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Moving to Dubai – What to Know

There are many reasons you could consider moving to Dubai, it is one of the hottest places in the world to live, both in temperature and style.

When moving to Dubai you get to benefit from a cosmopolitan city that has grown tremendously in recent years and is packed with some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts. It has stunning beaches, and it’s a business hub for the Middle East and the world.

One of the many interesting things about moving to Dubai is the fact that people from the Emirates are significantly out-numbered by expats in Dubai – by almost six to one.

If you’re considering moving to Dubai, it may be not only to enjoy the amazing weather and luxury lifestyle but because of the economic opportunities. Along with oil, Dubai is a hub of financial services and trade.

So, what should you know if you’re planning on moving to Dubai?

Types of Property

There are apartments, townhouses and Dubai villas that are the most common styles of homes you’ll see in the city.

You can rent, but with the cost of rent often upwards of more than AED 100,000 a year, you might consider buying, as many overseas property investors do.

In 2002 Dubai passed what’s called the Freehold Law, making it possible for foreigners to buy, sell and rent property in Dubai with no special requirements or regulations to adhere to.

Along with freehold properties, which give you the most flexibility to buy and own a home in Dubai, there are also usufruct properties. This means a long-term lease more or less.

Then, there are commonhold properties, which allow for buying, selling, renting or passing down a property. The difference is that these are usually apartments requiring maintenance fees.


While Dubai is expensive and a lot of things offered are luxurious, there is one big financial advantage in moving to Dubai – it’s tax-free. Salaries aren’t taxed in the city, nor are food, dining out or goods.

You should note that while salaries and goods aren’t taxed, there is a 5 percent VAT on goods and services because nearly everything is imported which is part of why the city is so expensive.


Dubai is a city that is technologically-advanced and efficient. While it might be in the middle of the desert, the use of technology ensures sustainability and a significant dependence on solar power.

Additionally, almost everything you need to manage logistically is done online or via an app. For example, you can do things like getting parking passes or hailing a ride all online.

The public transportation system is similarly modern. There are buses, water buses, trams, and a monorail all operated by the Road and Transport Authority.


It is recommended that you find a job before moving to Dubai. It’s expensive to live in Dubai, and it can be a smoother transition to find employment before arriving in the Emirates.

Also, many companies are willing to pay the premium for good employees so don’t forget this in negotiations. You may be able to secure a housing allowance, and although not all companies will offer this, it’s worth trying.

A working visa is required to stay in the UAE. You’ll get to customs, and then you’ll receive a visitor’s visa that will extend for 30 days.

One small thing to adjust to when you’re working in Dubai – the weekends are Friday and Saturday. Friday is a holy day for Islam, so people aren’t supposed to work on Fridays. Then, the work week starts on Sundays.

Finally, if moving to Dubai don’t expect to sit around doing nothing. Dubai is a very busy, bustling city There is a fast pace of life, and people tend to be on the move for the most part, so don’t expect a relaxed atmosphere or a lot of down time if you move to Dubai.

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