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What You Need to Know About Moving to Dubai

By Einat Mazafi

Summary: Relocation professional, Einat Mazafi, discusses the pros and cons of moving to Dubai. The warm temperatures, large expat community, world-class shopping vs. strict Islamic laws and high cost-of-living.

Living in the UAE - What You Need to Know About Moving to Dubai

Dubai, one of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates, boasts not only one of the most the most pulsating economies in the Gulf Coast region, but is known for its sophistication and style. Surprisingly, oil does not make up a significant portion of the economy, although the country has developed at lightening speed over the past two decades.

It's of no surprise, therefore, that Dubai has become an attractive destination for expatriates and immigrant workers, in spite of the somewhat controversial government policies. Indeed, foreign relocation to Dubai has enhanced its multi-cultural flavor, where both traditional and modern Western cultures come together in an attractive blend.

Advantages of Moving to Dubai

Why relocate to Dubai? Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to:

  • Although Arabic is the official language, you can easily get by in English, which is widely spoken
  • You'll enjoy an exciting adventure abroad bound to expand your horizons and offer you a new cultural experience
  • Not only are salaries typically higher than in your native country, but Dubai is well known as a tax-free haven
  • Catch a break from the cold and rain and enjoy the year round warm temperatures
  • A global travel hub, Dubai is a great place to meet people from all over the world
  • Dubai boasts a strong expatriate community with a diverse cultural mix
  • Dubai's world-class shopping scene caters to the expat community, boasting numerous malls, shops, and supermarkets; you'll find many of the products and food items you are familiar with from your home country, including most major brands, Christmas, Easter, and Halloween items, beauty products, toiletries, and more
  • As the economy improves, more Western companies are looking to Dubai for business opportunities, boding well for future jobs for foreign nationals Disadvantages of Moving to Dubai

While the human rights situation in Dubai has significantly improved over the years and despite the great attraction in terms of tourism, the burgeoning economy, and investment, there are also drawbacks to relocating to Dubai. Or, as in a few words about Dubai from an experienced expat, many good reasons not to make the move. Here are some of the disadvantages of relocating to Dubai:

  • Dubai is an Islamic state in which the government reigns supreme. If you can't follow the rules as they are laid out, you will not be comfortable living here
  • In the same vein, the government blocks any website it deems offensive to UAE religious, cultural, or moral values
  • Housing is extremely expensive (the country boasts some of the most expensive properties in the world), as are utility bills and educational fees, so don't expect to live in the lap of luxury; unless your employer is going to cover your relocation expenses, you may want to think again
  • Despite being tax free, there are other costs to living in Dubai, such as am Emirate ID card, Salik tolls, and more
  • Whether you are arriving as a tourist or as a foreign national, Dubai does not welcome individuals from all countries, with some expats outright prohibited. Depending on your country of origin, you may or may not be allowed to enter with a tourist visa or receive a permanent residency visa
  • The employment scene in Dubai is grim ever since the government issued a policy to reduce dependency on foreign labor by requiring the employment of locals in both the private and public sectors; as a result, there is quota on the number of foreign workers who can be employed in the United States Emirate and as such the recruitment of foreign labor has ground to a halt
  • Not only is employment scarce, but you cannot obtain residency unless you have a job, nor will you be able to get a driver's license, have access to health care, enroll your children in school, or rent an apartment. The bottom line is: Don't move to Dubai unless you have a job or own your own business there

The good news is that nowadays shipping to Dubai is easy; in fact, thanks to modern technologies, you can ship items of almost any shape, size, or weight overseas – including your car! Simply go online for a free shipping quote, pack your bags, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

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About the Author

Einat Mazafi is the owner of NY International Shipping, an International Shipping and moving company based in New York. She is also a specialist in providing the best relocation solutions to clients worldwide.

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First Published: Apr 27, 2013

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