How to Relocate from India to Dubai in 2024

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Vadim

Dubai offers tax-free salaries, a low crime rate, and a booming economy, making it a popular destination for Indians. Although it’s only a three-and-a-half-hour flight from New Delhi, relocating requires organisation. This guide covers everything you need to know about moving from India to Dubai in 2024, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition.

1. Visa Requirements

Types of Visas

  • Employment Visa: The most common type, handled by your employer. Your employer will arrange all necessary paperwork for your employment visa and residency permit.
  • Dependent Visa: Available if your spouse or children live in Dubai and meet income requirements. The sponsor must earn a minimum of AED 4,000 per month (or AED 3,000 plus accommodation).
  • Student Visa: Granted for the duration of your education at a UAE institution.
  • Investor Visa: For those investing in property or starting a business. Requires substantial investment in the UAE economy.
  • Property Owner Visa: Based on property value and renewable. Typically for those who own real estate in Dubai.


  1. Sponsorship: Required for all visa types. Secure a job offer or a sponsor in Dubai.
  2. Medical Tests: Mandatory screening for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS. A medical fitness test is required as part of the visa process.
  3. Document Preparation: Includes attested degrees, marriage certificates, and passport-sized photos. Ensure all documents are authenticated and attested.

2. Finding Work

Job Opportunities

  • Industries: Finance, cybersecurity, marketing, administration, language, and teaching. Dubai’s economy is diverse and offers opportunities in various sectors.
  • Job Portals: Use, and Bayt to search for jobs. Networking and recruitment agencies can also be valuable resources.

Employment Visa

  • Procedure: Obtain a job offer, submit required documents, undergo medical tests, and get the visa stamped. Your employer will guide you through this process.

3. Housing

Types of Housing

  • Apartments: More affordable, various sizes available. Suitable for singles or small families.
  • Condominiums: Larger and more luxurious. Often come with additional amenities like swimming pools and gyms.
  • Villas: Free-standing homes with amenities and gardens, most expensive. Ideal for larger families or those seeking more space and privacy.


  • Average Rent: Expect to pay over AED 5,040 (USD equivalent) per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. Housing costs vary significantly based on location and type of accommodation.

Renting and Buying

  • Renting: Yearly or quarterly payments, including DEWA utilities, internet/phone deposits, agency commissions, and security deposits. Understanding tenancy laws and rental agreements is crucial.
  • Buying: Popular among Indian expats, with various incentives for homeownership. Research the property market and consider long-term financial commitments.

4. Healthcare


  • Access: Apply for a healthcare card for free or low-cost services. The healthcare system in Dubai is highly developed and accessible.
  • Insurance: Employers must provide medical insurance. Ensure your coverage includes dependents if applicable.

Important Considerations

  • Medications: Check the banned substances list before bringing any medication. Some medications available in India may be restricted in Dubai.

5. Education

School Options

  • Indian Curriculum: ICSE and CBSE schools are widely available. These schools cater to the large Indian expat community in Dubai.
  • International Schools: Offer diverse experiences and curriculums. Popular choices include IB, British, and American curricula.

Application Tips

  • Early Applications: Best schools fill up fast, apply well in advance. Research schools and their admission processes early to secure a place for your child.

6. Relocating with Pets


  • Import Permit: Required for cats and dogs. Obtain this permit from the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE).
  • Vaccinations: Proof of immunizations, Antibody Titration Test for rabies.
  • Health Certificate: Necessary for relocation. Ensure all health documents are up-to-date.


  • Fees: AED 200 for the import permit, AED 500 for dogs, and AED 250 for cats. Additional costs may include transportation and pet relocation services.

7. Cultural Considerations

Dress Code

  • Modesty: Recommended to wear conservative clothing covering shoulders and knees. Respecting local customs and dress codes is important.


  • Arabic: Official language, but English is widely spoken. Basic knowledge of Arabic can be helpful.
  • Other Languages: Hindi, Urdu, and Farsi are also common. The large South Asian community means these languages are widely understood.


  • Desert Climate: Mild winters, hot summers, no monsoons. Be prepared for high temperatures and minimal rainfall.

8. Transportation

Public Transport

  • Options: Buses, trams, and metro. Dubai’s public transport system is efficient and reliable.
  • Payment: Use a ‘nol’ card, with various types for different users. Cards can be topped up for regular use.


  • Indian License: Must convert to a Dubai driving license. You will need to undergo driving tests and obtain a UAE driving license.
  • Car Import: Legal if the vehicle meets UAE standards. Consider the costs and regulations involved in importing a car.

9. Cost of Living


  • Comparison: The UAE is 4.6 times more expensive than India. Higher living costs are offset by higher salaries.
  • Currency: UAE Dirham (AED), with INR to AED conversion impacting costs. Understand the currency exchange rates and financial implications.
  • Average Salary: Significantly higher in Dubai compared to India. Consider the cost of living when negotiating salaries.

10. Settling In


  • Indian Population: Significant Indian expat community, making adaptation easier. Social clubs and community groups can help you settle in.
  • Festivals: Celebrations of Indian festivals like Holi and Diwali are common. Participating in these events can help maintain cultural ties.


Q: How do you process an employment visa from India to Dubai?
A: Secure a job offer letter from a Dubai employer -> Apply for an entry permit -> Get medical tests done -> Submit documents & passport for stamping -> Collect stamped residence visa.

Q: Can I open a bank account in Dubai on a visit or tourist visa?
A: No, you need a valid UAE residence visa or Emirates ID to open a bank account locally in Dubai.

Q: What are the monthly living expenses for a family in Dubai?
A: Living costs for mid-range family accommodation, transportation, utilities, and groceries can total approximately 15,000-25,000 AED (USD equivalent) per month in Dubai.

Q: Is life in Dubai better than living in India?
A: Yes, Dubai offers higher salaries, savings potential, a global lifestyle, advanced infrastructure, and more opportunities than India for most expats.

Q: Can we take our pet cat from India to Dubai?
A: Yes, pets can be brought from India to Dubai with an import permit, vaccination certificate, and health card from authorized veterinarians in India.

Q: Which airlines operate direct flights from India to Dubai?
A: Emirates, FlyDubai, Air India Express, and Indigo offer daily non-stop flights connecting major Indian cities to Dubai and Dubai International Airport.

Q: Can I use my Indian Aadhaar card or PAN card in Dubai?
A: Indian identity documents like Aadhaar and PAN cards are not officially recognized or used for KYC purposes in Dubai or UAE.

Q: How much luggage can I carry when moving from India to Dubai?
A: Most airlines allow up to 46 kg of checked-in baggage and 7 kg of cabin baggage when passengers travel from India to Dubai on valid tickets.

Q: Can I drive my Indian-licensed vehicle to Dubai?
A: You can legally drive only with a valid UAE license. An Indian license is not valid for driving in Dubai unless you convert it within three months of arrival.

Q: What are the best ways to send money to India from Dubai?
A: NRI accounts, exchange houses, and remittance centers facilitate fast money transfers to India via cash payout, direct bank transfers, or cheque deposit options.

Q: Do children of expatriates get free education in Dubai?
A: No. School education, even in public schools, has fees ranging from 5,000 – 15,000+ AED (USD equivalent) annually depending on curriculum, grades, etc., along with additional costs.

Q: Which are the top neighborhoods for Indians in Dubai?
A: Bur Dubai, Deira, Karama, Oud Metha, Dubai Silicon Oasis, and International City have traditionally been popular affordable areas for settling Indian families.

Q: Can I own property like apartments as an expatriate in Dubai?
A: Yes, expats can buy freehold flats in approved locations according to Dubai real estate laws. However, getting home loans as a non-resident requires a substantial down payment.

Q: Do I have to surrender Indian citizenship to work in Dubai?
A: No UAE visa requires you to revoke Indian citizenship. You can hold both passports together without any issues.

Q: Can I ship my household goods from India to Dubai?
A: Several packing/shipping companies offer door-to-door personal goods and furniture shipment from India to Dubai at charges based on volume/weight.

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about relocating to or within the UAE, here are some essential articles that cover various aspects of the topic. These resources will help you navigate the complexities and make informed decisions.

  1. A Comprehensive Guide to Tawtheeq: Lease Contract Registration in Abu Dhabi
  2. Closing a Bank Account in the UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide
  3. How to Apply for a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) in the UAE
  4. How to Relocate from Egypt to Dubai in 2024
  5. How to Relocate from Germany to Dubai in 2024
  6. How to Relocate from India to Dubai in 2024
  7. How to Relocate from the US to Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)
  8. Leaving Dubai for Good? 8 Essential Tasks to Complete Before You Go
  9. Moving from Pakistan to Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide
  10. Notarising Your Chinese Academic Degree for UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide
  11. Relocating from China to Dubai: Complete Guide for Expats
  12. Relocating from China to the UAE: Your Top 5 Questions Answered
  13. Relocating from London to Dubai: Your Ultimate Guide
  14. Relocating from Manchester to Dubai: Complete Guide for Expats
  15. Relocating from the UK to Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide for British Expats
  16. Relocating in the UAE? Here is a Detailed Guide on How to Find the Best Movers
  17. Tax Residency in the UAE
  18. Traveling with Pets: A Comprehensive Guide to Relocating Your Furry Friends Out of the UAE
  19. UAE Overstay Fines: A Simplified 6-Step Online Payment Guide
  20. Ultimate Guide to Pet Travel in UAE: Airline Rules and Tips [2024]