Top Tips for Expats Considering a Move to Dubai
Dubai is one of the world's greatest and most glamorous cities. Home to over 3.3 million people, it's a business hub for the Middle East and a popular location for ex-pats in various industries. People come from Arkansas to Australia, Poland to Peru, and everywhere in between to settle here. Aside from abundant work opportunities, it also has a variety of fine resorts and entertainment facilities which make for a comfortable and interesting lifestyle. But what do expats need to consider before they make the move?
Respect the Local Laws and Customs
Dubai is a modern, bustling metropolis, but it’s also deeply traditional in many ways. The UAE is a Muslim country, and even non-Muslims who visit are expected to respect various ways of doing things. Many laws should be looked at, including dress codes, alcohol and medication, and even how one behaves in public. Researching these rules beforehand will help avoid any potential faux pas.
Learn (at least) English
The official language of Dubai is Arabic, and there are various dialects spoken throughout the region. In terms of all documents and government institutions, standard Arabic is the de facto. That said, English is the most widely spoken international language. Not only is it the primary language in the immigrant community, but many Emirati speak it as well. If you are heading to Dubai to live and work, you need to grasp the English language.
So, focus your energy on getting an English language tutor and polishing up with some private lessons, so you are ready for arrival. For most matters, including business and socializing, English is a must. You can fit the lessons around your other activities as they take place online, which means more time to prepare for the big move!
Get Your Finances in Order
Dubai is not a cheap place to live. If you’re a single person, you will need at least $2000 a month to live an interesting life. If you factor in children, rent, and education, this can quickly double (and more), so be prepared. Eating out, entertainment, resorts, and shopping can come at a hefty price, especially if you are interested in the finer things in life. Rent can vary quite drastically depending on which neighborhood you want to be in and what standard of property you're looking for.
You should ensure you have money in your savings account and a steady, adequate salary before you consider relocating. Even flying in and out can be quite costly, so be sure to factor this in as well.
Compile Your Documents
Applying for a residence visa can be quite an arduous process. You may require birth certificates, passports, qualifications and copies of degree certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, background checks, and more.
Many of these will need to be apostilled by the government in your own country before you come. Also, consider matters like your driving license. Some countries can convert their existing license to a UAE one; others will need another test.
While some of these tips may sound a bit daunting, it's well worth it in the end! Dubai is a great place to live with a little something for everyone!