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You’re going to want to head to Dubai to see the Burj Khalifa, of course. It’s also worth your while visiting Dubai Fountain. It’s the world’s tallest performing fountain at 900ft in length – you can even take a lake ride round it or stroll down a floating boardwalk.

Chow down on luqaymat, which is a golden pastry ball with flour, sesame seeds and turmeric. More bizarre is balaleet, a sweet and savoury vermicelli noodle dish served hot or cold with rose water, saffron and cardamom. It’s topped with an egg omelette and sometimes pistachios. Try Manousheh, the pizza of Dubai. It’s a flatbread topped with za’tar or strawberries and halwa. Again, keep alcohol consumption to permitted areas.

Living costs in Dubai are fairly reasonable:

  • Three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant: 250 AED (£55.75)
  • 1 litre regular fresh milk: 6.76 AED (£1.50)
  • 500g loaf fresh white bread: 5.62 AED (£1.25)
  • One-way ticket on public transport: 6.00 AED (£1.33)
  • Basics for 85m squared flat: 708.73 AED (£158)
  • Rent for one-bedroom flat in city centre: 7,225.22 AED (£1,611)

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find lots of co-working spaces in Dubai. Try Astrolabs, Nest, Nasab and more.

The entirety of the UAE ranks #4 of 182 countries in the world for internet speed so you’ll be fine to work with video content.

The digital nomad visa

Name of visa: Work Remotely Program

Visa fee: $611 (£506.61)

Length of visa: One year

Can I extend my visa? Yes


  • Passport valid for at least six months
  • Visa application form
  • Digital passport photo 45mm x 35mm with white background
  • Proof of accommodation, either lease agreement or hotel booking
  • Health insurance with UAE coverage
  • If you are a business owner, proof of company ownership for at least one year. Monthly income of $3,500 (£2,902) plus bank statements for past three months
  • If you are an employee, proof of employment with at least one-year contract, previous month payslip, bank statements, minimum salary of £3,500 per month

 Minimum salary: Minimum $3,500 (£2,902) monthly salary as an employee

 How to apply

  1. Visit the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website to register
  2. Fill out the application form, including personal details and contact information, email, etc.
  3. Submit application and wait for email or phone call from Dubai representative
  4. Once you have arrived in Dubai, you must undergo a medical check-up. You have a one-month window to do this. Results should be available within two weeks
  5. After you receive the medical exam results, you must take them to a biometrics office
  6. After the biometrics, your passport will be stamped
  7. The Dubai government will send you a SMS confirming your residency card, also known as the Emirates ID

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Anna Jordan

Anna is Senior Reporter, covering topics affecting SMEs such as grant funding, managing employees and the day-to-day running of a business.

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