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Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide

October 08, 2021
2021-10-08
The world better watch out! Dubai is on its way to becoming a major powerhouse city, one that can rival the likes of New York City, London, Paris, and more. It's already amassed quite a global community and as it continues to rise up, more and more people will choose to live and work here. But what's it really like moving to Dubai? It's a rare city that upholds the conservative traditions of its country while moving forward into the future. There aren't many places like it in the world. So if you're relocating to Dubai, you at least need to know about the basics. Here's a guide to help you!

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide

 

 

 

 

 


Is Moving to Dubai Worth it?

 

In a nutshell, yes, it is! The city is a bustling metropolis that's a major business hub with lots of job opportunities. It's also a safe city with low crime rates, many great schools, and lots of fun attractions for the whole family. There's also the city's technological advancement, placing it on the cutting edge of practically everything in the world. 



  

 


What to Know Before Moving to Dubai

 

Before moving to Dubai, here's some info about the city you need to know.

 

  • The city is quite expensive.

 

  • There's no income tax in Dubai.

 

  • Dubai boasts low crime rates.

 

  • They follow Islamic holidays here. 

 

  • English is widely spoken in the city.

 

  • Expats need to have private medical insurance. 

 

  • Swearing is punishable by law. 

 

  • Poppy seeds are banned in the UAE. 



  

 


Moving to Dubai with Family

 

It's worth moving to Dubai with family. Whether you're raising kids or taking care of your elderly parents, you'll have no trouble living a nice and comfortable life here. If you have little ones, you can enroll them in prestigious international schools and take them to the city's most exciting attractions. Your elderly parents, on the other hand, will love the UAE's warm weather and easily accessible public transport. 



  

 


Overview of Dubai

 

Dubai currently has a population of around 3,051,000 residents. Though it's in a highly traditional and conservative country, the UAE, the city itself is home to a large international community with various foreign residents from around the world. Dubai still upholds Islamic traditions and rules but it's a lot more lax here compared to other parts of the Middle East. And since the city is in said region, you can expect warm weather all year round, especially since it's near its namesake Dubai desert. The hottest months here range from July to August with an average temperature of 43 °C (109°F), while its coldest month is January with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F). 



  

 


Where is Dubai Situated?

 

Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. It's located right by the Persian Gulf of the country, bordering Sharjah in the north, Abu Dhabi in the south, and Oman in the southeast. 



  

 


What to Do in Dubai

 

There's a lot you can do in Dubai even for just a day. For one thing, you can go shopping. Get your luxury designer fix in the most popular malls of Dubai or look for the most unique and exotic finds in Dubai's best souks. You'll especially love the Mall of Dubai! Not only does it have amazing shops, but it even has an aquarium for your little ones too. Want to escape the hot desert climate? Escape to Ski Dubai and have the ski holiday of your life! And you can't forget about Atlantis, The Palm too. It's undoubtedly one of the most exciting theme parks on the planet. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Getting Around in Dubai

 

In terms of Dubai's public transport, it boasts some of the most advanced systems in the world. Its metro railway system, for example, is actually driverless. The trains rely on the latest technology to maneuver the vehicle. While this may not sit all that well with many, it does keep up the precision of the system in reaching stops on time. Because of the vast bodies of water surrounding the city, you can also ride water taxis and ferries to get to where you need to be. And, of course, taxis are everywhere in this concrete urban jungle. 



  

 


Getting Around in Dubai Without a Car

 

As already mentioned, Dubai's public transport is efficient enough that you can get around without a car. There's the driverless metro system, water taxis, taxis, buses, and more. At the same time, there's the option of using transportation apps in Dubai too. Popular apps like Uber, Lyft, and Careem operate in the city. Though they tend to be more expensive than regular public transport, they're also among the most efficient. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Where to Live in Dubai

 

Out of the many major cities in the world, none upholds “city living” quite like Dubai. You'll rarely see any suburban areas here. Most of Dubai's neighborhoods are urban, each more exciting than the next. Yet, at the same time, remain pretty decent residential areas as well. The Jumeirah Beach Residence district is perhaps the closest one gets to live in a suburban-like part of the city. But even this district comprises tall towers, commercial areas, and popular hotspots. Meanwhile, those who truly want to live the cosmopolitan lifestyle will appreciate places in the Business Bay, Media City, and Downtown Dubai. 



  

 


Where are The Best Places to Live in Dubai?

 

Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Business Bay, and Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) are some of the best neighborhoods in Dubai. They're great for different reasons, but what they all have in common is that they're safe parts of the city with lots to do and plenty of great residences. 



  

 


Where to Live in Dubai with a Family

 

If you're moving to Dubai with the rest of your family, you'll want to settle down in either the Arabian Ranches, the Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Lake Towers, or Downtown Dubai. All of these places are generally safe, have great international schools, and offer amazing real estate. 



  

 


Where to Live in Dubai as an Expat

 

Expats in Dubai mostly stay in places like Dubai Marina Media City, and the Downtown district. These neighborhoods boast big international communities as well as tons of job opportunities (many for foreigners). It also helps that they're bustling areas with lots to do, see, and eat. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Living Costs in Dubai

 

Dubai's living costs are high, there's no skirting around it. If you want to live in this glossy city with all the luxury, comfort, and convenience it offers, you need to be prepared to pay the price. Just how expensive is it to live in Dubai? Well, a single adult spends around AED4,080.60 per month on top of their rent. A family of four, on the other hand, spends about AED14,228.90 per month on top of their rent. Do you think you can afford to move to Dubai now? 



  

 


Is it Expensive to Live in Dubai?

 

Yes, it is. Apart from the average amount a single adult spends in a month in Dubai, even the rent here is pretty expensive. Renting a luxury apartment in Dubai costs a minimum of about AED3,000.00 to a maximum of AED25,000.00 per month. At the same time, buying property in Dubai will cost you around AED6,100.00 to AED35,000.00 per square meter. 



  

 


Living Costs in Dubai for Expats

 

There’s no difference between the living costs for local Emiratis and foreigners living in the city. The city remains expensive for anyone and everyone moving to Dubai. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Employment in Dubai

 

There's reason to believe that finding a job in Dubai is easier than landing employment in other major cities. With so many international companies and big corporations operating here, you'll certainly find many opportunities in this city. And it's thanks in large part to the UAE's job market, which is one of the strongest right now. Currently, the country boasts a low 2.75% unemployment rate, far lower than many other countries worldwide. 



  

 


What is The Employment Rate in Dubai?

 

According to the Dubai Statistics Centre, about 2.7 million people are working in the city today. Considering that Dubai's current population is around 3,051,000 residents, it goes to show that the majority of the city is employed. 



  

 


Employment Visa in Dubai

 

Perhaps the easiest way to start moving to Dubai is to get an employment visa. The application process varies from country to country but what's similar to all is that you need to be eligible to get one. This includes having a Bachelor's Degree or trade qualifications. It will also help if you have a minimum of two to three years of experience in your chosen field. 



  

 


Employment in Dubai for Foreigners

 

Not a lot of people realize how fairly easy it is to get a job in Dubai. As long as you’re eligible and have the right qualifications, you'll relocate to the city in no time. Dubai is always looking for workers and is more than happy to find them from different parts of the world. Just go to job-seeking websites like Dubai Job or Indeed and you'll see many openings. The same goes for platforms like LinkedIn too. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Education in Dubai

 

Education is something you don't have to worry about when moving to Dubai. If you're relocating here with your kids, you can still enroll them in some of the best schools in the city. Dubai is a global metropolis, after all. Its population is practically made up of various nationalities around the world and they've all set up prestigious international schools here. And even for you, Dubai is also home to a handful of prominent universities where you can take our master's degree and more. 



  

 


How is Education in Dubai?

 

Dubai only offers the best of global education for its students, both foreign and local. Emirati students are mostly enrolled in public schools while foreign students are all enrolled in international schools. Both provide quality education, with private schools collectively ranking 14th globally for maths, science, and other academics. 



  

 


Is Education in Dubai Good?

 

So what are the finest international schools in Dubai? A few names worth noting include the Dubai International School, Gems Wellington International School, and the Swiss International Scientific School. Some, like the Dubai International School, follow the highly-acclaimed IB Diploma Programme, while others, like Gems Wellington International School, have received numerous awards. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Healthcare in Dubai

 

The UAE's healthcare system is a bit more complex than you'd initially think. If you've heard people say that healthcare in Dubai is free, don't just take it at face value. The truth is that it's only free to local Emirati citizens. Expats, on the other hand, require private medical insurance to gain access to the city's healthcare. Such is the importance of getting proper health coverage even before you get to Dubai. You can get good plans in companies like Allianz Care and Cignal Global. 



  

 


What is Healthcare Like in Dubai?

 

Dubai's healthcare is first-class. The UAE is one of many countries with the best medical tourism. Not only does it boast exceptional institutions and facilities, but some of the world's finest medical professionals work here too. Take note of Al Jalila Children's Specialty Hospital, Dubai Hospital, and Latifa Hospital, some of the best hospitals in Dubai. These places are staffed with the finest professionals, equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology, and cater to both local and foreign patients alike. 



  

 


Is Healthcare in Dubai Free?

 

Only to Emirati citizens. Expats who have moved to Dubai will need private medical insurance to gain access to the city's healthcare system. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Safety in Dubai

 

You'd be glad to know that Dubai's crime rates are all low. Its general crime rate, for instance, is only 12.41%. It's among the lowest in major city crime rates around the world. At the same time, the city's rate of increasing crimes is 41.56%, which is only moderate. Though not low, it's still good considering how big Dubai is as a metropolis. It only goes to show how effective the city's police system is in ensuring people's safety and keeping the peace here. 



  

 


How is The Safety in Dubai?

 

If the low crime rates weren't enough to assure you, perhaps Dubai's safety rate will. At the moment, the city boasts a 91.11% safety rate during the day. It's not just high, but “very high,” which is again pleasantly surprising considering that Dubai is a major city. 



  

 


Is Dubai Safe at Night?

 

What about at night? Does Dubai remain safe after dark? Of course, it does! The city's safety rate drops to 83.01% at night, which is still considered very high. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Taxes in Dubai

 

Moving to Dubai means you also have to understand the UAE's tax system and it's extremely different compared to the rest of the world. Most notably, the country does not have an income tax. So even if you work here, you won't have to deduct anything from your salary for this sort of contribution. It seems the UAE has a big enough revenue that they don't need to impose an income tax to help keep various national systems intact. They do, however, issue a tourist tax, fairly similar to the VAT in other countries, and it tends to be higher too. 



  

 


What Taxes Do You Pay in Dubai?

 

As already mentioned, the UAE doesn't impose an income tax on its citizens and residents. It does, however, have a property tax, VAT, corporate tax, inheritance tax, and excise tax, among many others. 



  

 


Are Taxes High in Dubai?

 

Not necessarily. Most of its tax rates are generally similar to those in other countries. The major difference is that there's no income tax here. 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

 


Relocation Tips for Dubai

 

Before ending this Dubai relocation guide, here are a few tips you need to follow to have a seamless move to the city. 

 

 

 

 

  • Join a local mobile network in the UAE and get a SIM card for your phone.

 

  • Make sure to get private medical insurance.

 

 

  • Stay hydrated as much as you can, especially during summer.

 

  • Save money as best you can. 

 

Moving to Dubai: Your Relocation Guide



  

Moving to Dubai might just be the best decision you'll ever make if you do it correctly. Before settling down in this big city, you need to know the basics about the place and important tips to help you settle down more easily. 

 

 

 


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