Moving to Dubai from the US


Over the past 30 years, the leaders of Dubai have invested heavily in the Emirate in order to make it more attractive to businesses, investors and expats. The result is that Dubai is one of the most modern cities on earth with first-class infrastructure, healthcare and housing along with low taxes and a business-friendly environment. That said, if you plan on moving to Dubai from the US there are some things you will need to know, so we’ve compiled the following list of useful tips.



Helpful Tips on Moving to Dubai from the US


Whether you are moving to Dubai from the US to work or to retire you will find the people warm and friendly, the city safe and secure, the schools modern and well-staffed and the living to be quite delightful. Before we get into our moving tips here are some quick facts about Dubai you may not know:


  • 90% of the population is expats
  • most people speak English
  • Dubai is home to the tallest structure ever built by man: the Burj Khalifa
  • Camel racing is a popular sport
  • Some ATMs dispense gold
  • Dubai is home to the world’s tallest building (the Burj Khalifa)
  • The official language is Arabic


Now that you have a better idea of what Dubai is like let’s look at 6 tips that will facilitate your move from the US to Dubai.



1: Be prepared: Dubai is expensive


Everything from food and water to electricity and dining out is going to cost more in Dubai than you are probably used to paying. About the only thing that costs less than it does in New York or LA is housing.



2: No insurance, no residency


If you plan on moving to Dubai to work or just to live you will need to secure private health insurance or you will not be issued a residence visa, work permit or UAE ID Card. If you have kids and your employer does not cover them you will have to arrange your own private health insurance for them. No buts.



3: Traditional values are the order of the day


Different country, different culture. The culture of Dubai is rooted in ancient customs and traditions that are for the most part, more conservative in nature than some Westerners might be used to. That means things like public displays of affection and flamboyant behaviour are discouraged. Rest assured, however, that this does not in any way undermine the forward-leaning attitude of the government and the people.



4: You will need a local sponsor for your visa


Tourists from the US can enter Dubai without obtaining a visa beforehand. However, if you hope to reside here you will need a proper residence visa, and for that, you will need a citizen or current resident to sign on as your sponsor. Once you have obtained your residency visa you can sponsor your children.



5: You can leave your sweater at home


If you like the idea of being able to go outside on a September evening without a sweater and walking along the beach in December in shorts and a T-shirt, then Dubai is the place for you.


Here are a few climate facts about Dubai:


  • While it is hot during June, July and August the air is very dry so it feels cooler than it is.
  • Speaking of dry, Dubai receives less than 4 inches of rainfall per year so you can leave the mac at home along with the sweater.
  • During the winter months, the weather is positively delightful.
  • If you are a sun worshipper Dubai will be paradise to you.



6: Most landlords expect several large payments each year instead of monthly payments


Renters moving to Dubai from the US are often surprised that landlords in the UAE expect tenants to pay several months’ rent at a time. This can create cash-flow problems for some expats. But don’t worry. 12 Cheques provides a simple solution that will enable you to make monthly payments.

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