If you wish to start a company in a free zone established in the United Arab Emirates, and get a residence permit, you may apply for a Business Residence Visa.
You can either set up a company or purchase shares of an existing one, but you must own shares with a value of at least AED50,000 (fully paid-in).
The company does not need to carry out a real commercial activity in the territory.
There are more than 40 free zones where you can incorporate your company. Free zone companies are tax-exempt, but they are usually only entitled to do business within the free zone or internationally.
Once you have incorporated your company or purchased shares, the company may sponsor your visa. This visa will be valid for up to 3 years, with unlimited renewability, as long as you still own capital shares of a company and you visit the country at least once every 180 days. Absence for a longer period may lead to the visa’s cancellation.
The visa will give you the right to live in any of the 7 Emirates. All government-related matters will need to be done in the state where your UAE residence visa is issued.
Once you have obtained the visa, you can sponsor your relatives, who may apply for a 3-year visa, renewable. You must demonstrate family ties and get at least AED4,000 (USD 1,090) per month. A man may not apply for a visa for his children, if the application is not done together with his wife, unless the latter is deceased.