Apply for your residence visa over a 5-min video call, just like getting a Dubai business license without visiting a center

Julian DRozario

Julian DRozario

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Are you considering getting a UAE residency visa and starting a business here? Have you been searching for a way to eliminate all the paperwork associated with setting up a business in Dubai? Wish there was an alternative to the hassle of finding and visiting a centre to complete a visa process? Now is the time to make the switch to an all-digital future! With a 5-minute video call, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) will process your visa virtually, and Meydan Free Zone offers you a digital escape with a paperless business setup experience. Isn’t that interesting?

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) capped off 2022 by processing millions of transactions and serving customers with top-of-the-line smart services. The immigration services in Dubai processed 62.2 million transactions in 2022, including 47 million entry and exit transactions through air, sea and land ports, and nearly 4.5 million residency visas were processed, including new visas and renewals. In addition, the number of golden visas issued in 2022 increased from 47,150 in 2021, indicating that the demand for UAE resident visas is rising.

In this article, you will learn how to apply for a UAE residency visa via video Call in 2023 and apply for a Dubai business license with an IBAN from Meydan Free Zone, which integrates people, products, and processes 100% digitally. We will be covering the following:

Benefits of having a UAE residence visa

The United Arab Emirates is a safe and politically stable country with a prudent business environment and financial resilience.

A UAE residence visa is required to become a resident of the United Arab Emirates. In Dubai, The GDRFA provides residence visas for all the residents, including UAE-free zones, mainland companies and investors, providing the opportunity to live, work and invest in the UAE.

To maintain a residence visa in Dubai, there is no requirement to stay continuously in the UAE. However, visiting the UAE at least every 180 days is sufficient to keep the UAE Residence Visa.

How to apply for a UAE residency visa via video call?

GDRFA, or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, is a government entity that regulates the entry and exit of international travelers from Dubai and the residency of foreign nationals in the city. Over the years, the regulatory authority has streamlined its processes resulting in quick, prompt responses. Previously, the GDRFA only offered two means of applying for a residence visa: through its official website or by visiting any of its service centres. Now applicants in Dubai can use video conferencing services to complete their visa applications.

The service was launched on 2023 January 11, enabling customers to submit documents and complete residency-related application procedures digitally. The new service can be used if visa officers discover a document is missing or unclear or need additional information from the applicant to issue the visa. Besides submitting documents, customers can follow up on their transactions through video calls. If there are any inaccuracies in the application process, customers can send the required documents through the chat box, and the officer will upload them and attach them to the application. This eliminates the need to visit the administration in person. Applicants still have the option of visiting a centre if they wish to.

The department aims to achieve a “zero visit” goal, but in rare cases, if an application cannot be completed, an officer will send a link to schedule an appointment to visit the administration.

Customers inside and outside the UAE can access this service on any device with a front-facing camera. GDRFA’s new video call service covers all services, including residence visas, golden visas, financial claims, legal advice, entry permit services, and the issuance and renewal of electronic passports. Users can get assistance by calling the Amer service number 8005111, the GDRFA website, and the mobile app. The video conferencing service will eventually operate 24 hours a day, reducing the need for physical visits to the service centers. Currently, hours of operation are during official working hours from morning to 6 pm.

This new service is a step forward in providing smart government services and making it easier for entrepreneurs to get started in Dubai.

Why should you set up a company in Dubai with a Meydan Free Zone license?

The UAE offers many business advantages, which is why so many companies are setting up branches or organisations here. Let’s begin with the many benefits of doing business in Dubai. In the first place, you’ll benefit from an incredibly strategic location at the heart of the Middle East – perfectly positioned to conduct business with Europe, Asia, and Africa. Additionally, the UAE has a 0% tax rate on personal incomes. Another advantage of getting a trade license in Dubai is that dependents can be sponsored easily.

The additional benefits of the Meydan Free Zone company setup are as follows:

  • Award-Winning All-Inclusive Digital Platform
    Meydan Free Zone supports entrepreneurs in building a digital platform where you can perform all transactions with ease and speed. As part of our digital transformation, our award-winning platform is designed to eliminate all the ‘paperwork’ side of your business. You can log in to the portal from anywhere worldwide and access our services, select your requirements, and finally pay online. You’ll have access to our innovative customer platform when you set up in the Meydan Free Zone. This is designed to ease operations and simplify setting up your business. The platform combines all aspects of compliance and regulation for your company (such as UBO, ESR, and AML) in a single interface. In addition, you can choose from a wide range of licenses, immigration services, business support services, and a choice of workspaces to streamline the workflow seamlessly from right within the platform – and you can manage all your company’s records and business documents in a single place.
  • Designed for Ease of Expat Ownership
    Meydan Free Zone’s trade-friendly environment is designed to be as attractive as possible for the budding entrepreneur. You will benefit from the following:
    • MOFA recognised business licenses with IBAN
    • 100% foreign ownership
    • Tax-free policies
    • Low-cost setup starting from AED 12,500
    • 3,500 business activities to choose from
    • Modern infrastructure with Flexi-desk, dedicated offices and meeting rooms.
    • No currency restrictions
  • Premier Location
    Being at one of Dubai’s most sought-after centrally located commercial addresses puts you minutes away from major pulse points and the city’s vital commercial and financial hubs. Meydan Free Zone is 8 minutes away from Downtown Dubai.
  • Easy Start Up
    Benefit from a smooth registration process with access to priority government relations assistance and broad support services tailored to your business needs, all from a click of a button on an award-winning digital platform.
  • A Vibrant, World-Class Community
    Take advantage of the unique opportunity to live, work & play in Meydan’s premium mixed-use developments offering innovative office spaces that encourage business growth. Setting up your company in the Meydan Free Zone also provides access to a unique community that inspires growth through innovation and collaboration. Meydan City boasts a sprawling freehold housing community, schools, a hospital, and recreational amenities. The prime location in the center of Dubai gives you direct access to everything you need to start and grow your business. The city is home to countless startups, SMEs, and multinationals from various industries and sectors.

How to get a Meydan Free Zone company license?

With Meydan Free Zone, you can start your business with total confidence by taking advantage of our expertise. The following steps will be guided by your dedicated account representative.

Our first step will be to help you choose and register your company name. It’s important to adhere to UAE naming guidelines. As part of our initial consultation, we will go over these rules.

Furthermore, we will assist you in aligning your business activities to the approved list published by the UAE’s various Municipalities and Departments of Economic Development. Therefore, you should list all activities you intend to conduct on your business license.

You can now rely on us to handle your UAE Trade License application. During this process, you will be asked for information about your business and its shareholders and proof of address and identification. The application is completed on an online portal. Once your MOFA-recognised license is issued, you will need to apply for a residency or investor visa. We can help you with your visa application too.

Once your e-visa is issued, you will need to undergo a fitness test, blood test, and chest x-ray; the medical assistance team can help you with the appointments. Once your visa is approved, and you get your Emirates ID, You can also sponsor the visas of others, such as your dependent spouse, Children, parents, your spouse, and any domestic staff.

Additionally, if you get paid in the UAE, you’ll need a UAE business bank account. Meydan Free Zone can help with this step, too, advising on the right bank for you. In addition, we have partnered with multiple local and international banks providing zero-balance digital business bank accounts.

How to legally work with mainland companies with a trade license from Meydan Free Zone?

Free Zone businesses are not permitted to trade directly with customers in Dubai and the UAE mainland; however, some select free zone companies can do business in Dubai mainland, but they will require necessary approvals from the free zone. To ensure their chosen business activity can avail this benefit, they should contact Meydan Free Zone.

That being said, many free zones do not permit direct business in mainland Dubai. They are only permitted to trade internationally or with other companies based in the same free zone. Non-compliance can lead to fines of as much as AED 100,000. However, there are a number of ways that free zone companies can trade with the mainland if they decide they would like to. These include:

  • Find a mainland logistics partner who can move goods within the UAE for you.
  • Free zone-based e-commerce companies can use a courier or delivery partner for delivering goods in the UAE.
  • You can also set up a branch of your business on the mainland, through which you can trade with companies in Dubai (it must have the same name and activities as your free zone company).

In addition, these businesses will also enjoy all free zone benefits, such as integrated services of leasing, investor/partner visas for shareholders, and employment visas for staff without having to deal with Ejari or the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE).

The Meydan Free Zone offers a fantastic base for your entrepreneurial ambitions. With a great mixture of quality office space, location, smooth business setup, and an environment that encourages success, Meydan Free Zone brings together everything you need to start your company in Dubai.

If you’re ready to set up your Dubai business, choose the Meydan Free Zone!

To find out more, visit our website, or get in touch with us via or 800 FZ1

Start your business with Meydan Free Zone

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