Dubai - Burj Khalifa

Dubai, the capital of the UAE, is an attractive location for British expats. Hundreds of British residents relocate to Dubai every year looking for better job prospects, and an estimated 240,000 British expats already live there.

Dubai attracts expats from all over the world, with more than 200,000 new arrivals each year. While some may find the cost of accommodations expensive, the large supply of attractive housing units, high salaries and low taxes motivate many people to move to Dubai and live the expat lifestyle. In fact, only 15% of the city’s residents are Emirati – the rest are migrant workers and expats.

Whatever the reason you’re thinking about moving to Dubai, here are some pros and cons for you to consider.

The Pros of Living in Dubai

  • The climate in Dubai is perfect for 8 months of the year. Cloudless blue skies dominate the long hot days, and beautiful warm seawaters are close-by for your enjoyment.
  • Many major international corporations have an office presence in Dubai, providing many job opportunities for expats.
  • Any income you earn in Dubai is not subject to tax.
  • The educational standards for international schools in Dubai are quite high. Many of the schools adhere to the British education system, with the National Curriculum of England taught in the primary schools and IGCSE and A-Level qualifications offered at the senior level.
  • The social life in Dubai is diverse and exceptional. Many expats join a private beach club and spend a lot of their non-working hours enjoying all the amenities they have to offer, while others join the many sports clubs available in the emirate. There are also a wide variety of clubs, bars and restaurants available to enjoy in the evening, with a huge choice of cuisines to please your taste.
  • Dubai has become very accessible over the years, with its international airport offer flight to and from most major destinations in the world.
  • While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken in Dubai.
  • The standard of living in Dubai is very high, the crime rate is very low, and the shopping is outstanding (and mostly tax-free).
  • The cost of operating a car in Dubai is inexpensive thanks to the incredibly cheap price of petrol. Taxi fares are also cheap, and the government is also making a major investment in improving public transportation.
  • While Islam is the official religion in Dubai, the emirate is very tolerant of others’ way of life and beliefs. It is one of the most moderate locations in terms of applying Islam’s rule to everybody’s everyday lives. Expats can buy alcoholic beverages in Dubai and may eat and drink when it’s daylight during Ramadan.

The Cons of Living in Dubai

  • Dubai can be a bureaucratic headache for expats, especially when they first arrive. You need a permit to do a lot of things in the emirate, including a permit to work, a license to drive and a permit to purchase alcoholic beverages. Some people find that don’t have the patience to cope with the bureaucracy.
  • While Dubai is a tolerant country in most areas, there is one area that can be problematic for some – it is illegal for unmarried couples to live together.
  • If you are relocating from a regional area in the UK rather than from Central London, you may find that rents are expensive. The average rental for a one-bedroom apartment in Dubai is about £1,500, while rents average about £3,000 for a three-bedroom apartment.
  • Traffic congestion in Dubai can be terrible at times.
  • The weather from June through September can be extremely hot, and many expats schedule their holidays during those months and head for a more temperate climate.

Ultimately, it’s up to you decide if the positive aspects of living in Dubai outweigh the possible negatives. If you’d like to plan your move to Dubai, contact us or check out our international removals services here.