Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It overlooks the Persian Gulf and is completely surrounded by desert, where temperatures reach 50 °C in summer. The official currency of Dubai (and the entire United Arab Emirates) is the dirham, often abbreviated as AED. Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates, but English is the most widely spoken language in Dubai, especially in business, commerce, and tourism. Because of the mirage of high wages, many people want to move to Dubai.
A large part of the population is made up of foreign workers who speak English. Dubai has over 3 million inhabitants, 80% of which are foreign immigrants who stay in the emirate to work. People from more than 200 different countries live here. The most represented are India and Pakistan, whose workers are employed in the construction industry, which is one of the most active.
In Dubai, there are buildings that are unique in the world in their shape and size. There are dozens of skyscrapers all over the city. And new residential, commercial, sports, tourism and recreational complexes are being built all the time.
Move to Dubai
Despite the fact that the country is highly modern and multicultural, do not forget that it is an Islamic state, certainly more tolerant than neighboring Saudi Arabia, but definitely a country where there is no democracy and the Muslim religion is the foundation on which the state is based. So be aware of these aspects if you decide to move to Dubai. It is not uncommon for foreigners to be arrested for committing something that is against the religious rules.
For example, you need to know that:
- you are not allowed to live with your partner unless you are married. Even though this practice is widespread among foreigners living in Dubai, sometimes someone is discovered, arrested and expelled from the country
- sexual relations outside marriage are not allowed, under threat of imprisonment
- you are not allowed to kiss your partner or hold his hand in public places
Know that you will always be monitored, treated with respect, and paid on time for your services, but any behavior that does not follow the rules will be noted.
Another thing you need to consider is racism. Basically, in all Muslim countries, there is racism against all people who are not of the Islamic faith, that is, infidels. In any case, professional or business relations are cordial and friendly, but that’s another story.
Finally, I would like to dispel the myth that only millionaires live in Dubai and that life is very expensive. In reality, the cost of living is the same as in any European city.
The pharaonic salaries of a decade ago are but a distant memory, but professionals with skills and experience can earn truly substantial wages. Other workers, however, earn a “normal” salary. Therefore, each job offer is evaluated individually, based on the benefits included (health, insurance, housing, etc.) as well as your habits and expectations.
Move to Dubai visas
The UAE government issues several types of visas and entry permits:
- Tourist visa. For those who are not eligible for visa on arrival or visa-free entry to the UAE
- Business visa. Professionals from any country with business experience are can apply for a business visa
- Remote work visas. For individuals, start-ups and entrepreneurs who live and work outside the UAE and wish to relocate to UAE
- Student visa. For university or a college student who want to study in the UAE. The student must be at least 18 years old
- Dubai’s cultural visa. For a talented person in the fields of literature, culture, art, history
- Work visa. A work visa is a permit that allows foreigners to work in Dubai for a specified period of time. To obtain such a visa, you will need a sponsor, an employer who will offer you a job. The employer will apply for a residence permit that will allow you to obtain a work permit. The sponsor will usually step in if the employer needs an employee they cannot find locally. In addition, the sponsor also assumes responsibility for the employee’s behavior and is responsible if the employee violates the law. So you have to convince him that you are a reliable person and you will abide by the rules. A medical examination is required for work visas. People who have tested positive for HIV or hepatitis are not allowed to enter the UAE
Moving to Dubai, useful resources
- Government.ae the official website of the government of the United Arab Emirates, with all the information on relocation, work, business, etc.
- Useful guide, containing tips for expat living in Dubai
Move to Dubai, find accommodation
Finding accommodation in Dubai is not difficult. There is a huge supply of real estate. Buying or renting a house or flat is as easy as buying a Coke in a shop. There are so many websites with thousands of real estate listings.
You can contact a real estate agency that knows the market well and can show you a number of properties that interest you. Pay attention to what services are included in the rent: Air conditioning, electricity, water or other utilities. Remember that the rule is to pay the entire year’s rent in advance with postdated checks or by direct payment for the entire year. The houses can be unfurnished or furnished.
Housing costs are in line with the standard of living, so they are quite high. A studio apartment can cost about $ 1,000/1,500 per month, while a room is still affordable at about $200. But prices are extremely variable and can reach staggering amounts depending on location and quality of housing. Of course, the cheaper areas are far from the center and you will have to deal with transportation costs and traffic that is very heavy during rush hours.
Traffic congestion is a major problem. Neither the cost of the vehicles, nor the tolls to pay, nor the fuel prices discourage the use of the car, and every day a large number of Dubai’s residents, (two million), drive on these magnificent, immaculate roads.
I will show you the most popular websites for finding accommodation:
Moving to Dubai Healthcare
The UAE is a largely tax-free country and there is no income tax. The downside is that the government offers few services to foreigners. Public services that are free or nearly free apply only to locals. Foreigners must purchase health insurance or enroll their children in private schools (there are over 150), which cost about $ 10,000 per year.
In Dubai, foreigners must pay for their own health care. The cost of these private insurances depends on several factors: Age of the applicant, coverage, etc. Some companies offer health insurance as an additional benefit for employees. Remember, if you have health problems and are not adequately insured, you risk having to pay a lot of money or even not having access to treatment. Therefore, I advise you to find out what kind of insurance you will be offered.
Tourists also need to take out travel insurance to cover medical expenses in case of emergencies.