Moving to Dubai

Ex-Pats Moving To Dubai

Moving to a foreign country for a job means changing your lifestyle to one that suits and fits the new environment. Even though you might be moving to Dubai for a job, you would still want to live in a manner that you are used to and that might include your whole family.

A big factor in determining how you will live in Dubai is your choice of neighborhood. There are many apartments to choose from in Dubai, including Manza Abdulkhader in Himraya, to Marina Hotel Apartments in Marina near the waterfront area and the myriad of smaller privately owned rented apartments. Location is a factor but you should be able to find furnished or unfurnished, smaller and larger apartments within a given area.

The average rental on a Dubai apartment is $4,000 to $6,000 for a standard one-bedroom apartment within the city and town centers. Buying is also an option especially if you are considering a permanent move to Dubai, or after renting for a while. There are large gated ranch communities available for sale like the Arabian Ranches.

You also need to consider whether you will buy a car, which will give you a wider range of apartments to choose from in the suburbs where accommodation is cheaper. With a car you can commute to work. Buying a car is a little costly because you have to pay for yearly license registration taxes.If you are an ex-pat who is moving to Dubai from the United States of America, United Kingdom, and Europe, it is crucial to prepare for the unexpected culture shock, which you will feel no matter how open minded you are.

Public transport is possible in Dubai but is generally insufficient for now but is continually improving. There are 140 bus routes with 2100 buses. Waiting for a bus in the heat of Dubai has been helped by the government building 500 air-conditioned bus shelters with plans to build 1000 more. Thewre is also the metro system which consists of two lines, the green line of 20 stations 8 below ground and 12 above ground. The red line which is the larger line has 29 stops 4 underground stations and 25 above ground. Plans are underway to create 2 more metro lines a blue and a purple line consisting of an extra 47 stations and giving more thorough access be metro to the whole of Dubai.

The Road Transport Authority manages every road in Dubai,
The RTA has 6 toll gates around Dubai that charge 4 dirhams every time a car passes then up to a maximum of 24 dirhams per day. The toll gates are located as follows:-
Airport Tunnel toll gate (Dubai Airport)
Al Barsha toll gate (on Sheikh Zayed Road)
Al Garhoud Bridge toll gate (Al Garhood)
Al Maktoum Bridge toll gate (Al Maktoom)
Al Mamzar toll gate (Al Mumzar)
Al Safa toll gate (on Sheikh Zayed Road)

Congestion on the roads has not been tackled over the years and so is an increasing problem in Dubai. The salik toll booths has only made congestion worse but does provide a good source of income for the government to pay for road building and maintenance. There are slightly convoluted routes that you can follow that will allow you to avoid the toll booths.

Buying a car is in Dubai is possible but you will need to have a residence card, a driving licence and other documents. Cars are only a little cheaper in Dubai compared to Europe or the USA. And there is a wide range of cars coming from Japan, Europe and the USA. Petrol is about a quarter of the price so driving is cheaper. There are many taxis in Dubai and they are very reasonably priced to get you from A to B. They are readily available most times of the day but can be a long wait during peak hours.

It can take a bit of getting used to the congestion consisting of luxury sports cars jamming the roads. Only in Dubai! Because the Emiratis are very status conscious they will dispose of their cars after a few years. And it is quite possible to pick up a luxury dream car for an affordable price if you keep your eyes and ears open. But cars over 6 years old are deemed old by insurance companies who will charge large premium on such cars.

Dubai was the first of the seven Emirates to establish a bus system comprehensive enough to accommodate everyone. By religious preferences and cultural beliefs, this bus system offers specific buses designated for women, with free parking all over the country at malls and metro terminals.

An ex-pat moving to Dubai for a job from Europe or USA would be delighted to hear that The United Arab Emirates is a tax-free economy. This does not necessarily mean that the government does not need your contribution towards the Dubai state. Taxes are collected via parking fees, vehicle registration, which is renewed on a yearly basis, land and property transaction taxes and the before mentioned toll booths. Some business ventures like bars and restaurants indirectly collect taxes from you, which end up being used by the government. Another good news is that deductions are not made directly from your salary.

Moving to Dubai means you need to deal with a bureaucratic machine, that is a combination of the most frustrating aspects of a heavy paper bureaucracy with the officials who lack any urgency to serve people. However, the bureaucratic machine is steadily being replaced by an online system in Dubai. There are many online options in recent years for doing some basic legal procedures like paying fines or appealing. Emirates Identity cards are typed in Arabic upon securing an application for form for this card from the relevant governmental authority. Accessing some social amenities becomes much of a big deal, as you need to be in possession of a United Arab Emirate’s driving license, VISA, Identity card and other additional paper works to gain access to a bank account, water and electricity. In as much as acquiring these documents is an involving task, it is the role and responsibility of your employer to handle and pay for your VISA requirements.

A change in climate means exposing yourself to some potential health issues that your body is not used to, therefore, demanding the need of knowing or at least signing up for a personal family doctor who would be ready to help and assist in the event of an emergency. Finding a personal family doctor is ideal because public and doctors employed by the government are limited and therefore may not be able to deliver what is expected of them.

Other than health issues and transport costs, moving to Dubai for a job with the whole family means finding new schools and changing the schooling environment to enable the kids to proceed with their education for a brighter future. The available public schools are for the UAE citizen, with expats from USA, UK, and Europe having to choose from the available private schools. There are various private schools in Dubai that offer various curriculums based on religious preferences and languages to suit ex-pats but they are expensive and the standards vary between schools and between teachers within the school.This is definitely a big negative, but only applies if you have children and so must be taken into account.

You might think that moving to Dubai is a simple enjoyable process that does not require any special attention. Please don’t think like that or you will lose out financially, emotionally, legally or waste a lot of time. Moving to Dubai for a job is an involving task that needs plenty of time and investigation. By adhering to all the governmental regulations needed for when you become a Dubai citizen or obtaining a work permit, you will find it much easier and settle in better with your family. When you are free from the legal and bureaucratic nightmare you then settle in and make new friends and develop your lifestyle.