the first countries to offer a one-year virtual work program. This initiative is also a reminder that teleworking outside one's country of residence has legal, social and fiscal consequences that should not be ignored. 

One year telework program via Dubai with this visa

The virtual work program is valid for 1 year. It costs 611 USD in total, including file fees, processing fees, costs related to medical follow-up as well as the Emirates identity card. This program allows access to all standard services that residents enjoy, including the use of telecommunications, public utilities and access to schooling.

You will need:

1. A passport with a minimum validity of 6 months
2. Health insurance that covers your expenses in the UAE
3. For employees: an employment contract valid for at least one year; proof of a monthly salary of at least US$5,000; the last pay slip; the last 3 monthly bank statements.
4. For business owners: proof of business ownership for one year or more; average monthly income of US$5,000; last 3 monthly bank statements.

The visa application can be made outside of Dubai, or you can come to Dubai on a tourist visa, explore the city and once you feel ready, apply for the annual program. Once in Dubai, the U.A.E. does not levy taxes on income.

If you want to stay longer than a year, since this is a one-year program, you will have to reapply through the standard application process. There is no extension procedure at this time.

Organization of life in Dubai

What you can do:

Through the teleworking program, you can live in Dubai in the same way as other citizens by having access to:

- Phone lines.
- Identity cards.
- Banking services.
- School for children.
- The ability to rent property: anyone with a U.A.E. ID card can rent property. Therefore, most private rentals require a one-year lease agreement. For short and medium term rentals, one should rather opt for a hotel or a vacation home.
- Buying a car provided that you find a bank that will accept to grant a loan.

It is also possible to:

- Sponsor your spouse and children.
- Receive your monthly salary in the currency of your choice, however, the equivalent must be at least 5,000 USD per month.

What you can't do:

- It is impossible to hire someone yourself (driver, housekeeper, nanny). However, you will have the option of going through a specialized agency.
- Even if it is a multiple entry visa, you will not be able to be absent from the Emirates for more than 6 consecutive months. The visa will be automatically invalidated.
- Create a company in the country.
- Work for a local employer.
- Do local business canvassing.


Locally, no income tax is due.
Please note that you will be a teleworker and not an Emirati resident. If you are a French tax resident before arriving in Dubai, you will remain so, even if you stay a full year in Dubai.

As a reminder, the definition of tax residence in France is not limited to the fact of living there for more than 6 months. Here, the notion of center of economic interest will prevail. If your income is in France (salary, company, real estate income), you will remain a French tax resident and will be taxed as such on your teleworking income.

If you are not a French tax resident at that time, the issue will depend on the country in which you receive your teleworking income.

Social Protection:

Local obligations:

You will not be subject to the local social protection system which obliges people holding a local work visa to be covered by a local private health insurance with a guarantee called "MEC" for Minimum Essential Coverage.

However, you will need to have a health insurance policy that is valid for the entire duration of your stay and that provides coverage for emergency health expenses and repatriation.

French obligations:

Concerning the French social protection, we enter here into a legal blur since normally any stay of more than 6 months outside of France leads to a cancellation of your rights. You would then logically be excluded, while your employer would have to continue paying your contributions.
In theory, you would have to inform the international relations department of your CPAM and request that your rights be maintained. The CPAM should grant it, specifying that the rights are only acquired in France (these are assumptions drawn from other close experiences and not certainties).

According to the ANI regulations and the collective agreements, your employer should also maintain the health and provident coverage you have in France, but since Social Security does not cover you in Dubai, the additional coverage will not work either. Normally, the employer would have to either sign a clause with his insurers to cover you, or to subscribe to an adapted expatriate guarantee.

There are two ways of doing this: Either you both decide to formalize everything but it could be complicated or expensive (take out expatriate health insurance in addition to the French social security contributions); or you both decide to leave it as is and if all goes well, so much the better, but in the event of a problem (serious health accident, death, dismissal) the financial risks for both parties are significant.

Employment law:

Your employer must know where you live, so you must inform him of this telework.
He/she should then propose an amendment to your work contract to formalize all the questions that may be linked to the organizational changes that result from it, but also to settle all the problems of liability and respect of the collective agreements.


For trips of up to 12 months and if the trip is extended beyond that, it is necessary to choose appropriate offers. It is possible to re-subscribe to the same contract with the same insurer.

Before your trip, you should make sure that you have international health insurance that covers you abroad even in case of COVID-19. A one-year travel insurance policy will be highly recommended to enter the program. Travel insurance will provide you with the comfort of access to private facilities as well as assistance or repatriation services. It will be necessary to take one adapted to your length of stay in the countries visited.

Temporary insurance:

Temporary insurances can be recognized by the fact that you can choose the duration of the contract by month, up to 12 months.

In the temporary plans, generally only the expenses related to accidents or unexpected illnesses are reimbursed. Unexpected illnesses are any sudden and unforeseeable changes in health that require a rapid medical response. This means that, generally, care must be provided within 48 hours.

This does not include follow-up visits, expenses related to an illness already in progress or expenses for non-emergency illnesses. For example, if you have a high fever, you see a physician and have tests done, you will be covered. However, if you consult a doctor for frequent allergies, you will not be covered.

With this type of insurance, your insurer will issue you a certificate of insurance for your visa. This is not the case for credit card insurance because it is valid for trips of less than 3 months.
You can get a quick quote on our website:

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