Since the oil boom in the 1970s, Dubai has become one of the most popular destinations for foreign nationals or “expats” looking to relocate. One of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai is known for its luxury infrastructure, diverse population, and a wide array of job opportunities. Many major international companies have opened their doors in Dubai, attracting even more foreign nationals to move there for work. Today there are over 200 nationalities living in Dubai! Living in Dubai can come with many perks, including being part of a multicultural, fast-paced economy and community.
This article will highlight some of the major things to consider before moving to this popular Emirati city and offer tips for making the most of living in Dubai:
With many luxury venues and shopping malls, foreign nationals often associate Dubai with a high cost of living. However, like any major city, the cost of living in Dubai will vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle and necessary expenses. It will also depend on where they live and how they entertain themselves. Those who want to experience the highest-rated restaurants, stay in top-quality hotels, and go to beach clubs on the weekend, will likely incur a higher cost of living.
However, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone and, fortunately, there are many ways to budget in Dubai. There are many free attractions around the city, such as the colorful Dubai Fountain water show or the Dubai Mall. There is also a wide range of grocery stores and dining experiences ranging from affordable to very luxurious. For those willing to commute a bit more, apartments outside the city center can be nearly half the price of those near the downtown.
Accommodation, education, and transportation are the most expensive aspects of living in Dubai, but, of course, those costs will vary on a case-by-case basis. For foreign nationals with children, it is typical for them to pay fees whether they attend public or private school so the overall cost of living will be higher. Single residents however will have less financial burden and more flexibility, so they might find Dubai more financially reasonable.
Dubai is a modern metropolis with all the amenities and luxuries of any major city. However, it is located in a hot desert climate. Summers can reach temperatures of 43 °C (109 °F), and frequent sandstorms disrupt daily life. That being said, the city authorities have found ways to adapt to the weather.
Buildings are air-conditioned and designed to protect residents against the heat and sun. There are plenty of indoor activities and venues available, so living in Dubai can be enjoyed all year long.
When the climate is milder, adventurous souls can take advantage of the balmy summer weather for water sports, dune adventures, and beachside clubs. The best time of year to enjoy these outdoor activities is from October to April.
Dubai’s cuisine, festivals, and entertainment reveal the emirate’s diversity. Living in Dubai is part of a dynamic, constantly changing melting pot of cultures. There are foreign nationals from all over the world coming to live and work in the city.
The merging of different cultures and nationalities is an asset for businesspeople, students, researchers, and other professionals. Dubai is where ideas can be shared, and new knowledge is born.
However, it’s important to note that this diversity also makes living in Dubai very transitory. Expats might find they have a lot of turnover in their social life. While this allows anyone living in Dubai to meet new friends and make professional connections, it also means saying goodbye to friends and colleagues regularly.
One area that residents and tourists enjoy the most in Dubai is the entertainment sector. While living in Dubai doesn’t allow as much time for such activities as visiting for tourism, there are still opportunities to see the sites and experience some of the entertainment venues on the weekends.
From music and theatre to art exhibitions, shopping, and sporting events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The Dubai Mall is a fascinating place to visit for shopping or just to witness the massive interior. It is home to over 1,200 luxury and retail stores, an aquarium, an indoor ice rink, and a huge cinema complex.
Famous artists and musicians often schedule exhibitions and concerts in Dubai’s many venues, so residents can check local event schedules to see what’s on each month. The city also has an active nightlife with plenty of bars, clubs, and music venues.
Dubai is also well-known for its outdoor activities and adventure parks. Due to its warm climate, anyone living in Dubai can enjoy water sports, desert safaris, and theme parks for most of the year. Residents can also visit one of the many beach-side venues to relax and soak up the sun.
Compared to other large cities worldwide, living in Dubai is very safe. There are low crime rates and a strong police presence. Residents will regularly encounter Dubai’s highly-trained local authorities patrolling the streets. The government has been proactive about safety regulations for both tourists and residents.
A network of cameras surveils Dubai to make sure public areas are kept safe for all visitors. The public transportation systems are also well-maintained, safe, and reliable. There is also a strict zero-tolerance drug policy, which is good news for families with children.
Of course, all new or existing residents should learn more about the safety measures as they may differ from their home country. Like any big, cosmopolitan center, it’s essential to take precautions to ensure the utmost safety. That could mean installing security measures in one’s home and keeping personal items close when visiting crowded venues. Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that has become a major node for cultural endeavors, business development, and tourism. Foreign nationals who choose to live in Dubai will encounter a city ripe with opportunities for employment in a wide range of sectors, as well as a unique blend of heritage and innovation. While living in Dubai has its challenges, like a hot climate and a competitive real estate market, it is a very safe and captivating place to call home. Families and individuals will find a niche in the diverse range of venues and facilities offered in Dubai. Plus, rapid growth and construction throughout the United Arab Emirates signify more exciting opportunities on the horizon.