Like any other place in the world, Dubai has a lot going for it as well as some major drawbacks. When moving to a new place, it is essential that you know what both bad and good things you can expect from your new home.
The cons of living in Dubai
Living in Dubai is really what you make of it. It’s a matter of personal choice and preferences and also finding out whether the opportunities Dubai offers (such as a good income not burdened with taxes) outweigh possible negatives.
The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven emirates, one of which being Dubai (UAE). It is also the name of the emirate of Dubai’s capital city.
It is based on the oil business, but it has successfully diversified its economy to include tourism, real estate, financial services, health care, and education.
His Majesty Dubai is ruled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the emirate, along with Abu Dhabi, has veto power over certain national issues in the country’s legislature.
As a result, foreign buyers in Dubai, for example, are permitted to acquire the freehold title to specific properties, but this is not the case in other countries.
For a number of key reasons, Dubai has become an exceptionally popular choice for relocation with expatriates for a number of key reasons.
Firstly, despite the emirate’s economic contraction, which hit the world in 2008, Dubai now has a booming economy where there is an abundance of employment prospects and opportunities for strong speculation in the local property market.
The other key reason why living in Dubai is so appealing to expats is that the lifestyle locally is exceptionally good, particularly for Western expats, who benefit from a largely excellent climate, wonderful leisure facilities, a relatively laid-back pace of life and good education and healthcare standards.
If you are seriously considering moving to Dubai, here is what you need to know before you move.
Jobs and Salaries in Dubai
For those who want to advance their careers, earn a tax-free salary, and live in one of the most exciting and vibrant locations in the world, Dubai is a top choice.
Building your professional career in Dubai can be an exciting experience, so if you want to have a go, read our Working In Dubai guide to start your career there.
Many people made strong fortunes in Dubai, and even to this day, it’s a center of wealth and prosperity.
Expats who relocate long-term to Dubai can legitimately earn their salary free from income tax. No income tax in Dubai is a big deal for many professionals, plus there are some additional tax advantages and some pitfalls as well.
It’s essential to understand whether Dubai is really as tax-free as it’s famed for being, and you can get to the bottom of it in our Tax in Dubai guide.
One may say that the emirate’s heady days of constant economic expansion are over, for now at least, but there are still jobs in Dubai in many employment sectors.
In a bid to reduce oil dependency and diversify the economy even further, Dubai is aiming to become one of the strongest global tech and innovation hubs in a bid to reduce oil dependency and diversify the economy even further.
Dubai has excellent infrastructure and connectivity, and the government is doing quite a lot to promote Dubai as a perfect destination for global talent and start-ups.
Knowing which professions are in greatest demand in the OAE now and probably in the foreseeable future can help you considerably in finding a good job in Dubai.
Working in Dubai: Tips & Facts
If an employer is relocating you to work in Dubai, you’ll want to negotiate your employment package. The cost of living in Dubai is so high that you need to take relocation costs, accommodation costs, and your children’s education costs into consideration at the very least.
If you’re looking for work in the emirate, you can enter on a visit visa, depending on the nation you hail from, and target employers directly.
You can also look online to see which recruitment companies can assist you in finding work in the emirate. You will need a labor card and your employer will have to sponsor your visa to live and work in the emirate. If you lose your job, you will have 30 days to find another job and another sponsor, or else you will have to leave Dubai.
You cannot just change jobs on a whim in Dubai—depending on the level of formal education you have, this restricts the number of times you can change jobs, believe it or not.
Dubai remote work visa
Dubai has also launched a “remote work” visa program.
The program allows you to travel to Dubai and stay there for up to a year, working as a self-employed person or for your employer abroad.
You can rent a house in Dubai, have access to Dubai schools if you have children, utilities, and basically live like a local. You are officially allowed to work. However, you are not allowed to get a job in Dubai.
The application will cost you $287, plus you will need to have health insurance in Dubai.
Read more about 8 interesting facts about Dubai.
Can I retire in Dubai?
Yes, starting from September 2020, Dubai expat residents can apply for the “retire in Dubai” scheme.
Under this scheme, eligible residents aged 55 and over can apply for a retirement visa that will be renewable every five years.
To be eligible, you must meet one of the three requirements:
To start with, the program will focus on residents working in Dubai who have reached retirement age.
When talking about living in Dubai, the majority of the time, we’re talking about the City of Dubai rather than the emirate as a whole. This is where the majority of Britons base themselves in the emirate, and where they find work. The City of Dubai is also the lifestyle hub for the entire region.
The lifestyle in Dubai is the one thing you won’t hear ex-pats complaining about. Due to the heat, it is mostly limited to indoor air-conditioned activities. Nevertheless, there is plenty of entertainment of all sorts, including amazing shopping.
From a range of theme parks to private beach clubs, from incredibly opulent shopping malls to cinema complexes and an abundance of restaurants, from indoor snowboarding to the most remarkable music festivals, Dubai really does have it all.
Read about what kind of lifestyle in Dubai you can expect and how to get the most out of life in Dubai.
The cost of living in Dubai
When it comes to the cost of living in Dubai, there is good and bad news again.
The cost of accommodation can be as high as GBP 15,000 a year for a decent rental apartment in a good location, and this has to be paid upfront.
What’s more, if you want to buy a property in Dubai, you may have to wait many years for an off-plan apartment or villa to be completed or pay top dollar for a resale property.
However, if you already own property in Dubai and want to rent it out, the good news is that you can easily achieve yields of between 8 and 11%.
Other than accommodation, the other high-cost outlays you need to be aware of include school fees, which are now extortionate at the best schools as ex-pats fight for places.
While there is a law restricting the annual rate of school fee inflation to between 16 and 20 percent, schools find all sorts of ways to add on extras, and this has seen annual inflation of up to 80 percent in school fees.
Medical insurance and the cost of healthcare in Dubai are high – but then the quality you get is exceptional.
Basic day-to-day grocery costs are average, and alcohol is quite expensive too.
Fuel costs are affordable, as are vehicle costs when compared to the UK, for example.
Even with the introduction of VAT in Dubai (at a rate of 5% it is one of the lowest in the world) daily shopping costs are very reasonable.
To read more about Dubai and be prepared to move in, you can visit the official government website and discover more!