Expats’ guide to moving to Dubai

Expats’ guide to moving to Dubai


Dubai is a popular destination for expats

offering a diverse and vibrant culture as well as a thriving economy. So much so that expats make up over 80% of the total population in Dubai. People are considering moving to Dubai for various reasons, such as job opportunities, a change of lifestyle, and the city’s reputation as a global hub for business and tourism.


Preparing for a move is important. And there are a lot of things to consider, such as obtaining a visa, understanding the weather, housing options, transportation, education and healthcare, banking, laws and customs, and language. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, it is essential to research and understand these elements.


In this guide, we will provide tips and information to help you navigate your move and help you become better prepared to make a smooth transition to life in Dubai.

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Getting the right visa is the first step in moving to Dubai. It is important to understand what requirements and steps need to be taken in order to obtain the right visa. Additionally, different types of visas are available for different situations, including work visas, student visas, and family visas. 


It usually takes around 4-6 weeks for an employer to sponsor an employee for a work visa. The employer stands as the visa sponsor and is responsible for obtaining the visa on behalf of the employee.

Getting around

A driving license can be obtained in Dubai relatively easily, with international driving licenses accepted. It is relatively easy to get around in Dubai with a variety of transportation options available. 


Moreover, Dubai has an excellent public transportation system, which includes buses, metros, and taxis. Several lines of the metro connect different parts of the city, making it particularly efficient. Uber and Careem are also widely available and widely used.


During the summer, Dubai’s weather can reach 50°C, but there are also a lot of good things about the winter months, with temperatures averaging around 20°C. It has a desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters, and it can get quite humid during the summer months. Although it rarely rains, when it does, it is often very heavy.


There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the weather here year-round. The mild winters make for enjoyable hiking, camping, and beach trips. You can enjoy many air-conditioned indoor activities during the hot summer months, such as shopping, visiting museums and art galleries, and trying out new restaurants.

Education and healthcare

Private and public schools in Dubai follow local curriculums, while international schools follow curriculums from the student’s country of origin. 


There are a number of reputable hospitals and clinics in Dubai that offer healthcare both locally and internationally. The area is home to a number of medical facilities equipped with the latest technology and staffed with highly qualified professionals. Research the healthcare options available in the area you are considering and make sure they meet the needs of your family.

Bank account

There are a number of banks available to open a bank account in Dubai. Local residents have access to a number of services, including debit and credit cards, internet banking, and direct debits, as well as a range of services. In comparison to non-resident accounts, these accounts also offer higher withdrawal limits and lower fees. 


Non-residents may open offshore accounts which typically come with fewer services and higher fees. It is also important to remember that offshore accounts may have limitations on withdrawal and deposit amounts. In addition, some banks may require a minimum deposit to open or maintain an account. 


In Dubai, it is extremely important to be aware of local laws and regulations as ex-pats. Dubai has an Islamic legal system, which means understanding and following local laws and customs is essential. In addition, there are laws governing dress codes, the consumption of alcohol, which is limited in certain places, and public behavior, which should conform to local cultural norms and be respectful. 


Understanding the local laws and customs is essential for compliance and avoiding legal issues in the country. The law system is different from that of other countries and understanding it is essential. 


Despite its cosmopolitan status, Dubai is also home to many English-speaking residents. As a result, most business and official correspondence in Dubai is conducted in English. Furthermore, many ex-pats from English-speaking countries live in Dubai, so finding English-speaking communities and making friends is relatively easy.


The Dubai ex-pat community is a very welcoming and inclusive place to live since it is home to so many people from around the world. Join an ex-pat group, organization, or international school to make connections and meet people.

Customs and traditions

The culture and history of Dubai are rich, and it is important for ex-pats to understand and respect local customs and traditions, such as those around dress codes, food and drink, and Ramadan. 


In terms of social etiquette, it is important to respect local traditions and customs, such as not touching the other gender or showing public affection. When you understand and respect local customs and traditions, you will feel more like part of the community and have a smooth transition to living in Dubai.

Housing options

There are several options for housing in Dubai, including villas, townhouses, and apartments. Villas tend to be more spacious and offer more privacy, but they are also more expensive. Those seeking more space than apartments, but still seeking the convenience of community living, are best suited to townhouses. Apartments, on the other hand, tend to be cheaper, but provide less privacy and space.


The communities are diverse. Some may have ex-pat communities, while others may be more family-friendly. There are many different types of communities. There are areas that are closer to the city center or to major employment centers, whereas there are also areas that are more secluded. 


Dubai offers an excellent combination of modern amenities and traditional culture, making it an ideal destination for ex-pats. Moving there is fulfilling and exciting. This vibrant city, which many ex-pats call home, can be made even better by the information you’ve gathered.

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