In recent years, Dubai positioned itself as a favourable destination for wealthy families from across the world. The emirate is known for its attractive economic climate, international entrepreneurship, multicultural society and all-out luxury.
European citizens who wish to settle in Dubai (the UAE), must obtain the appropriate visa prior to the emigration. The general principle is that each individual requires a local sponsor to submit a residence application. As a rule, the sponsor is usually the future employer of the emigrant. This approach gives the authorities a guarantee that the new immigrant will possess sufficient income to support himself and/or his family financially.
Dubai (the UAE) also has immigration options for foreign nationals who wish to move regardless of employment. In this regard, the UAE offers an investor visa which offers its holder a temporary residency right of 3 years. The visa is a reliable option for foreign nationals who wish to invest in an existing business or for those that are looking to establish their own business. To qualify the applicant must deposit a certain amount of cash (10.000,00 - 20.000,00 AED) to the government and prove to hold sufficient funds for investments.
In principle, the distribution of assets in the event of death of a UAE resident is guided by the UAE federal law in accordance with the custom and principles of Shariah law. The distribution according to Sharia Law is very different from the Western law principles that many expats are familiar with. In this regard, the forced heirship rules reserve a legal portion to both the spouse and the parents of the deceased. A daughter only receives half of what a son is entitled to. Another important remark is that the guardianship of children is not automatically allocated to the surviving mother as Sharia Law puts the children in care of the father’s family members.
It is important to know that in May 2015 the Dubai International Financial Centre opened the DIFC Wills and Probate Registry. The registry allows non-muslims to freely dispose a copy of their last will, based on testamentary freedom and common-law inheritance rules.