Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a hot tourist destination. Moving to Dubai is a good decision to pursue better job opportunities while enjoying life.
Living in Dubai will get you closer to many exciting places like Dubai Marina and Burj Khalifa. Even though living in Dubai has pros and cons, moving there is still worth considering.
To help you plan and prepare for your relocation, we will share 11 pointers that you must know before you leave your home country for Dubai. You will find out more about the best neighbourhoods, schools, places to visit, the cost of living in Dubai, and many more in this article.
1. Discover The Pros And Cons Of Living In Dubai
The idea of living in a vibrant city like Dubai is always exciting. Moreover, this city also offers plenty of business and career opportunities.
However, just like any other places, there are always pros and cons of living in Dubai. Knowing some of these will help you settle into the city more easily, so check out the information we share below.
Pros Of Living In Dubai
Dubai Healthcare City (DHC)
If you go to Dubai Healthcare City, you will find many healthcare options, from modern high-tech hospitals to alternative medicines and treatments.
You can find 168 clinical facilities and 8 hospitals around the area. Patients can choose the type of treatment suitable for them and their budget. There are also thousands of medical professionals which means patients will receive treatment as fast as possible.
Many Locals Speaking English
As this is a tourist destination, many local people in Dubai speak English. You can safely go around the city even if you do not speak Arabic.
As part of the UAE Dubai’s income tax is not levied, your take-home pay is not deducted, and there is no tax return every year.
Instead, taxes are imposed on corporations, oil companies, and foreign banks.
Cons Of Living In Dubai
Cultural Adjustment Since UEA Is A Muslim Country
As a Muslim country, some customs in Dubai will differ from most other countries. For example, there is a dress code for women in the mall area, especially during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
When in public, women should wear a dress covering their shoulders and knees. Local women usually wear a long dress and headscarf.
Besides attire, there are other cultural adjustments. One of them is that kissing or cursing in public is prohibited. It is also illegal for unmarried couples to live together.
The Roads Are Difficult To Navigate
Driving in Dubai can be challenging for expats. There are limited street signs, so you should navigate based on the landmarks.
If you take a wrong turn, you may need around 30 minutes to go back on the right track. Therefore, it will be better to take public transport or use the ride sharing service.
2. This Is How You Can Survive The Weather In Dubai
Dubai has a hot desert climate, in which it has summer and winter seasons. Summers start from April to October, while winters begin from around the last week of October to the beginning of April.
Summers in Dubai are hot, windy, and humid. The temperatures during this season can exceed 109°F (43°C) in July or August. However, you can still enjoy outdoor activities by wearing loose clothes that cover your body to avoid sunburn.
On the other hand, winters in Dubai can be really cold even though there is no snowfall. The average temperatures around this season are from 58°F (14°C) to 81°F (27.2°C). Most people prefer to be outside during winters due to the friendly temperatures.
3. Make Sure To Secure A Home Before Heading To Dubai
Finding the perfect neighbourhood in Dubai is pretty easy, especially since all neighbourhoods have good amenities.
You can choose to search for a neighbourhood from the luxurious areas or the decent ones in Dubai. Therefore, remember to set your housing budget before doing a home search.
Below are some of the best neighbourhoods in Dubai that are perfect for families and young professionals, especially expats.
Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) (picture above)
This neighbourhood has thousands of spacious houses with Mediterranean and Arabic architecture. It also has everything you need, such as gardens, supermarkets, banks, restaurants, shops, and schools.
JVC is a perfect area for families, considering the amenities it offers. On top of that, it is located in the central area, which means you can commute to other parts of Dubai easily from here.
Dubai Sports City
Like its name, this neighbourhood has some of the best sports venues in UAE, such as Athletics Academy, Football Academy, ICC Global Cricket Academy and the Buch Harmon School of Golf.
In addition, Dubai Sports City also offers spacious apartments and good schools. This makes the neighbourhood perfect for families and expats who have just moved to Dubai.
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)
The special thing about DSO is the concept of a free zone technology park that integrates living and working areas.
You will find residential and office towers and also villas in this area. DSO is considered relatively affordable and perfect for expats or first time home buyers.
4. Learn About The Cost Of Living In Dubai To Make Your Monthly Budget
Before learning about the average cost of living in Dubai, you need to get familiar with the local currency. The currency in UAE is the United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED), in which 1 AED equals 0.27 USD.
A family of four is estimated to spend around 18,158 AED (4,943.51 USD) on monthly living expenses, while a single person spends about 10,738 AED (2,923.42 USD).
To get the total estimation of monthly expenses, you need to include the rent prices. The average monthly rent ranges from 3,413 AED (929.19 USD) to 9,577 AED (2,607.33 USD), depending on the size and location of the property.
Follow these tips to cut your expenses and save money in Dubai:
- Take the metro to go around Dubai at a cheap fare.
- Go to Old Dubai to find food at lower prices compared to malls.
- Use Groupon to get discounts for shopping and dining.
- Buy groceries in bulk.
- Set a saving plan once you receive your first salary.
- Get medical insurance so you won’t be worried when you need healthcare treatment.
5. Discover Better Job Opportunities Before You Are Moving To Dubai
Dubai is known to be a place where people from around the world come in search of better job opportunities. This city offers opportunities in various sectors.
Listed below are some of Dubai’s biggest industries to help you find more job opportunities in this city:
- real estate and construction,
- tourism and hospitality,
- retail and wholesale trade,
- transportation, and
For your information, the average monthly salary here is between 4,810 AED (1,309.56 USD) to the highest 99,000 AED (26,952.71 USD). You can use this information as a reference when negotiating your salary.
When signing an employment contract, you must remember that everything should be written upfront, such as salary, end of the contract, health insurance, annual leaves, etc. This way, you can avoid any misunderstanding between you and the employer.
6. Find International Schools For Your Children
If you have school-age children, enrolling them into an international school is your best option. These schools use English as the primary language, which will help your children to adapt.
Your children can gradually learn about their new environment since they will slowly learn Arabic and the local culture. On top of that, they can make new friends easier with other children from expat families.
Here are some of the top international schools in Dubai for your reference:
- Dubai British School Jumeirah Park (DBSJP),
- Dubai College,
- North London Collegiate School Dubai, and
- The Aquila School Dubai.
7. Familiarise Yourself With The Transportation System
Another essential thing you ought to do to help you settle into Dubai is familiarising yourself with the local public transport.
The public transportation system in Dubai is efficient and cost-effective. It consists of two lines; the Green line (with 20 stops stretching from the Etisalat region to Dubai Creek) and the Red line (with 28 stops stretching from Al Rashidiya to UAE Exchange).
You will also find various means of public transportation such as buses, metro, taxis, and water buses. It is also more convenient to take public transport than to drive due to the traffic congestion during rush hour.
8. Make A Bucket List With The Must Visit Places In Dubai
Dubai has many things to offer when it comes to tourism and leisure. You may as well want to enjoy a full experience of living in Dubai by visiting tourist attractions in this city.
Below are some of the exciting places you can include in your bucket list:
- Sky Views Dubai,
- Dubai Marina,
- Burj Khalifa (picture above),
- Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, and
- Dinner In The Sky.
If you want to join tours, you can try to book Abu Dhabi and Dubai sightseeing tours. Try to book a skydiving or iFly ticket for some adrenaline rush if you love adventure.
9. Living In Dubai Will Be Even More Fun If You Give Local Delicacies A Try
As a city located in the Middle East, you can expect to find delicious dishes. The Middle Eastern food scene is famous for its flavour and portion.
To start off your culinary adventure, here are some of the iconic dishes that you should try in Dubai:
- Manousheh (pictured above),
- Iranian Sangak,
- Al Harees,
- Al Machboos,
- Samboosa, and
The unique thing about Dubai is the Ladies Night tradition, where restaurants and bars will give free drinks to their female guests.
Different restaurants and bars may set different days for Ladies Night. Therefore, make sure to check their schedule before your visit if you want to enjoy this tradition.
10. Engage A Moving Company For A Seamless Relocation
If you want your relocation to be less stressful, then engaging a moving company is a good decision.
Sanelo, for example, has years of experience in helping people to move cities or countries. You do not have to worry about carrying heavy luggage with the assistance of our team.
On top of that, our team will walk you through the process, including the paperwork for international relocations.
11. Practical Hacks You’d Be Glad To Know Before Moving To Dubai
Below, we will share three essential points you can do to help you prepare for the relocation. These hacks are practical yet effective, and you need to know them before heading to Dubai International Airport.
Make A Checklist
Do not stress yourself trying to memorise all the things you need for the relocation process. Make a checklist that includes everything you have to do and the items you need.
Here are some of the pointers you can include in your checklist:
- things to do,
- documents,moving essentials,
- securing a home,
- items to donate or sell,
- making a budget,
- a list of travel precautions, and
- a relocation timeline.
You can modify these pointers as needed. Make sure to create this list to start off your moving process or might after you get a job in Dubai.
Calculate The Budget
In making a budget for relocation, you need to calculate how much you need during the preparation, moving trip, and post-moving periods.
What do we mean by a post-moving budget? This budget includes your transport fare upon arrival in Dubai. It also includes your living expenses for your first month or until you receive your salary.
Contact The Important Parties
It will be best to give heads up to your real estate agent or employer a few weeks before your flight. This way, they can prepare any essentials before your arrival.
You can also confirm any essentials you need to bring with you to Dubai. It is better to be ready before your moving trip to avoid undesirable situations.
Conclusion On Moving To Dubai
Dubai is a modern city with plenty of job opportunities, great neighbourhoods, an excellent public transport system, and exciting places to visit. Living in Dubai will also introduce you to delicious Middle Eastern delicacies.
This city also offers top international schools to help your children adapt to the local culture and language. On top of that, the cost of living in Dubai is manageable. This means you can afford the living expenses whether you move alone or with family members.
To make your relocation less stressful, you need to make a relocation checklist, budget, and contact the important parties.
You can also avoid more trouble during the trip by engaging Sanelo to ship your belongings. This way, you won’t have to carry heavy luggage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Dubai
Can I live In Dubai Permanently?
You can obtain a residence visa in Dubai if you have sponsorship from your employer. This residence visa should be renewed every three years.
Is Dubai A Good Place For Expats?
Dubai has been attracting expats from around the world. This city offers lovely weather, leisure facilities, and overall good education and healthcare services.
It is also widely known that Dubai has plenty of job opportunities for professionals from various industries. This makes Dubai economically attractive to many people from overseas.
Can I Move To Dubai Without A Job?
If you want to live in Dubai for an extended period or permanently, you need a residence visa and work permit. To obtain these documents, you need to secure a job before moving.
How Far Ahead Should I Contact Sanelo Before Moving To Dubai?
You need to contact Sanelo two or three months before your moving trip. This will give our team sufficient time to schedule your shipment slot and adjust the process to meet your needs.
You can contact us contact us by phone or email before starting your quote. Our team will walk you through the process, making your relocation less stressful.
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