Dubai is an exciting city that attracts expats from all over the world. Whether you're moving for work or for a change of scenery, there are a few things you need to know before you make the move from the UK to Dubai.
If you're planning to move to Dubai for work, you'll need to obtain a work permit. Your employer will typically sponsor your work permit, which means they'll need to apply for it on your behalf. You'll also need to obtain a residency visa, which allows you to live in Dubai. The process for obtaining a residency visa can vary depending on your situation, so it's important to do your research and work with a reputable immigration lawyer or consultant.
Dubai can be an expensive place to live, particularly when it comes to housing and healthcare. While salaries are typically higher in Dubai than in the UK, it's important to factor in the cost of living before you make the move. Rent can be particularly expensive, so it's important to research your options and budget accordingly.
Dubai's public healthcare system is not available to expats, which means you'll need to purchase private health insurance. The cost of health insurance can vary depending on your age, health status, and other factors, so it's important to shop around and find a plan that fits your needs and budget.
Dubai is located in a desert climate, which means that temperatures can soar during the summer months. If you're used to the mild climate of the UK, the heat in Dubai can be a shock to the system. It's important to take precautions during the summer months, such as staying indoors during the hottest parts of the day and staying hydrated.
Housing in Dubai can be expensive, but there are a range of options available to expats. Many expats choose to live in gated communities or apartment complexes, which offer a range of amenities such as swimming pools and fitness centres. It's important to do your research and work with a reputable real estate agent to find a property that meets your needs and budget.
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, but it's important to be aware of the cultural and social customs before you make the move. For example, alcohol is only available in licensed establishments, and public displays of affection are not allowed. It's important to respect the local customs and to be aware of the laws and regulations in Dubai.
Dubai is a car-centric city, and public transportation is not as developed as in other cities. This means that having a car is almost a necessity, which can be expensive. If you're planning to drive in Dubai, you'll need to obtain a UAE driving license, which can be a lengthy process. It's important to be aware of the local driving laws and to drive defensively.
While English is widely spoken in Dubai, Arabic is the official language. It can be helpful to learn some basic Arabic phrases before you make the move, particularly if you'll be interacting with locals on a regular basis.
Tax-free income: One of the biggest advantages of living in Dubai is the lack of income tax. This means you get to keep more of your hard-earned money.
Cosmopolitan lifestyle: Dubai is a cosmopolitan city with a diverse population. You'll find people from all over the world living and working in Dubai, which can make for a vibrant and exciting cultural scene.
Modern amenities: Dubai is known for its modern infrastructure and amenities, including world-class shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment venues.
High salaries: Dubai is known for offering high salaries, particularly in industries such as finance, technology, and hospitality.
Safety: Dubai is generally considered a safe city, with low levels of crime and a strong police presence.
Cost of living: While salaries may be high, so is the cost of living. Dubai can be an expensive place to live, particularly when it comes to housing and healthcare.
Weather: Dubai is located in a desert climate and temperatures can soar during the summer months, making it uncomfortable for some people.
Cultural restrictions: While Dubai is a cosmopolitan city, there are still certain cultural restrictions that may be difficult for some expats to adjust to, such as restrictions on alcohol and public displays of affection.
Limited outdoor activities: Due to the hot weather, outdoor activities in Dubai can be limited during certain times of the year.
Dependence on a car: Dubai is a car-centric city, and public transportation is not as developed as in other cities. This means that having a car is almost a necessity, which can be expensive.
Find a job: You'll need to have a job offer from a Dubai-based employer before you can apply for a work visa. You can search for jobs on job boards or through recruitment agencies.
Obtain a work permit: Your employer will need to obtain a work permit on your behalf. This involves submitting your employment contract, passport copy, and other supporting documents to the Dubai Department of Economic Development.
Medical checkup: You'll need to undergo a medical checkup to obtain a work visa. This involves getting a blood test and a chest x-ray to check for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV.
Apply for a residence visa: Once your work permit is approved, you can apply for a residence visa. This involves submitting your passport, work permit, and other supporting documents to the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs.
Emirates ID: You'll also need to obtain an Emirates ID, which is a form of identification that's required for various transactions in Dubai. This involves submitting your passport, residence visa, and other supporting documents to the Emirates Identity Authority.
Wait for processing: Processing times for work visas in Dubai can vary, but it typically takes a few weeks to a few months. It's important to plan ahead and apply early to avoid delays.
Overall, obtaining a work visa in Dubai can be a complex process. It's important to work with a reputable immigration lawyer or consultant to ensure that you meet all the requirements and have the best chance of success.
In conclusion, moving from the UK to Dubai can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it's important to do your research and to be aware of the unique challenges that come with living in a foreign country. By taking the time to prepare and plan, you can make your move to Dubai a success.
If you're considering moving to Dubai from the UK, please contact us to that we can arrange for a free moving survey.