UAE Business Visa: Updates, Requirements & Process

UAE Business Visa

If you aim to initiate or broaden your business endeavours in the United Arab Emirates, securing a Business Visa is essential. This blog furnishes a comprehensive manual outlining the available UAE business visas, focusing on acquiring an Abu Dhabi Business Visa. It delineates which visa suits your requirements and elucidates the application process. 

Shuraa Business Setup will guide you through each step, from compiling the necessary documents to lodging your visa application. Whether you’re a business proprietor or an aspiring entrepreneur eyeing an establishment in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or any locale across the UAE, delve into this resource for all the pertinent details. Alternatively, connect with Shuraa’s proficient business experts today for personalised assistance! 

What is a UAE business visa? 

The UAE business visa, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi is a crucial permit enabling foreign nationals to enter and conduct business activities in the country. Offering diverse options such as the Golden Visa, Short-Term Visit Visa, Investor Visa, Entrepreneur Visa, Mission Visa, and Freelance Visa, the UAE caters to the specific needs of individuals, from short-term visitors to long-term investors and independent professionals. 

Under the UAE Golden Visa system, a business visa in Dubai grants foreign expats residency for a specified duration, facilitating their engagement in the city’s economic landscape. With benefits including extended stays and smoother business operations, obtaining an investor visa directly contributes to the emirate’s economic growth by attracting residents and investors who play a pivotal role in its development. 

What are the Advantages of Establishing a Business in the UAE? 

Taking advantage of its strategic location and progressive business atmosphere, the UAE offers unparalleled benefits for entrepreneurs and those seeking business expansion. From tax incentives to a diverse talent pool, starting a venture here opens doors to global success and growth opportunities. 

  • Access to a Thriving Market: The UAE boasts a dynamic and rapidly expanding market with abundant opportunities across various industries. 
  • Appealing Tax Benefits: Enjoy the advantages of zero personal income tax and favourable corporate tax conditions, particularly in free zones. 
  • Prime Geographic Position: Positioned as a hub connecting the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, the UAE provides unmatched access to these pivotal markets. 
  • Networking Opportunities in a Business-Friendly Environment: Engage with a vibrant business community, participate in international trade exhibitions, and capitalize on numerous networking events. 
  • Efficient Business Operations: The UAE government simplifies business procedures with straightforward company registration, clear legal processes, and advanced digital government services. 
  • Enhanced Mobility for International Operations: Facilitate your global business activities with improved travel connectivity between the UAE and other nations. 
  • Long-Term Residency Prospects: The prospect of permanent residency, particularly in dynamic cities like Dubai, offers stability and security for business proprietors. 
  • Diverse and Multicultural Workforce: Leverage the advantages of a skilled, multilingual, and culturally diverse workforce available in the UAE. 
  • Superior Quality of Life: Experience a high standard of living, top-notch infrastructure, and a safe environment, all of which are appealing to business professionals and their families. 

Criteria for Dubai Business Visa Application: 

Prospective candidates must demonstrate their entrepreneurial expertise through verifiable evidence. Applicants should have played a significant role in a startup or held a senior leadership position in a successful business. Candidates must present a feasible business idea for implementation in the UAE. 

Moreover, applicants must satisfy additional requirements, including undergoing a background check and medical assessment conducted by the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs & Ports Security. 

It is crucial to understand that meeting all Dubai business visa prerequisites does not guarantee approval. Applicants must have their Dubai visa application, legal documents, and business plans evaluated and sanctioned by government authorities. Approval is granted only after thorough scrutiny and endorsement by a specialized committee, after which the applicant will be issued their Dubai business visa. Apply for a Dubai business visa confidently by fulfilling these essential criteria. 

Business Visa in Dubai: Requirements  

The Federal Authority for Identity & Citizenship (ICA) has laid down guidelines for UAE business visa applicants, where they need to: 

  • Age: 18 years and above 
  • Hold a valid passport of the country of residence with at least 6 month’s validity 
  • Present confirmed airline/return ticket copy, itinerary as well as departure within 30 days of visa expiration 
  • Provide valid bank statements showing proof of investments along with sufficient funds to support their stay in Dubai 
  • Present proof of accommodation for your UAE stays 
  • Offer letter of intent for your visit from employer (e.g., Conferences, projects, upskilling, etc.) 
  • Present a copy of professional qualifications or educational certificates 
  • Present a copy of the business registration certificate & company trade license if applicable. 

Types of UAE business visas  

Potential investors in the UAE require a business visa to enter & stay in the country. They generally fall under two main categories: visit visas & residence visas. 

Visit visas   

They are either single or multiple entry visas to the UAE which are also useful for attending business meetings, trips, conferences or exploring investment opportunities in the UAE. The Emirates offers visa on arrival or no visa required to citizens of over 80 nations. 

Residence visas   

These are issued to people who want to relocate to the UAE. The applicants must either run a business in the UAE, have gainful employment in a UAE-based company, or have provable entrepreneurial experience. The validity of these visas ranges from 2, 3, 5, or 10 years, and allows the holder UAE residency for that period. 

To get the UAE residence visa, the applicant must first successfully get an electronic entry permit (e-visa). During this period, they need to clear their medical tests, submit their application for residency permit, submit their biometrics etc. After that, post-approval, you will receive your residency visa, as an Emirates ID card. The visa stamping process in passports is now redundant. 

If you are considering establishing a company within a free zone in the UAE and obtaining a residence permit, you can initiate the process by applying for a Business Residence Visa. Apply for a Business Residence Visa to facilitate your company setup and residency acquisition in the UAE’s free zones. 

Visit Visa 

  1. Single-entry 
  2. Multi-entry 

Residence Visa 

  1. Sponsored: Mainland Visa or free zone visa depending upon the jurisdiction of the business setup 
  2. Self-sponsored: Green Visa (company owners/shareholders) or Golden Visa (investors/executives/property owners) 

Comparison of Sponsored and Self-Sponsored Business Visas in the UAE 

Understanding the disparity between sponsored and self-sponsored business visas is vital for international entrepreneurs and professionals contemplating business ventures in the UAE. Each visa type presents distinct advantages and serves different purposes. 

Sponsored Business Visas 

Sponsored visas are typically acquired through an employer or a sponsor in the UAE. Under this arrangement, a local entity, whether a business or an individual, acts as a sponsor and undertakes responsibility for the visa applicant during their stay in the country. 

  • Employer Responsibility: The sponsoring employer manages the visa application process and fulfils associated legal obligations. 
  • Linked to Employment: The validity of the visa is directly correlated with the employment contract. Upon termination of employment, the visa typically becomes void, necessitating renewal or a change of sponsorship. 
  • Suitable for Employees: This type of visa is most suitable for individuals intending to work for a UAE-based company. 


Self-Sponsored Business Visas 

Conversely, self-sponsored visas enable individuals to sponsor their residency in the UAE without the requirement of an employer or a local sponsor. This category encompasses Investor Visas and recently introduced long-term residence visas such as the Golden Visa. 

  • Independence: These visas offer greater autonomy and flexibility as they are not tethered to a specific employer. 
  • Longer Duration and Stability: Self-sponsored visas, notably the Golden Visa, often grant extended durations (up to 10 years) and provide enhanced stability for entrepreneurs and investors. 
  • Ideal for Business Owners and Investors: They are particularly advantageous for individuals aiming to establish or invest in a business in the UAE, as well as for highly skilled professionals, researchers, and artists. 

How to get a business visa for Dubai 

Getting a business visa is a simple process when you leave it to experts like Shuraa. Simply submit the required documents and fill out the application form. 

Dubai business visa: Documents required 

  • Duly filled UAE visa application form 
  • Valid passport copy, valid for at least 6 months 
  • Passport photograph against a white background (2; recent) 
  • Invitation letter from UAE sponsor 
  • Letter from employer declaring salary & job description 
  • Copy of residence permit (if already living in the UAE) 

Business Visa in Dubai: Cost & application  

For people new to the UAE, applying for a visa can be a time-consuming and unknown process. Apart from that, the UAE visa laws and regulations are constantly changing. Therefore, when you utilise the help of management consultancies like Shuraa Business Setup, you get end-to-end assistance along with experienced and assured corporate services. 

Read on below to know the basic steps to getting a Dubai visa: 

Completing the Visa application form 

The form can be filled in either online or at a UAE Embassy/Consulate. The applicant needs to provide information such as personal details, travel itinerary, purpose of visit etc. Remember to submit the other documents required along with the application. 

Pay the Dubai business visa fees  

Once the application is approved by the concerned authorities, you will need to pay the visa fees. The cost can be borne either through a payment voucher or at the UAE Embassy or consulate. The cost of the Dubai business visa can vary based on the visa type as well as the length of validity. 

Get your Dubai business visa 

Once the visa fees are paid, the application will be processed and decided, all within 14 days.  

How much will a Dubai Business Visa cost? 

The respective fees for the UAE business visa depend on the type of visa, the duration, as well as the emirate. 

  • Cost of Dubai business visa: Approximately AED 3,500 to AED 5,500* 
  • Business visa in Abu Dhabi: Around AED 4,000 to AED 8,500* 
  • UAE Visit visas: Around AED 350 to AED 600* depending on duration of stay (should not exceed more than 60 days in the UAE)  

Note: All prices are subject to changes made by the UAE government. 

Shuraa offers trusted and reliable corporate services  

Save yourself the hassle of paperwork and government offices. Shuraa Business Setup offers UAE’s leading PRO and visa services. Your application will be in the hands of our experienced team, who ensure that your visa processing goes through efficiently and promptly. 

Getting a business visa from Shuraa will help you expand your company globally, while offering benefits like UAE residency, 100 ownership of your business, free VAT consultation, bank account assistance and more. Reach out to us today.  

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