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How to move to Dubai from Canada?

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If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering moving away from Canada in search of a better life, lower taxes, improved safety, or other personal reasons. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know if you’re thinking about making the move, and how you should proceed.

Understanding Your Status: Becoming a Non-Resident

The first thing you need to know is what happens to your residency status when you move away from Canada. Do you lose your citizenship? The answer is no, you do not lose your citizenship. However, when you move away from Canada, you will become a non-resident.

Becoming a non-resident simply means you are no longer considered a resident of Canada for tax purposes. Instead, you become a resident of another country. This status change has important implications, particularly for your tax obligations.

Steps to Becoming a Non-Resident

Sell Your Primary Residence: If you own a home in Canada, it’s highly recommended that you sell it to cut off ties. Renting it out or leaving it vacant might still tie you to Canada for tax reasons.

Move with Your Family: If you have a common-law partner, spouse, or children, they need to move with you. Failure to do so might still classify you as a Canadian resident.

Sever Secondary Ties: This includes closing Canadian bank accounts, selling your car, getting rid of furniture, and canceling memberships to gyms or social clubs. These ties are less significant than primary ties but should still be minimized.

Establishing Yourself in Your New Country

Once you’ve severed your ties to Canada, it’s crucial to establish yourself in your new country. If you’re moving to the UAE, for instance, you’ll need to set up new bank accounts, get a driver’s license, and establish other necessary legal and financial presences.

Tax Implications of Moving

One of the main reasons people consider moving away from Canada is to benefit from lower taxes. Here’s what you need to know about your tax obligations as a non-resident.

Filing Tax Returns

If you have no Canadian income, you won’t need to file a tax return in Canada after becoming a non-resident. However, if you have income from sources like rental properties or businesses in Canada, you’ll still need to file a tax return for that specific income.

At GenZone, we specialize in helping people move their businesses from Canada to Dubai, where they can benefit from the lower tax rates. Setting up a business in Dubai is quicker and easier than many people think, often taking just 2 to 4 weeks.

Benefits of Moving Your Business to Dubai

Zero Personal Income Tax: In Dubai, personal income is taxed at 0%. This includes salary and investment income.

Zero Capital Gains Tax: Any profits from the sale of assets are also tax-free.

Simple Business Setup: Setting up a business is straightforward, and owning your company allows you to secure residency and open personal bank accounts.

What Happens to Your Registered Savings Accounts?

When moving away from Canada, you need to consider what happens to your registered savings accounts like RRSPs and TFSAs.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

The treatment of your RRSP depends on the country you move to. For example, the United States recognizes RRSPs, but the rules vary by country. It’s crucial to understand the tax implications in your new country.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

TFSAs may not be recognized abroad. In many cases, it might be beneficial to liquidate these accounts before moving. In Dubai, the lack of personal income and capital gains tax means that all your savings and investments effectively operate like a TFSA.

Quality of Life: Why Dubai?

Beyond taxes, Dubai offers an exceptional quality of life that attracts many expatriates from around the world.

Cosmopolitan Lifestyle

Dubai provides a cosmopolitan lifestyle with world-class amenities. Luxury shopping, top-notch healthcare, and excellent education facilities make it an attractive place to live. The city is home to a diverse expatriate community, including many entrepreneurs and business professionals, fostering a rich environment for networking and growth.

Advanced Infrastructure

Dubai’s infrastructure is among the best globally. The city boasts excellent transportation networks, modern real estate, and cutting-edge technology implementations. This makes it convenient and efficient to live and do business in Dubai.

Safety and Security

Dubai is known for its safety and security. The city’s low crime rate and robust law enforcement contribute to a secure living environment, which is a significant factor for many families and individuals considering relocation.

Making the Move: Practical Steps

Liquidate Assets

Before moving, it’s important to liquidate non-transferable assets. This includes selling your home, car, and other properties in Canada. Doing so helps to sever financial ties and simplifies your financial situation.

Transfer Funds and Open Bank Accounts

Transfer your funds to your new country and open local bank accounts. This ensures you have access to your money and can manage your finances effectively.

Obtain Necessary Documentation

Ensure you have all necessary documentation for your move. This includes visas, work permits, and residency permits. If you’re moving to Dubai, GenZone can assist with the entire process, making it smooth and stress-free.

Plan Your Move

Organize your move carefully, considering factors like shipping your belongings, finding accommodation, and arranging travel. A well-planned move reduces stress and ensures a smoother transition.


Moving away from Canada can offer numerous benefits, particularly if you’re looking for lower taxes and a better quality of life. Dubai stands out as an excellent choice due to its tax advantages, high standard of living, advanced infrastructure, and vibrant expatriate community.

If you’re considering making the move, GenZone is here to help. With our expertise, we can guide you through the entire process, from severing ties in Canada to establishing yourself in Dubai. Our goal is to make your transition as smooth and stress-free as possible, so you can focus on enjoying your new life.

To learn more about how we can assist you, book a call with us today. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals and embark on this exciting new chapter in Dubai.

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