By Partner Amit Acco

Following the historic agreement between Israel and UAE, many Israeli companies will have ample chances in a market that imports goods and services worth close to $250 billion each year. What are the options for the Israeli business community to travel and work in the UAE?


The agreement to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is as significant economically. The UAE is considered the second most important economy in the Middle East, with a domestic product of $400 billion a year.

The UAE with its high standard of living, its surge of development, and a scientific and technological hunger can ignite the imagination. Moreover, the country is a coveted travel destination which hosted about 17 million tourists last year. Dubai, which is completely western is very suitable for the Israeli tourist who loves shopping, although it is not considered cheap.

Business and Work Travels to the UAE

It is now expected that  Israeli business people will now have the need to travel to the UAE and vise versa, for UAE nationals to travel to Israel.

In the post, we will examine the immigration options for traveling to the UAE from Israel,  whether it will be a residence permit, work permit, or both.

It is impossible to have a work permit without a residence visa. It is important to remember that It is illegal to work in the UAE while on a tourist visa.

In this post, we will review the requirements and process of obtaining a residency in the UAE, the self-employment visa, the cost of being a skilled worker, and the various UAE visa types available.  It will be noted though that at this early stage, there was no mentioning of any restrictions towards visas for Israel, and it seems that the general UAE visa scheme will apply to Israeli nationals too.


The UAE immigration process is a straightforward one. At first, most expats need an entry permit, also called a “pink card” employed by UAE workplace, normally before traveling to the UAE. Once in the UAE, expats can apply for the residence visa and work permit. The employer should also sponsor the visas of an employee’s immediate family as well.


Work Permits and Employment-Based Visas
Work permits and employment visas can be applied for one to ten years. In 2019, the UAE released its permanent residency scheme: the Gold Card. This visa applies primarily to “exceptional professionals.”


Requirements for obtaining Work Visas


Before obtaining a UAE work permit, the employee must first obtain an entry visa, Emirate ID card, and residence visa. The work permit, also called a “labor card”, will be listed in the expat residence visa.


The most important work visa requirement is proof of a work contract or job offer from a company within the UAE. The employment contract should be written in Arabic as all other documents.

Other requirements include an Emirates ID card, employer documents, medical checks, and an entry permit.

Labor cards are issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the emirate state of employment. Processing time is normally 10 workdays to receive the labor card. The card is normally valid for two years.

Mission Visa

This is up to 90-day business visa. It must be sponsored by a company in the UAE. It allows expats to enter the UAE and work for a short period of time. Some expats use this visa to explore the UAE before officially relocating.

Persons with Specialized Talents
This visa includes specialized talents and researchers in the fields of science and knowledge. This applies to doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, as well as creative individuals in the field of culture and art. The visa advantage extends to the spouse and children. All categories are required to have a valid employment contract in a specialized field of priority in the UAE.

Family Visas

Expats need only a residence visa to sponsor family members in the UAE.

Self-Employment Visas

The first self-employment visa requirement is to find a sponsor. Sponsorship for self-employment can be obtained through a free zone, as a contractor through an established company, or through an individual. Self-employment visas are often called freelance visas.

When you apply for a self-employment visa you will be expected to show the proper qualifications in whatever area you intend to work.

There are Several Self-Employment Visa Types to Consider:

  • Investors in a Property
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors in public investments of at least 10 million AED (2.7 million USD)
  • Freelance


Advocate Amit Acco is a Partner at Kan-Tor & Acco. KTA is working with leading Dubai immigration specialists and can provide service of obtaining a work visa and residency in the UAE. Please contact Amit directly for legal services in the UAE if needed. email: