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Full Dubai Real Estate Guide for Families

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Dubai is becoming a popular destination for families from all over the world. If you’re considering relocating your family to Dubai, it’s essential to prepare thoroughly. In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know to ensure a smooth transition. Whether you’re starting a business or taking up employment, proper preparation is key to avoiding any last-minute issues.

At Genzone, where we’ve assisted hundreds of families in relocating to Dubai. This guide will walk you through the essential steps to take before making the move.

Step 1: Determine Your Residency Path

Before buying plane tickets, decide how you will obtain residency. There are two main options: through employment with an existing company or by setting up your own business. Most of our clients choose the latter, as setting up a company and gaining residency through it offers more control and flexibility. Even if you don’t plan to run an active business, you can still register a company to facilitate your residency and sponsor your family.

Step 2: Understand Sponsorship Rules

If you’re relocating with your family, it’s crucial to understand the sponsorship rules in the UAE:

Marriage Status:

If you and your partner are not legally married, you cannot sponsor them as a dependent. Instead, they would need to be employed by your company or another entity.

If you are married, the husband can sponsor the wife and children.

Document Requirements:

  • Birth Certificates: Get your children’s birth certificates attested by the UAE Embassy in your home country.
  • Marriage Certificate: Similarly, your marriage certificate must be attested.
  • University Degree: Although not mandatory, having your degree attested can be beneficial for future opportunities.
Step 3: Setting Up the Company

Setting up a company in Dubai is a streamlined process, especially with professional assistance. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what you need to do and how we can help:

Required Documents

To begin, you will need:

Passport Scan: A clear, color scan of your passport’s information page.

Basic Personal Information: This includes your full name, date of birth, nationality, and contact details.

Choosing the Right Business Structure

Dubai offers several business structures, but for most expatriates, forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the most common and beneficial. An LLC provides flexibility in operations and has no restrictions on the type of business activities you can conduct. Additionally, you can open offices anywhere in Dubai or the UAE.

Business Activity Selection

Select the business activities you want to engage in. The Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) has a comprehensive list of permissible activities. We will guide you through choosing the most suitable ones based on your business goals.

Trade Name Registration

Choose a unique trade name for your company. The name must adhere to certain guidelines:

  • It should not include offensive or blasphemous language.
  • It cannot contain any religious or political references.
  • If you include your personal name, it must be your full name (first and last name).

Initial Approval

After selecting a business name and activities, you must obtain initial approval from the DED. This involves submitting an application that outlines your business plan and the chosen business activities. Once the DED grants initial approval, your company is formally recognized, and you can proceed to the next steps.

Memorandum of Association (MOA)

The MOA is a legal document that outlines the company’s structure, ownership, and operations. It must be drafted and signed by all shareholders and then attested by a Notary Public. For professional service licenses, you must also sign a Local Service Agent (LSA) agreement with a UAE national who will represent your business in regulatory matters.

Finding a Business Location

Having a physical office is mandatory for LLC formation in Dubai. You can choose an office location anywhere in the UAE. Once you have a lease agreement, it must be attested by Ejari, the tenancy contract registry. This attested lease is required to finalize your trade license.

Finalizing Your Trade License

Submit all required documents, including the MOA, attested lease, and initial approval certificate, to the DED. If everything is in order, you will receive your trade license, Certificate of Incorporation, Memorandum of Association, and Share Certificates. With these documents, your company is officially established.

Step 4: Obtaining Residency

Once your company is set up and you have your trade license, the next step is obtaining residency for you and your family.

Entry Permits

The first step in the residency process is obtaining entry permits for the main applicant (typically the husband) and any family members. Entry permits allow you to enter the UAE to complete the residency process. We handle the application process for these permits, ensuring all necessary documents are submitted correctly.

Medical and Biometric Tests

Upon arrival in Dubai, the main applicant must undergo medical and biometric tests. These tests are a standard procedure for all expatriates and include:

  • Medical Examination: A general health check to ensure you do not have any contagious diseases.
  • Biometric Scanning: Fingerprints and a photograph are taken for the Emirates ID.

Emirates ID Issuance

The Emirates ID is the official identification card for residents in the UAE. It is mandatory for accessing various services, including banking, utilities, and healthcare. Typically, the Emirates ID is issued within a week of completing the medical and biometric tests.

Sponsoring Family Members

Once the main applicant has their Emirates ID, the next step is to sponsor family members. This involves:

  • Submitting Documents: Passport copies, attested birth certificates, marriage certificate (if applicable), and visa photos for each family member.
  • Medical Tests for Family Members: Similar to the main applicant, adult family members will also undergo medical tests.
  • Emirates ID for Family Members: After the medical tests, family members will receive their Emirates IDs within a week.

Completing the Process

Upon receiving their Emirates IDs, your family members are officially residents of the UAE. This process is generally quick and efficient, taking no more than a few weeks from start to finish. Our team at Genzone will be with you every step of the way, ensuring that all paperwork is handled promptly and accurately.

Step 5: Settling In


Opt for family-oriented communities such as Dubai Hills Estate, Arabian Ranches, The Springs, and Jumeirah Village Circle. These areas offer amenities and environments conducive to family life.


Securing health insurance is straightforward. Be cautious when contacting insurance providers as they may aggressively follow up. Ensure you’re ready to commit before inquiring.


Schooling in Dubai varies widely in cost. Annual fees can range from $3,000 to over $20,000, depending on the school and grade level. Generally, lower grades are less expensive than higher grades.

Bank Accounts:

Setting up a company bank account can take a few days, but personal accounts are usually opened on the same day. We assist all our clients with this process, ensuring a smooth experience.

Hiring GenZone for Business Setup Needs

Relocating to Dubai with your family requires careful planning and understanding of the legal requirements. From choosing your residency path to setting up a company and securing necessary documents, each step is crucial for a smooth transition. 

At Genzone, we provide comprehensive support to make your move as seamless as possible. If you’re ready to start the process or need more information, feel free to book a call with us.

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