Expat Exchange

Pros and Cons of Living in Dubai

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Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Sep 05, 2022

Summary: 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.

What are the pros and cons of living in Dubai?

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Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Dubai responded:

"I love Dubai. I it a safe clean city. Goof for kids. Education, health, housing all services are great. It is a great city for Muslims and non- Muslim," said another expat in living in Dubai, UAE.

"Here in Dubai life it's totally different because there is people from all over the world living and working here, so Dubai it's 100% tourist city," added another expat in Dubai.

"Changing demographics every few years. New neighbours with children do not have any consideration for other residents. The damage & vandalism they cause is very bad. I live in an old property & it is not being maintained very well e.g. original soft planting removed & external painting not being maintained," explained one expat living in Dubai.

"Its a nice metropolitan city to live in, with over 200 nationalities & what i dislike is that after your work permit/retirement you have to leave this country which you call your second home," said another in Dubai.

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What do expats in Dubai appreciate most about the local culture?

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"Although I don't like modern architecture, you just can't help but marvel over the buildings and beautiful water fountains. The Burj Khalif is out of this world and the fountains below are better than the ones in Las Vegas - (Designed by the same guy) Everything is over the top in style and beauty," said another expat in Dubai.

"As a woman, not many. Living in Dubai, we live in another culture but that culture is very closed to expats. You're living in a foreign country without any of the benefits of living in a foreign country...for example, the national population is very small, many transients, everything's in English," added another person living in Dubai.

"In all 3 countries we've lived (UAE, Azerbaijan, & Egypt) teenagers seem to have a much better relationship with their parents. The less people have the more generous they seem to be. Slower pace, more balanced life in Azerbaijan and Egypt. Appreciation of the arts in Azerbaijan," explained one expat living in Dubai.

"Sun, Sea, Camping in the desert at the weekends, BBQ's with friends, eating out, free ladies night in the hotel's, the perfect weather and climate from Nov through to May," said another in Dubai.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

What do expats find most challenging?

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"The heat - by far the heat. And there is dust on everything especially after even the smallest dust storm. My deck off my apartment is like a beach most of the time," said another person in Dubai.

"This one specifically has a very different view of females and males. Was not use to a man thinking I'm interested in him only because I smiled a polite acknowledgment type of smile. Also, giving up rights as a woman to husband is very foreign," remarked another expat in Dubai.

"If you live in Abu Dhabi you may find yourself living 45mins plus outside the city as the only cheap accomadtion in AD is out near the airport Al Raha is slowly after 2 years only now becoming easier place to live with it now being on a bus route, and new supermarket's opening, AlReef still has very little out by the compounds in the way of taxis and shops Meeting new friends who are likeminded," explained one expat living in Dubai.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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