When moving to Dubai, without having an employer or relocation office handling everything for you, it might get a bit overwhelming as you need do deal with a lot of paperwork. To start you off, we have gathered some information on insurance and banking you might find useful in this process.  


Are you employed? Then your employer is by law obliged to insure you. 

Depending on your needs, if you are no longer covered by insurance from your home country or your employer, you should as a minimum look into health, life, travel and home insurance.


If you intend to own a car, then be sure you have a good one for this too.

From our research and recommendations, we've found, that the providers below, amongst others, offer insurances for individuals, SME’s & Entrepreneurs and Businesses:

H2L Tip: Bring a copy of the insurance you had in your home country, so you can have a clear description of what you should have covered. Prices vary a lot, so make sure you get quotes from a few different providers. Remember to double check which hospitals and clinics your insurance cover. Also, prices on travel insurance with or without US coverage makes a huge difference.

Setting up your bank account

If you have an employer you might end up using the same bank as them for convenience. Most banks require a contract from your employer and a minimum salary. 

H2L Tip: If you just need to get an account to get you started, there are a few instant banking options available. All you need to do is to upload your passport and Emirates ID. These options don't necessarily have the same advantages as the accounts you open in the bank, but they work for simple transfers, and is (for now) not demanding a minimum amount to put into the account. Be aware, that this is subject to change, but as a customer you will get a notification. We've had great experiences with  ADCB Hayyak.

Private​ bank account

Generally, if you are not employed, or previously have had a bank account in the UAE, many banks will not open an account for you.


However, depending on your case, you will eventually find someone who is willing to make an exception.

Most require 3-6 months statement from a bank in the UAE to take you on as a client, bank statements from another country will not be enough.

Most private accounts require a 3 - 5,000 AED balance in the account at any time, if not you will be charged a fee every month.


H2L Tip: In Dubai Mall they have most branch offices lined up, so if you are bank hunting this is a good place to get a lot of information.


Also, remember that many will tell you it’s difficult or impossible depending on your situation, but be persistent.

Personal experience is, that sometimes you will have to ask to speak to the branch manager to get things done.

Business bank account

For business accounts you will find that the requirements are very different from bank to bank, and depending on which business license and relationship you have in the bank, they might not even want to give you a business account. 

For a large company it shouldn’t be much trouble to open an account. Most of the free zones and business setup agents have recommendations for you. Most of the banks will require a minimum balance in the account starting from 25,000 AED.

From the recommendations we have come across on different platforms, RAK Bank seems to be a bank that many SME’s are happy with.


H2L Tip: Have your personal and business account in separate banks. Should anything cause them to block either, you can at least have access to one. This is also something you should think about when you switch jobs as your personal account is connected to your work visa and salary from your employer.


Some experience that when you receive your 'End of service' settlement, the bank block your account.


Depending on where you come from, there will be different rules as to how you gain the advantages of tax-free Dubai. Our experience is that this can be a jungle and can potentially cost a lot of money, if you register yourself wrong in your home country. So, make sure you do your due diligence before leaving or with a local agent in UAE specializing in international taxation.

H2L Tip: Seek professional guidance if you are not sure how to fill out the papers yourself. One mistake might cost you both time and money. There are many companies in Dubai who specialize in relocation services. Be aware that the fees these companies charge might be substantial, so get an offer from a few different companies before you commit to one.


Driver's License 

There are three ways of getting around in Dubai: Taxi, Metro and Car. Being that the metro only crosses through the city you will need to have your own car or accept the occasional taxi drive to get around. 

Depending where your driver's license has been issued you should consider getting an international driving permit for the settlement period in Dubai. Once you have your residence visa, you will need to apply for a UAE driver's license. If you are under the age of 21 your license will be valid for 1 year. If you are above 21 years your license will be valid for 2 years.


You can apply for the driver's license at any RTA offices in Dubai 

Resident's from 32 countries can automatically convert their existing license to a UAE license. The list of countries that this includes can be found on the RTA website.

Required documents:

  • Passport copy and original

  • Emirates ID/Residence visa copy

  • Original driver's licence and copy

  • Legalized translation of the license if not in English or Arabic

  • Passport photos

  • Electronic eye test

Issuing the license along with the different admin costs adds up to approx. 800 AED.

How can we help? We have a team of qualified people in our network ready to guide you in everything from how to relocate your pet to set up your business in Dubai. Feel free to reach out and we will happily connect you:

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