Guide to Emigrating to Dubai
Dubai has become a hugely popular location for both expats and tourists. For residents, Dubai offers a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, with a booming economy and high quality of life. Below is everything you need to know if you’re planning on moving to Dubai and make the most of the opportunities it can provide.
UK citizens moving to Dubai will need a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
If you don’t have a job prior to moving to Dubai, you can obtain a long-term multiple-visit visa. This allows you to stay in Dubai for 90 days, with the possibility of reapplying after the expiry date. Otherwise, you’ll usually need employment to obtain a residence visa. Your place of work will usually have responsibility to sort out the paperwork required for this visa. You might have to pay a fee for this visa, or it may be covered by your employer. You’ll need a recent passport photo to go on the visa. If you’re planning on moving to Dubai with your family, you’ll need to prove you have a minimum salary of AED 4,000 to AED 10,000 per month to get them an entry permit, depending on the family members you are bringing with you.
You can obtain your work and residence visa either before you enter Dubai, or after, by transferring your visiting permit to residence.
Woking in Dubai
Dubai is well known for its job prospects across a range of industries. Whilst the boom of recent years has dwindled slightly recently, there are still many opportunities on offer, especially in engineering, teaching, marketing, and communications, as well as other creative roles.
Many roles in Dubai will offer a higher salary and better benefits when compared to the same role in the UK. The working week in Dubai can be up to 47 hours, so around 9 hours per day, and employees are entitled to 22 days leave per year. There are also around 14 days of public holidays in Dubai. One major difference to Western working life is that the weekend in Dubai is on Friday and Saturday, as Friday is a holy day in Islam.
Dubai is an international city, and as such, it can be more relaxed than some of its neighbouring countries. However, it still has its own laws and customs which will be different to what Westerners are used to and that will need to be adopted. It’s not mandatory to wear Islamic dress, but modest clothing should be worn, with shoulders and knees covered in public places to show respect. Alcohol is restricted, but it can be bought from bars and specialist shops, and you can apply for a liquor licence to buy it for yourself.
Arabic is the official language of Dubai, and it’s recommended that expats learn the language to make it easier to live there. However, many locals and residents also speak English.
The crime rate in Dubai is very low, and it’s known as one of the safest cities in the world. For this reason, expats can find they live a comfortable and peaceful life there, as long as they adhere to the laws.
Education in Dubai
There are a number of good quality international schools in Dubai. Around 60 schools teach a British curriculum, including both primary and secondary education. School fees are usually lower than private schools in the UK.
There are also a number of international universities that have a campus in Dubai International Academic City, which is located around 40km southeast of the Dubai city centre.
Healthcare for Expats in Dubai
Dubai has good quality healthcare, with a choice of facilities and treatments. Public healthcare is free to use by Dubai citizens and expat residents who have a health card. However, expats are also legally required to have some level of private healthcare. Sometimes this will be provided by your employer, whilst in other situations, you might have to source your own to ensure you’re properly covered.
Moving to Dubai?
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