With the office evolving to a new, flexible model, executive nomads have considered looking for destinations where they can both work and have the lifestyle of their dreams. According to Harvard Business Review, corporate nomads are individuals who, while maintaining a full-time employment relationship with their organizations, will increasingly participate part-time in geographically dispersed initiatives and projects within their employer’s global network. A recent report from Savills Executive Nomad Index has placed Dubai in the 3rd rank as one of the best locations for executive nomads to live and work. The data show Dubai as the most connected city in the world, with over 240 destinations in more than 100 countries. It is among one of the first countries that have enacted programs designed to attract foreign-employed workers. Dubai offers a one-year virtual working program that allows nomads to live and work in the city and also benefit from a full range of standard services as residents, including telecom lines, utilities, and education, while connecting to a global hub and a skilled workforce comprised of 200 or more nationalities.
Is Dubai the right place for you?
In Nestpick’s Work-from-Anywhere Index, Dubai ranks as 2nd most livable destination scoring a total of 96.4. In this index, cities were analyzed according to three categories: costs and infrastructure, legislation and freedoms, and livability, which together make them attractive destinations for relocation and remote work. In 2020, Dubai also ranked 5th among the world’s best cities for expats to live and work. The following are some reasons why we think you should relocate to Dubai:
Dubai ranked 10th place on the Nomad Quality of Life Index with a score of 92.41, the only middle eastern country in the top ten. It is reported that Dubai recorded a 68% drop in crime reports during the first quarter of 2022, reflecting a relatively low crime rate in the UAE. A lot of misconceptions have placed middle eastern countries when it comes to the safety of women. Dubai is rather a safe place even for female workers or solo travelers. The government has made outstanding efforts in bringing peace and order, tolerance, and equality between men and women in the country.
- Fastest-growing business hub
The business climate in Dubai is very favorable for enterprises of all sizes, freelancers, and nomads. With its advanced business culture, low-tax environment, and strategic location, the city is a popular choice among corporate nomads as their preferred workplace. Dubai also provides a wide range of affordable co-working spaces with flexible options for short and medium-term leases. The government is committed to business growth and its low-risk environment makes it an attractive prospect for those interested in investing or starting their own business.
- Quality of Life
HSBC’s Expat Explorer study in 2021 found that 86% of respondents said the living standards in Dubai are better than those in their country of origin. Expats in the UAE enjoy a tax-free income and offers a low cost of living which allows them to enjoy their spending power or top up their savings. Dubai also offers year-round sunshine and affordable housing and accommodation options from neighborhood-friendly villas to high-rise apartments. Those seeking an education for their children will also be able to choose from a number of top-performing schools.
How do you apply for the Virtual Working Program?
Interested applicants can apply through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs portal. If you are already in the UAE, you can apply through AMER service centers. Visa applicants can check the requirements here. The Dubai Virtual Working Program is only valid for one year and you can re-apply for a new visa once it expires. The total application process costs US$ 611, including application fees, processing costs, medical examination, and Emirates ID.
It is evident that the number of corporate nomads has increased. Companies have embraced the changes brought by the pandemic by giving flexible remote work options to their employees. To accommodate the changes in the way companies and employees work today, governments around the world have made a number of adaptations to attract new residents and investments. The UAE itself is already home to over 90% of regional MENA CEOs of global companies and 70% of Fortune 500 companies have made Dubai their regional headquarters. Getting the right legal advice is essential for companies and individuals looking to establish their businesses or residence in the UAE. If you have any questions regarding the Dubai Virtual Working Program or you have decided to start a business in the UAE, you may contact our experts and get legal advice on the procedures and other related matters.
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