Athlete residencies for Dubai now available through new Dubai Virtual Working Initiative

Nick Tarratt/Fairway Views

Last updated on April 21, 2021 at 11.59 pm

Dubai has made no secret of its ambition to be a world-class centre for sport and is already home to leading sporting events, enviable properties and the athletes themselves. So, it comes as no surprise that the details of the newly launched Dubai Virtual Working initiative, can include ‘Elite Athletes’ and their coaches who wish to use Dubai as a winter or even year-long training base, whilst having access to all the amenities and facilities a resident would get.

The definition of an Elite Athlete is, ‘a sportsman or sports woman who represents their country or is of a proficient standard to be recognised by their National Sports Body.’ The applicant can be either an amateur or a professional with each application being treated on its own merits.

During these Covid-19 times around the world, Dubai has strived to be ahead of the game as it has put in place decisive and well managed protocols to protect its citizens, residents and visitors alike, and has successfully opened up many facets of the city, as well as some international travel.

This has been reinforced by Dubai being awarded the ‘Safe Travels’ stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) recognising the city’s work to mitigate Covid-19.

This Dubai Virtual Working initiative is available immediately and is open to all overseas nationalities, who will not be drawing an income from the UAE. Dubai residents are not applicable. The applicant has to prove that they have access to at least $30,000 to ensure they are able to cover their stay within Dubai.

The application process, subject to all the required documentation and approval, will take up to 10 working days for immigration processing and then the applicant has up to 60 days to finalise all formalities with the Dubai authorities.

It is possible to arrive as a tourist in Dubai and convert to this Dubai Virtual Working initiative once there. The successful applicant will receive full residency privileges in Dubai for one year, which can be renewed, and entitles the holder to an Emirates ID Card and, as a follow on, the related relevant services such as; access to applying for schooling, for rental of housing and cars, for bank accounts, for telecoms etc.

The cost of this initiative is from $691 per person (depending of country of origin) inclusive of application fees, processing costs, medical and Emirates ID. Applicants also require to have medical insurance that at least matches the UAE Labour Law minimum requirements. Applicants can arrive with Travel Insurance and then upgrade to enhanced UAE Insurance as part of the application process.

For applications and further information please use the below link:

Steps to apply:

This looks an excellent opportunity for sportsmen and sports women, especially golfers, tennis players and all other athletes and their coaches, who will be in the emirate and the UAE during the year anyway for major tournaments, to practice their game and train in Dubai and the UAE whilst embracing the lifestyle enjoyed by over 200 nationalities.

What a great mutually beneficial opportunity, particularly in Covid-19 times, where so many countries are in part or complete lockdown and with so many sports facilities off limits and /or closed to establish some all year-round Dubai Sports Ambassadors.

With the benefit of having an Emirates ID under this initiative, it also opens up the opportunity for Covid-19 vaccinations that are not available to those on a visit visa.

Certainly, there is a positive a story to tell the world about how Dubai and the UAE is encouraging the sport’s elite to train and for Dubai to become a must visit destination — especially with a top-class sports element woven in.

Dubai and the UAE looks forward to welcoming and hosting these Elite Athletes and their coaches.

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