Moving to Dubai
Dubai is the largest city in the UAE and the capital city of the Emirate of Dubai. The city was established in the 18th century and for most of its existence was a small fishing village. During the latter part of the 20th and early part of the 21st century, Dubai saw explosive growth, driven initially by oil revenue but later through a combination of wise infrastructure investments and prescient strategic planning based on free market principles. These days Dubai attracts the upwardly mobile from around the world with more than 200,000 people moving to Dubai every year to live the luxurious expat lifestyle.
Things to Keep in Mind When Moving to Dubai
The people of Dubai are warm and welcoming, well-educated and worldly. The only thing they ask of visitors and expats is that they respect the Emirate’s history, culture and traditions. If you are contemplating moving to Dubai here are some things to keep in mind:
Dubai Is a Vibrant Place
A quick look around Dubai will provide all the evidence you need to conclude that this is truly a place that never seems to sleep. Construction is omnipresent, new businesses spring up every day, others like yourself move here every day and amidst it all is the hum of the traffic and the constant movement of people and goods.
Dubai is Expensive
Those hoping to retire to Dubai on a modest pension may want to rethink their plans. Dubai is expensive. There is no way around that fact. Most food has to be imported. 99% of Dubai’s drinking water comes from desalinization plants, which are quite expensive to run. And while you might have heard that landlords in Dubai expect quarterly rent payments, 12 Cheques provide a simple service that enables you to make monthly payments so you can avoid cash flow problems.
Sunday Is Now Part of the Weekend
Until recently the weekend in Dubai was Friday and Saturday. Recently, however, the government has made the adjustment and embraced the Saturday/Sunday weekend observed in much of the world. The goal is to make things more agreeable for international businesses and investors.
You Won’t Be Lonely
Expats outnumber citizens of Dubai by 9 to 1. It is one of the biggest disparities between local populations and foreign residents in the world and the divide grows a little larger every day. As a result, it is highly likely that you will be able to find people here you can identify with, meaning the loneliness and sense of isolation that often descends on expats in other countries is virtually nonexistent here.
Most People Speak English
While the official language of Dubai is Arabic most business is conducted in English. You will also discover that most people in shops and hotels are also well-versed in English. So there’s no need to learn a new language to move here. It’s just one more thing that makes moving to Dubai such an attractive prospect for so many.
You’ll Need to Obtain a National ID Card
All residents of Dubai, including foreign workers and expat retirees, will need to obtain a National ID Card. The Card is the default form of identification for residents of the Emirate and you should carry it with you at all times. The Card will help you obtain a bank account, access healthcare and much more.
It’s Not as Hot as You’ve Probably Heard
The common perception is that Dubai is super hot. Not so. While June, July and August can be hot, the low humidity makes dealing with the heat much easier than it would be in a more tropical location. For most of the year, though, the weather is quite livable with October through April being downright pleasant.