Living in another country and embracing a different culture can be a hugely rewarding step to take, opening you up to a whole host of experiences you simply may never have come across otherwise. Sure, taking the leap may be daunting, but the benefits could be massive.
One location which seems to be attracting people from across the globe at the moment is Dubai, a striking city that has become a great example of the incredible, jaw-dropping developments seen in the United Arab Emirates in recent years.
Here, we are going to take a look at why this intriguing city has become such an attractive place to live and work, while we will also provide some advice on a few things to consider if you are moving to Dubai.
Moving to Dubai: A city on the rise
So why should you consider a move to Dubai? In order to answer that, it’s worth looking at how the city and the United Arab Emirates as a whole has changed in recent decades. As the BBC reports, the country’s fortunes were transformed when it began exporting oil in the early 1960s and became a hub for both business and tourism.
That transformation has arguably become most evident in the past couple of decades, with incredible feats of architecture and state-of-the-art facilities emerging to become real talking points in terms of what Dubai has to offer. Standing at 828 metres tall, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, while the man-made wonder that is the Palm Jumeirah also has to be seen to be believed. In addition, luxury is never far away in Dubai, with hotels like the Burj Al Arab offering some of the most exciting experiences in the world.
Such developments are truly impressive, but the city is continuing to push forward to meet new ambitions, too. A good example of this is the Smart Dubai project which aims to use emerging technologies and innovations to make the city the happiest place on Earth.
A great place to live in the UAE
Such world-class facilities and innovations have made Dubai a huge hit with people from across the globe, with a report at the Gulf News citing that the city welcomed more than 12 million overnight international visitors across the first nine months of 2019.
However, a huge number of people have also taken the step of making Dubai and the UAE their home. The UAE population stood at 9.2 million in 2013 with expats accounting for a massive 7.8 million of those living in the region, according to this Guide to Dubai. With people from India, the UK and many more countries calling the area home, cities like Dubai are truly multi-cultural and offer a diverse range of experiences.
But what has drawn so many people to a city like Dubai? While the aforementioned facilities and attractions certainly make it an exciting and vibrant place to live, another element that many people enjoy is the quality of life. Last year, global consultancy firm Mercer undertook research assessing the well-being of individuals in a range of areas based on factors like housing and education, and The National tells us they ranked Dubai as the highest-rated city in the Middle East.
Many factors may have influenced the result, but one which may have particularly helped could be the tax situation in the country. Put simply, residents do not pay income tax in Dubai although it is worth assessing your own situation and getting advice if you remain a tax resident of another country.
Planning a move to Dubai
When all of the above is considered, it is clear that a move to Dubai could offer benefits both in a financial sense and in general terms of overall quality of life. However, if you’re seriously considering beginning a new life in the city, what are the key matters you need to think about from the outset? One fundamental point to consider from the get-go is where you are going to live when you head out there.
While you may have thought about relying on hotels initially, it may be wise to do some research and see if you can arrange more cost-effective accommodation from the outset. As Bayut explains, there are a range of property options in Dubai and with studio rents starting at around AED 18,000 – or £3,770 – they could prove better value than paying for a room in a hotel.
You will also need to consider how you intend to earn a living as you begin your new life in Dubai. This city is not short of work opportunities and, ultimately, where you end up being employed could have a major bearing on your decisions related to accommodation. For example, Bayut outlines how those working in the heart of the city may want to consider living centrally in areas such as the Dubai Marina or the Jumeirah Beach Residence.
Alternatively, if you are happy to commute and want somewhere a little more cost-effective you could opt for locations such as Greens, Dubai Sports City and Dubai Silicon Oasis.
Most communities tend to be fairly diverse with plenty of expats, so wherever you end up you are sure to meet people who have been in your position and can provide advice on everything from the best places to eat out to great child-friendly activities.
Finally, you must also take some time to learn and understand all of the key local laws and customs related to Dubai and the rest of the UAE. For example, there are rules on a range of matters, including relationships outside marriage, alcohol consumption and how women dress.
It is very important to take time to educate yourself on these hugely important areas, as failing to properly respect the culture could lead to serious problems.
Hopefully the information above has given you some food for thought about moving to Dubai and will act as a useful starting point as you plan a new life in the region.