Dubai is home to 200 nationalities, with the expatriate community outnumbering the population of the locals. It’s a welcoming city for anyone who wants a great lifestyle and exciting career opportunities.
But before you set foot in the Gulf nation, here are some things you should expect about Dubai:
The official workweek for both private and government employees in Dubai is from Sunday to Thursday. Since the UAE is predominantly a Muslim nation, Friday is usually dedicated to religious activities. Thus, rest days are Friday and Saturday.
So while the rest of your friends back home are grilling on a Sunday, you’re just about to start your week. Don’t worry, come Friday and you’re all set to enjoy the best of Dubai’s leisure and entertainment while they drag themselves to work.
You might think that a life without taxes is not possible.
Well, wait until you finally start living in Dubai.
This means that you get to receive 100% of your paycheck. Cool right? This financial incentive allows you to boost your savings and enjoy little luxuries that the city offers, and still have some money left in your pocket.
However, if you are opening a business in Dubai, you’ll have to pay taxes. Corporate taxes in the city can be exceedingly high, with oil companies being charged up to 55% rate.
Even though you’re receiving 100% of your salary, you still want to manage your finances well.
That’s because, in Dubai, the cost of living is sky-high. It’s twice the cost of living in any other UAE country. A big chunk of your income will most likely go to your rent.
Because of the influx of foreign nationals in the city, finding an apartment for rent in Dubai is easy. However, expats can expect to spend 30-50% of their salary on rent alone!
Thankfully, with the high price tag comes great luxury. It’s incredibly easy to find a fully furnished apartment for rent which means you don’t have to worry about buying a new cooktop or a refrigerator before you move.
Due to the staggering rental prices, you might be tempted to buy a property in Dubai instead. However, it isn’t advisable until you’ve lived in the city for quite some time and have become familiar with the different communities. This way, you can end up purchasing the best house in Dubai for you and your family.
Dubai isn’t just known for its big oil industry. Over the years, the government has diversified its economy to service and tourism, resulting in a property boom.
So, don’t be surprised to see massive construction sites anywhere you go or buildings and towers getting a facelift now and then. The real estate industry in Dubai is a serious business.
It’s a busy city, for sure. But that gives you a beautiful city that offers some of the finest nightlife, leisure, and entertainment. You could walk by hundreds of restaurants, stay overnight at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, or go on an adventure of a lifetime at Dubai’s most thrilling zip rides.
Having the largest mall in the world, Dubai is a haven for shopaholics.
From fashion items to high-tech gadgets, you’ll find almost anything you want in Dubai.
Dubai is home to some of the most luxurious malls in the world. But you’ll also find affordable items from hundreds of shopping centres around the city.
If window-shopping at the malls doesn’t appeal to you, you can always go online.
Also, online shopping in Dubai is at an all-time high. With so many reputable stores and local artisans, you can get quality products, particularly unique and beautiful home decor online.
Since the expat community makes up 92% of Dubai’s population, it’s not surprising if English is a common language here.
However, it isn’t a bad idea if you will learn some Arabic so you can easily communicate with the locals. Plus, being able to speak a different language is a lot of fun!
Dubai is one of the top 10 safest cities in the world. Being the largest business city in the UAE and is regarded as a major hub for the Middle East, Dubai invests a lot in the safety and security of tourists and residents.
One reason why it’s safe to live in Dubai is that the city implements very strict policies. Anyone who breaks the law can expect heavy penalties, fines, and even imprisonment.
While owning a car can be expensive, an effortless alternative is Dubai’s public transport. Dubai Metro rapid transit rail is the longest in the world. Riding the metro is incredibly cheap as well – about 1USD for each ride.
When you first ride the metro, you buy a red card. You can load a certain amount of money so you won’t have to queue each time you commute.
Even taxis are cheap, at 3.2USD for each 5-10 minutes ride. The only disadvantage of riding taxis is the traffic.
Dubai has so much to offer – plenty of work opportunities, tax-free income, beautiful destinations, safe city living, world-class leisure and entertainment, and so many more. However, since it’s an upscale city, expect the high cost of living there. It can cost you a fortune when buying a property in Dubai.
Your first few months or maybe years in the city can be challenging. But once you’ve become more attuned to life there, you’ll embrace this city with your whole heart.