The COVID-19 pandemic meant many countries around the world went into lockdown, and the UAE was no exception. For entrepreneurs, keen to set up a business in Dubai or the other Emirates of the UAE, this was probably a concern. However, the good news is that you can still establish a company here, and obtaining UAE residency is still a straightforward process.

Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a resident at this time.

Becoming a UAE resident during the COVID-19 pandemic – your questions answered

Am I allowed to enter the UAE?

Dubai officially reopened its borders to foreign visitors in July, which means that you’re now permitted to enter the country. Those with existing residency visas were able to enter in June. However, anyone entering the UAE must have a Covid PCR certificate, less than 96 hours old to prove that they’ve tested negative for COVID-19 before travelling.

Do the lockdown measures apply to visitors?

When you’re in the UAE, you must adhere to the latest social distancing rules. Charterhouse Lombard will keep you updated with these rules, if you decide to apply to become a resident. 

Can I apply for residency if I’m not in the UAE?

The latest guidelines state that, in order to obtain UAE residency, you need to be in the country during the application process.

COVID-19 has impacted companies around the world – is now the right time to set up a company in the UAE?

Coronavirus has had impact in the UAE. However, the respective Emirates have taken significant measures to support and develop businesses; especially SMEs. For example, Dubai’s government launched a business stimulus package of Dh 6.3billion, and the Central Bank of UAE now offer a Targeted Economic Support Scheme to protect any companies that may be affected by the pandemic.

In short, the UAE has an excellent reputation for supporting companies of all sizes, and if you set up a business there (either in a Free Zone or offshore), you’ll have access to a wealth of incentives and networking opportunities.

Why is it beneficial to have a residency visa?

In order to run and maintain a business seemlessly in the UAE, you’ll need to have residency status. This offers numerous benefits. For example, when you’re a resident, you can:

  • Access the state’s financial facilities and open a bank account
  • Obtain a UAE Cell phone number – essential for operating bank accounts
  • Legally drive in the country (subject to obtaining a licence)
  • Avail the country’s health services
  • Register your children in local schools (subject to them obtaining residency status too)
  • Purchase a property
  • Make investments in the country

Is there any support available?

Applying for residency (and setting up a company) in the UAE is straightforward, but requires a level of know-how. Charterhouse Lombard are on hand to take care of the entire process for you , and to ensure that your move to the UAE is managed professionally and without delay.