Dubai, the UAE

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Jul 28, 2021

Summary: Dubai, UAE: Everything you need to know about living in Dubai, UAE: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

What do I need to know about living in Dubai?

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When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Dubai, they said:

"Remember your purpose of coming to the city, many cases you earn lots but also spends lots," said one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

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How do I meet people in Dubai?

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When we asked people living in Dubai about club and activities where newcomers can meet others, they responded:

"From sailing to golf to sky diving to horseracing, Dubai is an emerging market that has it all. Wafi City is a great place for various activities such as Sport club, various bars and restaurants, mall and the newly opened Raffles Hotel. Dubai festival City housed some of the most prestigious hotels, mall and residential area as well as golf club. There loads of clubs (each country usually has their own) and activities from charity to commercial events, although you will miss nature's beauty - summers are very very hot (4-5 months)," said one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

What is life like in Dubai?

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When we asked people living in Dubai what life is like and how people spend their time, they said:

"People (expats) work hard and play hard, live revolves around malls and shopping, socialising, attending events/concert, some major sports events are happening during the winter season, Rugby 7, Dubai Horserace, Dubai Duty Free tennis, etc," said one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

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Is there a lot of diversity? Are people in Dubai accepting of differences?

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"75% of the populations are of expat, Asian/ subcontinent. People lives in harmony and the city are considerably safer than any other cosmopolitan city in the world. Although UAE is a muslim country, alcohol are served in licenced restaurants/hotels to non muslim. An alcohol permit could be applied through various alcohol stores (MMI or African eastern) - to be issued by Dubai Police upon approval - which allows you to purchase alcohol from the stores. UAE is also a tax free country," said one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

What are the schools in Dubai like?

Live in Dubai? Answer this Question

"If you can, enrol for DESS, JESS, JEBEL ALI and a few others. This school is very much so business run....parents are treated with disdain by the Principal and Management. There are quite a significant amount of children with learning difficulties/ special needs so if your child does have SEN then this is the school for you but ONLY because you will get in...there is no achievement/support centre so any supposed extra help you child will get will be in the mainstream classroom. The foundation section of this school is good though.....its as the years go up that the many negatives become apparent," said one expat whose children attend Star International School Mirdif in Dubai.

"Pay the school a visit. The students are great and the staff are getting better year on year," added another expat with kids at The Sheffield Private School in Dubai.

"If your child is strong in his studies, as with no learning difficulties or social issues, then this is a great school to receive an education. I must say that it is better than what we were getting in the States," commented one expat when asked about Universal American School in Dubai.

"Don't! The teachers (not all, but quite a few) are rude and they they are basically ruled over by the Head and the others in top positions. Gosh, that's a rude lot. I you want a good school, try DESS, JESS or Jebel Ali. The American Scools are better as well. It was a huge mistake we made putting our child in when we arrived from the UK. What a poor waste of the formative years," remarked another expat living in Dubai with children attending Horizon School.

"Check it out. There are pretty good schools in the UAE. I am very grateful that this one suits our expectations and is within our budget," said another expat in Dubai with children at Dubai American Scientific School.

"No! Don't do it! Unless you are a conservative Muslim and you do not want your daughter interacting with other cultures. Many Muslim parents do want them interacting but powerful and uncultured parents manage the School Principal as a marionette," remarked another parent with kids at American Academy for Girls in Dubai.

Is the cost of living in Dubai high?

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We asked people about the cost of living in Dubai, they wrote:

"The cost of living is fairly high. Schools are expensive, as is housing. A housing allowance is often included in an employment package though, and depending on your level of employment and the company you work for school can be included too. As far as groceries go, it depends on where you shop. There a lot of shops that cater to expats and hold imported products from the UK and the USA. There are certainly a lot of options. Expats make up the majority of the work force and so they are catered to very well," commented one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

What type of recreational facilities are in Dubai?

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When we asked people living in Dubai about recreational activities, they mentioned:

"Golf at Emirates golf club, Els Club, Jumeirah Golf Estates, A qudrah golf club and many more. Swimming at Al Qudra sports complex, Horse riding at Arabian Ranches Equestrian Club, Tennis at Sports city, Rugby at the Rugby 7s stadium... There are many varied activities with options for all ages and interests. The city is vibrant and cater for everyone," commented one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

What is the weather like in Dubai?

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"It is HOT. Summer temps reach over 50 degrees centigrade and humidity gets quite high too. Winter is gorgeous. Temps drop to about 10 degrees centigrade and reach around 25 degrees during the day, It's very comfortable. Everything is air conditioned and the city has adapted its walkways and bus stops etc in a lot of places to be air conditioned," commented one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

Are there good restaurants in Dubai?

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"Restaurants and night life vary great and are vibrant. There is a huge variety of restaurants and bars, pubs and clubs... everything is available. Most places deliver, there is really not much that you can't get. There are award winning restaurants that are unbelievably expensive as well as tiny little local shops that sell amazing local food which is very inexpensive," commented one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

Where will I buy groceries and do other shopping in Dubai?

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"There are big grocery stores, like Carrefour, Geant, Spinnies, Waitrose and Marks n Spencers. As the majority of the population is made up of expats, they are catered to very well and a lot of products are imported. There is very little that you can't get. Park n Shop is a store that imports exclusively from the USA and from the UK. Malls are amazing and have a lot of international stores," commented one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Dubai?

Live in Dubai? Answer this Question

"Our health insurance was provided by the company I worked for. We had to pay about $10 (30AED) for a doctors visit. The process was very smooth and seamless," commented one expat living in Dubai, UAE.

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Moving to UAE? For more than 20 years, GeoBlue has helped the globally mobile navigate the complexities of international health insurance, providing members with confidence and peace of mind. Wherever your destination, GeoBlue can keep you and your family covered with the right health insurance. Click here to speak with GeoBlue's Sales Team.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote Call  


 

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GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote Call  

Dubai, UAEGuide to Living in Dubai, UAE

Dubai, UAE: Cost of Living, Healthcare and What to Know About Living in Dubai

UAE Forum UAE Forum
Join our UAE forum to meet other people living in Dubai, UAE.

ContributeContribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Dubai.

Healthcare in UAEHealthcare in UAE

Expats and people moving to the UAE have lots of questions. Healthcare and health insurance are often on the list. Here are 7 tips about healthcare, health insurance in the UAE, having a baby in the UAE and more.

Dubai, UAEPros and Cons of Living in Dubai, UAE

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in Dubai, UAE.

Dubai, UAEExpats Talk about Living in Dubai

Expats share their experiences living in Dubai, UAE and offer advice about meeting people, schools and more.

Expat Healthcare & Health InsuranceExpat Report: Healthcare in Dubai

An expat in the UAE talks about the quality of healthcare, where she would go for specialist care, the availability of prescription medicines and more.

12 Tips for Living in Dubai, UAE12 Tips for Living in Dubai, UAE

An expat talks about what it's like living in Dubai - the extreme heat, air conditioning everywhere, low crime rate, many expat clubs and organizations, great nightlife, high cost of living in Dubai and much more.

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