From its humble beginnings as a sleepy fishing village to becoming the Middle East’s richest city, Dubai has experienced quite a transformation over the past few decades.
If you’re dreaming of sunning yourself in the heat and living the lavish Dubai lifestyle, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you hop on the plane.
Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of all the things you need to know before your trip.
You can meet people from all over the world
Most major cities around the world are tourist-friendly, but Dubai’s expat community is next level. Currently, about 85% of this international city’s population is made up of expats – great news for anyone wanting a fresh start, and to make friends from all corners of the world.
English is widely spoken
If you’re not too hot on your language skills, you’re in luck. English is widely spoken in Dubai, so you won’t have to become fluent in Arabic to get around.
That being said, most people who live in Dubai will pick up at least some Arabic over time. For example, if a stranger start shouting “Yalla, Yalla, Yalla!” behind you in the street, you’ll be quick to learn that it means “hurry up!”.
The cost of living
The cost of living in Dubai is slightly higher than the national average in the UAE, which is perhaps why it tends to attract more wealthy and luxurious lifestyles.
Over the past few years, the price of rent has risen – especially in popular expat areas. Having said that UAE does have the best restaurants with world renowned chefs from around the world and supermarkets shelves stocked with food from almost every country you can think of
There are also women-only areas
Dubai has been hailed as the best place in the Middle East for women. Not only is it an extremely safe city, but there are also various women-only facilities dotted about Dubai, including separate metro carriages and ladies’ taxis. Some beaches even hold female-only days, too.
This is by no means a law from the UAE government, but rather an option for any women who want their own space.
It’s a very safe place to live in
In 2020, the UAE was the world’s only country to have three of its cities – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah – all among the top ten safest cities in the world.
Strict punishments, long prison sentences, well-publicised convictions, and the use of undercover police all contribute to Dubai’s reputation as one of the safest cities to live in. It’s not unusual to see an expensive car left outside a shop with the keys in the ignition, or a laptop left with no one around for half an hour or more.
You’ll need medical insurance
Unlike the UK, the healthcare system medical insurance will be covered by your new employer, however, you will have to cover your family as the employer only insures their staff, it’s wise to cover your back in terms of any ongoing or emergency health issues by investing in a good medical insurance plan.
Start building a customised plan with a free quote to protect your most important assets you and your family.
It’s wise to follow the rules
Dubai’s low crime rate boils down to its harsh punishments and zero tolerance. There are a lot of rules and regulations to brush up on
Some rules include:
- Taking a photo of someone without consent
- Possessing poppy seeds: Poppy seeds are a banned substance in the UAE since they can be used to create opium.
- Eating and drinking on all forms of public transport: From metros and buses and their stations
- Swearing in public: Swearing is a punishable offence
Prepare for the heat
Dubai’s climate could not be more different. With temperatures averaging 40C in summer months and humidity often reaching over 90%. In the cooler months from December to March temperatures usually dip to the low 20s.
Ramadan and Islamic holidays
In Dubai, holidays fall around Islamic traditions. As is the case in every Islamic country, working hours are shortened to six hours a day during Ramadan – with many choosing to take time off during this period.
If you’re not already familiar with Ramadan, you’ll need to become acquainted with a new set of rules during this time. For example, eating and drinking in public are forbidden throughout Ramadan during daylight hours.
You’ll also have to keep an eye out for when Ramadan is happening each year, as the date changes each time.
It’s a city of innovation
Dubai has managed to catch up to the rest of the world through its intense technological transformation.
Since 2013, the Smart Dubai initiative has transformed the city into an intelligent hub focusing on becoming paperless, developing A1 technology, supporting start-ups, and pushing to become the happiest city in the world.
This is rather fitting for the second-largest city in the UAE – a country ranked among the 35 most innovative countries
In a city that is constantly creating, innovating, and competing to build the next skyscraper, there’s a lot of roadwork going on.
And since almost everyone has a car, there can be a lot of traffic. Expats can expect their morning routine to involve coming up with strategies to avoid rush hour, as their 20-minute commute transforms into an hour-long journey.
Unless you opt for the public transport
There are many options when it comes to public transport in Dubai: The Metro, buses, taxis, water taxis, trams, ferries – you name it!
The Metro is by far the most popular mode of public transport. Not only is it clean and efficient, but it’s also very affordable costing only 3.5 AED (68p) for each ride.
Taxis are available with a minimum charge of 12 AED (£2.33). Plus, thanks to Dubai’s Uber Smart Taxi App, there’s no need to bother hailing down drivers anymore.
Brunch is a must every Weekend
A favourite for locals and visitors alike, this tradition has transformed brunch from a catch-up with friends over avocado on toast, to an exquisite afternoon tea.
No matter the time of day, you can expect all-inclusive feasts of food and drinks with an emphasis on indulgence.
The almost tax-free lifestyle
The UAE Federal Government does not impose taxes on individuals, meaning you get to keep all the money you earn. Citizens are also not obligated to pay taxes on property or capital gains. Despite this, there are certain taxes such as import duties on goods from outside the country, as well as rental taxes that you will still have to pay.
Your work has a lot to do with your private life
If you are an expat, everything gets sent to your employer, rather than your home address. The logic behind this is that since your employer is also likely to be your sponsor, they are the most reliable way to contact you.
Opening a bank account in Dubai will also have to be signed off by your employer. You will need a letter of no objection (NOC) from your sponsor, and you may need a salary certificate, depending on your bank which is relatively easy process
It has been a number one location since the lockdown
Dubai has quickly become the number one destination for self-employed people and influencers to flock into and attempt to escape lockdowns around the world.
Thanks to Dubai’s more relaxed rules on who can come into the city, it makes the perfect location.
Sum it up
Now you have an insight into what Dubai offers check out our website & find the perfect job for you
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Written by Farzana Patel 22nd October 2022