Moving to Dubai

Moving to Dubai overview

Dubai’s expatriate community makes up over 70% of the population. The cosmopolitan city—with year-round sun and ample job opportunities—attracts people from all over the world. If you are considering moving to Dubai, there are some things you should know before moving there. Find out more about moving to Dubai below.

Understanding Dubai

Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates. However, English is also widely spoken in Dubai as well. On a regular basis, you will hear everything from Russian to Tagalog being spoken.

Working in Dubai
In order to work in Dubai, you must obtain a work permit. It is illegal to work in Dubai without a work permit and can lead to jail time as well as deportation. To find out more about obtaining a work visa in Dubai click here.

Work week in Dubai
The workweek is from Sunday through Thursday. The weekend is from Thursday evening through Saturday. Friday is the holy day in the Middle East.

Schools in Dubai
Private schools are available throughout Dubai offering different curriculum models. The schools can be costly, although some do offer scholarships. Find out more here.

The official religion in Dubai is Islam. There are mosques located throughout Dubai. During the holy month of Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown. Eating, drinking and smoking in public during Ramadan from sunrise to sundown is not permitted. Due to the expatriate community, Dubai is home to many churches and temples as well. As an expatriate, you are free to practice your religion.

Alcohol in Dubai
Alcohol is tolerated in Dubai for non-Muslims. Alcohol must be consumed at licensed areas such as a hotel or club. If you are a resident in Dubai, you need to apply for a liquor license to be able to buy alcohol and consume it at home. It is illegal to drink at your home without a liquor license. Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence. Public drunkenness is also not tolerated.

Tax-free salary
There is no income tax collected by the Dubai government. However, some businesses do charge tax.

Dress code
Dressing conservatively is advised while you are in Dubai—especially in public places such as malls and restaurants. It is acceptable to wear beach attire while at the pool or beach.

Medical Insurance
You are required to have adequate health insurance upon arrival in Dubai. Employers in Dubai are required to provide employees with health insurance. To find out more click here.

Dubai offers year-round sun. Temperatures in the winter months are moderate and ideal for enjoying outdoor activities. This can be an added bonus if you are moving from a cold, winter environment. However, summer months can be extremely hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to 45 C/113 F. Even walking a short distance during the summer during the day can be a challenge.

Accommodation in Dubai
There are a variety of apartments and villas throughout Dubai ranging from luxury to more budget based accommodations. Some accommodations offer shared apartments or rooms as well. There are also many hotel apartments in Dubai for business travelers staying for the short term. To find out more about accommodations in Dubai click here.

Driving and public transportation in Dubai
Many driving licenses from other countries are eligible to be converted to a Dubai driving license. Driving Is convenient way to get around Dubai as there are still many areas that are not within reach using public transportation. Dubai offers the metro, tram, monorail, buses and taxis for those who do not wish to drive while in Dubai. The public transportation system in Dubai is constantly growing and is relatively inexpensive.

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