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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking into moving to Dubai or Abu Dhabi and just read that in Dubai you must pay a year's rent up front for an apartment rather than paying rent each month. I also read that the employer typically pays this rent up front and withholds it from the employee's paycheck each month, thus making it easy to pay for the person actually renting the apartment. If I don't get a teaching job, though, I am going to be self-employed, doing work on-line. So paying a year's rent up front is a problem. Is this true in Dubai? How about Abu Dhabi?

Thanks for your help.
 

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Please read the first post on this forum, the one that says 'Information everyone needs to know about Dubai, read before posting'. It would have told you that a self employed person who is going to be working on-line cant just rent an apartment, to rent an apartment you need residency and to get residency you need an employer.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Please read the first post on this forum, the one that says 'Information everyone needs to know about Dubai, read before posting'. It would have told you that a self employed person who is going to be working on-line cant just rent an apartment, to rent an apartment you need residency and to get residency you need an employer.
Don't be snippy, my dear.
 

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Also, you misunderstood the post you pointed me to.

It does not say "a self employed person who is going to be working on-line can't just rent an apartment." Such a law would virtually bar self-employed people from living in Dubai or Abu Dhab. As a self-employed person I am my own employer, so I must take care of the paperwork myself. I am accustomed to doing this.

So my question again, for someone who actually knows about the rent situation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, have heard of people paying rent a month at a time? I have seen a couple of rental ads with payments every month or every quarter. But do you know if some or most landlords who are asking for a year up front are willing to work with people and not strictly adhere to the one year in advance rent policy? '

Thank you.
 

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I'm not being snippy, the same questions are asked regularly so the stickys have been made to prevent people from answering the same questions over and over :)
But unfortunately you still dont seem to understand, it isnt as simple as just doing your own paperwork. You need to be sponsored by an individual or a company to get residency, you cant just rock up fill in some forms and live in the UAE.

Dubai Guide: Self-employment, How to work for yourself in Dubai: If you wish to be self-employed in Dubai, you

There is a bit more info, doing a google search should also help you find more information.

To answer your question some places alow 12 cheques, some allow 4 it really depends on the land lord. It is just a matter of finding a place that suits you and negotiating.
 

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I agree with Jewles.

One thing to bear in mind, apart from the number of cheques, is the fact that your landlord will ask you for a copy of your residence visa. You will also need this to get utilities, internet, phone, etc connected. The absence of a residence visa will prove to be an obstacle for simple things. Even opening a bank account will prove to be an obstacle without the correct visa.
Your best bet would be short-term lets, where you are able to pay monthly but evidently they are more expensive but on the plus side, you have the flexibility of leaving whenever you want as opposed to a normal tenancy agreement, which is a lot more difficult to break!

Re Abu Dhabi, accommodation is a lot more expensive and due to the shortage of accommodation, the concept of multiple cheques have yet to catch on. There are always tenants in AUH, so landlords are not as flexible as they are in Dubai.

Good luck!
 

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If I were you I would come over here for a long holiday and do some research whilst here. It is qute complicated to set up a business, there are many things to be taken into consideration, but if you have a good business idea and plan there is money to be made.

Why not stay at hotel apartments for a while? No rental contract to worry about, until all the residency paperwork is done and stamped, you will not be able to have a formal rental anyway. We are house hunting at the moment and have found you are most likely to get multiple cheque options in Dubai or Sharjah.

You will need a good bit of cash behind you before you arrive, for instance you will need to rent a car until your visa comes through, as you will not be able to get a bank loan until you are a resident, and even then you MAY have to wait for a few months until you can establish a credit record.

Personally I wouldn't come here with less than £20k to fall back on.

Good luck whatever you decide.:)
 

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Self-employment here is tricky - the only "official" channel I've come across since being out here (the wife is freelance) is the option of renting a desk in Media City - they charge through the roof however, so your business model better be sound!

Jewles is correct - you can't turn up, fill in some forms and away you go. I've been registering a company in RAK for the last 12 months, and only 2 weeks ago my residency visa came through.

Good luck to you
 

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Self-employment here is tricky - the only "official" channel I've come across since being out here (the wife is freelance) is the option of renting a desk in Media City - they charge through the roof however, so your business model better be sound!

Jewles is correct - you can't turn up, fill in some forms and away you go. I've been registering a company in RAK for the last 12 months, and only 2 weeks ago my residency visa came through.

Good luck to you
Took you 12 months to set up a RAKFZ company?! Took me less than two.

-
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have been reading about renting space in a free trade zone and have also read that whoever you rent from will sponsor you. Or hopefully. Is this true?

I've been in business 22 years, so I think the business model is sound. I figure initially I will stay in a hotel apartment, as MGG suggested, or a private room/private bath hostel until I get the residency permit. Obviously, it will all work out, as many other people do it. The question is what is the best method. Is a free trade zone the way to go?

Thanks to all of you with helpful comments.
 

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You do not need a sponsor in the free zone. If you set up in the free zone, you will have 100% ownership of your business. Maybe, someone else will assist you in regards to how this works but there are certain conditions that need to be met prior to the free zone allowing you to operate.

If you set up your business outside of the free zone, you will need a local sponsor, who will own 51% of your business. Some people just pay the sponsor a percentage and he doesn't intefere with the business decision but that varies from person to person.

One thing to bear in mind is that Dubai is a totally different ball game. Make sure you do your research and that your service will be in demand and targeted at the local market. Some things work great at home; put in another country and suddenly everything changes and you have to rethink our strategy. I advise doing some on the ground research before you commit to anything.

Best of luck!
 

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If you haven't already done so, you may also want to look into the taxation of self-employed US persons living overseas. You'll still have medicare/social security obligations regardless of the foreign earned income exclusion.
 

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'm looking into moving to Dubai or Abu Dhabi and just read that in Dubai you must pay a year's rent up front for an apartment rather than paying rent each month. I also read that the employer typically pays this rent up front and withholds it from the employee's paycheck each month, thus making it easy to pay for the person actually renting the apartment. If I don't get a teaching job, though, I am going to be self-employed, doing work on-line. So paying a year's rent up front is a problem. Is this true in Dubai? How about Abu Dhabi?

Thanks for your help.


I have recently moved here to set up my own business, and gone through the whole process you're contemplating.
I set up as a Free Zone Limited Liability Company (FZ LLC). There are a number of Free Zones, and which one you apply to depends on your line of business. If you've not already done so, a few hours internet searching will find you all the info you need on this.
Having found the right one, the application and approval process is all done online, so it's best to do that from home. I scanned and emailed all the docs required, and signatures on docs. It took about a month to do that (including them rejecting my first choice of business name! They can do that!!)
You then come to Dubai for the process to be finalised. This involves you signing all the original docs. and they being witnessed, and then waiting for the formal approval resulting in the issue of your Trade Licence. At the same time you need to open a bank account, and once the too-ing and fro-ing (lots of it!!) is done, you get your Residency. You can then rent an apartment/villa. In theory (ha ha) the FZs state that the whole process takes 10-14 working days. Mine took 6 weeks, so be prepared for the frustration of it all - there is nothing you can do but wait!! The length of time means you may also well end up having to do a visa run, as the visit visa expires after 30 days.
Number of cheques for rent: I think this is changing slowly, but the majority of landlords are still wanting one, or four if you're lucky. Being self-employed is of no relevance to them! In mid-Oct., mine wanted one cheque. I offered 4, which he said he would accept if I paid an extra 5,000 Dhs. rent! I refused on principal - it just got my hackles raised. I also figured that if it was paid upfront for the year, at least I know I have a roof over my head for a year even if my business takes off more slowly than I'm hoping it will!
A couple of things about setting up a business through one of the Dubai FZs: It cost me about 40,000Dhs., including 6 months office rent.
You have to have an office in the FZ, even if you don't really need it, which I don't.
Technically, it is illegal to work from home.
If you want to set up a business under your own name, you can get a Freelancer Licence, which is cheaper. if you want a business name, you have to be a LLC.
Du have just wacked up their internet rental charges for businesses by some crazy amount. Residential rates have remained unchanged .... so, if you don't need to be office based, no-brainer.
Good luck, but do ensure you research thoroughly before making the move!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Anna,

This is enormously helpful information. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this!

Do you happen to remember any of the websites that supplied info on which Free Zones are for which businesses?

Whether you do or whether you don't, I'm grateful for your help!
 

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Anna,

This is enormously helpful information. Thank you so much for taking the time to write all of this!

Do you happen to remember any of the websites that supplied info on which Free Zones are for which businesses?

Whether you do or whether you don't, I'm grateful for your help!
You're welcome :)
What line of business are you in? I might be able to point you to the appropriate zone.
In the meantime; I just googled 'dubai free trade zones' and the top 2 links were:
wwwdotindexuaedotcome and wwwdotdubaifaqsdotcom
On the first one, you can then click through to individual FZ websites (eg: Media City, Internet City) and the second one had tel. nos and email addresses for several.
There were plenty more sites as well.
Can't promise I can point you to the right zone, but if you let me know your field, I'll try (or someone else on here might be able to).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Anna, thank you so much for those links!

Actually, after I wrote my last reply to you I googled Free Zones Dubai and came up with a couple links that looked good. But I will check out yours thoroughly first before I dig into the ones I found.

Currently I'm a freelance court stenographer. I also earn a bit of an income writing (my night and weekend job - also freelance.) When I move, I'll be doing transcription work for stenographers as well as writing. My main income, at least initally, will be from the transcription. I know approximately how much I can make as well as the approximate cost of living (which, actually, is why I'm looking into Dubai instead of Abu Dhabi, where I originally was going to land - because Dubai has cheaper rentals). So it looks like I'll be able to support myself. It's just a matter of getting it set up.

Thank you!
 

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Four Cheques Per Year

With the glut of apartments since the financial crisis, you should more easily settle on the norm set by REWA of four per year. Note also Abu Dhabi is much more costly than Dubai - it does not have an apartment glut.

I'm looking into moving to Dubai or Abu Dhabi and just read that in Dubai you must pay a year's rent up front for an apartment rather than paying rent each month. I also read that the employer typically pays this rent up front and withholds it from the employee's paycheck each month, thus making it easy to pay for the person actually renting the apartment. If I don't get a teaching job, though, I am going to be self-employed, doing work on-line. So paying a year's rent up front is a problem. Is this true in Dubai? How about Abu Dhabi?

Thanks for your help.
 
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