Relocating to Dubai


Unlike some countries in the region, the Emirate of Dubai was not sitting atop hundreds of years of oil reserves. Local leaders understood this and determined that they would make the most of whatever oil revenues they could generate. Between the 1960s and the 1990s, they took the bulk of their oil profits and reinvested them back into physical infrastructure while laying the groundwork to open their country to tourists, expats and investors. That strategy has proved a spectacular success. Every year now hundreds of thousands contemplate relocating to Dubai with more than 200,000 taking the plunge annually. If you are one of those thinking about moving to Dubai, read on.



Helpful Tips for Those Relocating to Dubai


Those planning to relocate to Dubai will find it a remarkably simple and straightforward process. The Emiratis are warm, welcoming people who have built much of their infrastructure to accommodate guests. The following are 5 helpful tips that will facilitate your relocation: 



1: Obtaining a Visa


Citizens of 46 countries, including the US, UK and EU countries, are eligible to enter Dubai without arranging a visa in advance. It should be noted, however, that if you plan to reside here either as a worker or a retiree you will need a residence visa. Those relocating to Dubai to work should ask their employer to help them with their visa arrangements. Those hoping to retire here will need to secure a UAE citizen to sponsor their residence application. That application will then need to be submitted to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs.



2: Respecting the Culture


The people of Dubai are very warm and friendly. At the same time, they are understandably interested in making sure their rich culture and traditions are not overwhelmed by the sheer number of expats who bring their own culture and traditions with them. Remember, you are a guest here. Respect the ban on public displays of affection, dress modestly when in public, avoid public intoxication and don’t point your smartphone camera at people you don’t know.



3: Obtaining a National ID Card


It is mandatory for all citizens and residents of Dubai, including expats, to have a National ID Card. The Emirates ID Card is your primary form of identification no matter where you are in the UAE and you will be required to carry it with you at all times. Among other things the Emirates ID Card is used to:


  • Access government services
  • Open a bank account
  • Access healthcare services
  • Pass through immigration at the airport
  • Obtain a local driver’s license
  • Register a car



4: Dealing with the Climate


Unless you have experience in this part of the world you may be a bit surprised at how hot it can get in June, July, August and September. Temperatures at that time of the year routinely surpass 40 Celsius, and sometimes 45, and rain is scarce. The good news is that you get a respite during the winter months of November, December, January and February when temps moderate significantly and humidity is low.



5: Dealing with the Expense


The quality of life in Dubai is very high, but as is the case in other places where that is true the cost of living is high as well. And for a good reason. Virtually all food (save some types of seafood) needs to be imported since there is almost no arable land. Also, Dubai gets 99% of its potable water from desalinization plants that are expensive to build and run. Lastly, while landlords typically request quarterly rent payments 12 Cheques provide a simple service that allows you to make the monthly payments you’re used to so that you can avoid cash flow issues.

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