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Relocation Guide to Dubai

Updated: Mar 19

Relocation is a big move and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you do make the move then it could seriously change your life, just like it did for many people - including some of our team members.

The UAE is an advancing country that is swiftly expanding and broadening its economic activities. While it was initially dependent on oil and later focused on tourism, the primary emphasis now lies on business, with technology playing a central role. Dubai, in particular, has rapidly transformed into an immensely appealing hub for international business, residents, and visitors, and this appeal extends beyond the absence of income tax.

A few things to look at:

VISA: The company employing the individual will be responsible for securing the visa and the associated administrative costs.

In most cases, the residence visa is valid for two years which can then be renewed. Since around 90% of the population in the UAE is expats, the gov has made the process very seamless.

Very few nationalities are restricted from living and working in the UAE.

You'll need:

  • A completed application form

  • A scanned copy of your passport

  • A signed employment contract

  • A short medical test (chest X-ray and blood sample)

  • Watch 25 minute video

  • Get your finger print taken

  • An attested degree certificate is optional

Once you have your residence visa there is the option of sponsoring spouses and dependents. Your package will depend on your employer - some will provide full support whilst other policies will only sponsor the employee. In this instance, employer’s will give the employee the option of sponsoring the visa themselves and then the employee will need to pay the associated charges.

Property Rent: Your main expenditure will be rent, so we would highly advise looking at the local property website here, PropertyFinder. Some areas to consider are JVC, Marina, Sports City, Dubai Production city, and Al Barsha.

Cost of Living: We would also advise looking at Numbeo for general cost of living:

The cost of living in Dubai is extremely attractive when compared to other international locations. The overall cost of living in Dubai is only 46% compared to New York, 60% compared to London, 58% compared to Hong Kong, and 64% compared to Sydney. Overall the city ranks in position 315 of the 536 global cities ranked.

It is predicted that in coming years the cost of living will continue to decline as an oversupply of available housing units continues to drive down rental prices and international e-commerce allows for reduced consumer prices. A tax-free income combined with a lower cost of living generally means people have much more disposable income available compared to their home country.

Transport: To start with, taxis are fairly inexpensive. Careem (Yala) taxi is the cheapest and most popular form of taxi, but UBER is also widely available. You often won't have to wait for longer than a minute!

When you have proof of 3 month’s salary, you will be able to finance a car. You need your emirates ID ready and an UAE driving license.

Check out Dubizzle and Dubicars for a great selection of cars

Education: All education in the UAE is provided by private institutions, typically following well regarded, international curriculums. Teachers are generally sourced from the country that the curriculum originates from (i.e. British teachers for the British curriculum etc).

Tuition fees for schooling can seem expensive compared to state schooling in other markets, however, costs compare favourably with other private schools abroad. Your company can provide more specific details of suitable schools and associated costs for any candidate considering moving a young family to Dubai.

Here are some useful memberships that can save you some money on beach clubs, gyms, and restaurants:

- The Entertainer

- Privilee

For ladies nights discounts:


For takeaways/grocery/taxi:

- Careem

If you are interested in relocating to Dubai and want further advice, reach out to our team!



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