Moving to Dubai ?


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Why Dubai?  (An expats look at why moving / relocating to Dubai is a good idea)

What do you look for while moving to a new country?

A neat and clean living space, fairly good work environment, good education for your children, affordable lifestyle, easy commuting,  good health care, easy access to home country and in most cases savings for the future.  Well, Dubai as a place to live and work, offers this and much more.

Like in any large metropolitan city, there are many facets to this city as well, however, living here will be a wonderful experience if you keep an open mind and are sensitive to the culture and laws of the region.

Living spaces 

If you imagine Dubai to be a sand covered  boring desert, you cannot be more mistaken. It is a beautifully developed, well maintained, neat and clean city. Dubai rent is differ  according to housing budget ,location , and facility .

Popular residential Areas in  Dubai  -Al Badia/ Festival City,,Al Barari Villas, Al Barsha, Al Quoz,Al Safa,Arabian Ranches,Bur Dubai ,Business Bay,Deira,DIFC,Discovery Gardens,Downtown Dubai , Dubai Marina ,Dubai Silicon Oasis ,Dubai Sports City ,Emirates Hills ,Garhoud ,Green Community ,International City ,Jebel Ali ,JLT,Jumeirah ,JBR ,Jumeirah Heights ,Jumeirah Islands ,Jumeirah Park ,JVC ,JVT ,Layan ,Mirdif ,Motor City,Palm Jumeirah ,Remraam ,Ritaj DIP ,Satwa ,Sheikh Zayed Road ,Tecom,The Greens ,The Lakes ,The Meadows ,The Springs,The Villa ,Umm Suqeim,Victory Heights.

Whether you want to take a quick lunch break outside or have a family weekend, the choices are many, there are small, cute green spaces as well as vast spaces big enough that you will need a car to cover.  In fact road development plans include landscaping as well.

Finance

Currency abbreviation for the United Arab Emirates dirham is AED. Unofficial abbreviations include DHS, DH or Dhs.

There is no income tax in Dubai; a major attraction for expatriates.  What you earn is yours to keep or spend.  You get to enjoy the various attractions offered by the city or/and  make your future secure. You will be able to live at a level of comfort and  afford luxury that you may not  enjoy at home.

Business  and Job Opportunities

Business -: Given its location, Dubai is easily accessible to many of the world’s major business destinations in Europe, Africa and Asia.  State of the art infrastructure and favorable government policies have made Dubai ‘the place’ for business.  The economy is advancing rapidly and the need for supporting processes is rising.  Resulting in a great opportunity for professionals and entrepreneurs  looking to set up  businesses in Dubai.  Numerous free zones for various industries have been set up in an attempt to bring in new investments.

Job -: You  can easily find a job through Newspapers,websites and social media . Most employers offer a decent salary package that includes, at the least, health insurance, yearly vacation of thirty days and  airline tickets (once a year) to fly to your home country.

Transportation

Dubai  has a great infrastructure and good connectivity with the other  Emirates. The Dubai Metro is the world’s longest fully automated metro network 75km, and the  bus service is very good.  Carpooling is quite common among expats in Dubai.  And there are always the cab services to fall back on.  Great  place to own a car, luxury SUVs or used cars.  Awesome roads and cheap petrol.  But keep in mind the roads are used by people from a wide range of nations with an even wider range of bad road habits.

Lifestyle

Shopping: When in Dubai, you are in shopping heaven. What ever your pocket size, the city has a variety of treats for you.  Innumerable malls, including one the worlds largest, in addition to  supermarkets, shops.  Many stores offer an international experience from food to furnishing, clothes, cosmetics, you name it and most likely its there. You will find almost all the products that you are familiar with in your home country.  For budget shoppers, there are smaller outlets.  Where on one hand you find exclusive designer names like Armani and Dior, on the other it is also home to Dragon Mart, a mall in the shape of a dragon with nearly 4000 shops offering a variety of inexpensive Chinese products. Wander through the traditional souq, Diera market (there is even a modern air conditioned version- Souq Madinat Jumeirah) or enjoy the modern Mall of Emirates.

The Dubai Shopping Festival is a celebration of shopping, with entertainment thrown in for good measure.  A month long tourist event, it attracts millions of people to Dubai.  Other significant events like the Dubai Summer Surprise, Dubai Desert Classic,  Dubai Tennis Championships, Dubai Art Fair, Festival of Taste, Dubai International Film Festival  to keep the city alive throughout the year.

Food: Along with the traditional Arab fare, Dubai is a melting pot of global cuisine.  From gourmet to street food, to nearly all the major F&B chains like McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, KFC, Burger King, Drive thru outlets to restaurant offering various cuisines like Arabic, Italian, Chinese, Lebanese, Mughlai, Thai, Continental and Indian or even English Fish and Chips, you will find numerous options to indulge and experiment.  All the malls have food courts offering a wide choice.

Dress: Dubai is  quite modern compared to other parts of the Middle East.  It is not mandatory for women to wear the traditional Arab burqa.  Most ladies living here  can be seen in modern outfits like jeans, skirts,  T-shirts or even dresses.  Women are respected and laws are strict.

Religion: UAE is a Muslim nation.  However the government is quite tolerant to other religions.  You will find quite a few churches here like St Mary’s and Holy Trinity in Oudh Metha and Hindu temple in Bur Dubai.  Just don’t go about trying to spread any religious ideas.

Culture: Though traditionally the city follows the Arab culture, Dubai, now is totally cosmopolitan.  It is a cauldron of people of various ethnicities, who have brought with them their culture.  Expats form a major portion of the population and so you get a truly international experience here.  Interacting with such a diverse range of people is sure to be an enriching experience.  Each culture unique, but seamlessly integrated into the society.

Entertainment

Tourist attractions: Right from the tallest building in the world Burj Khalifa, to desert safaris, water parks, beaches, shopping centers like Mall of Emirates, Dubai Mall, the worlds largest indoor ski resort, historical homes like Bastakia (Old Dubai), museums Dubai Museum, even the breathtaking Dubai Aquarium, the options are varied and numerous. Nature, art or architecture, modern or traditional, it’s all there!

There are a lot of well manicured, beautifully designed green spaces throughout the city like the Safa Park, Al Barsha, Creek Park, Za’abeel Park and many more.

Nightlife: Dubai has a vibrant nightlife and options include clubs, lounges,  high-end restaurants, like renowned 360º bar and club perched on the rooftop terrace at the end of Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Marina walkway or party on Nasimi Beach, an artificial beach set 7km out to sea and many more.  Just don’t drink and drive, that is a strict no-no.

 Cinemas: If you are a movie buff,  there are numerous multiplexes in Dubai showing latest Hollywood/Asian flicks.  Just grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy.

Alcohol: Non-Muslim residents can buy alcohol in Dubai ,provided they should have an alcohol license to purchase alcohol from a store or have alcohol in your home. however, you can go to  club, hotel or restaurant for  some drinks. Narcotics on the other hand, is sure to land you in big trouble.

Healthcare

Expats can buy their own health insurance, and apply for a health card from the Health Ministry, which gives access to the state system in an emergency. Private healthcare and insurance facilities are also available.  From critical care to cosmetic procedures you can get it all here.  The government is working towards making Dubai a Healthcare tourism hub, so the options are many.  From international biggies to hospitals under the Dubai Health Authority there is a place to go for any health issue.  DHCC, Dubai Health Care City is a free trade zone offering a wide range of services in healthcare, medical education and research, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and related processes.  So don’t worry about falling sick, you will be well taken care of.

Education

For your child’s schooling, like everything else in Dubai, you have numerous options.

Nursery Schools & Kindergartens ,Schools, Colleges & Boarding School .There are more than 150 schools offering varied curriculum- Australian , British, Indian, American, UAE, Iranian, French, Filipino, Pakistani, SABIS, IAT, German, Russian, Japanese. Check school reviews.

Apart from regular schooling there are extra curriculum activity institutes ( after school activities)  like Art & Craft , Music ,Dance, ballet, karate, Sports , swimming lessons, language classes,  or summer camps for kids .

If you are looking for university education/ higher studies, there are quite a large number of accredited International universities operating in Dubai.  Many are located at Dubai International Academic City and many more at Dubai Knowledge Village, which again is a free trade zone.British Council in UAE helps to write international exams like   IGCSE/International GCSE and school exams  & Professional and university exams .

Traditionally a nomadic settlement and later a fishing and pearl diving centre, the people of Dubai have with farsightedness and flair turned it into a modern wonderland of glitz, glamour, extravagance and luxury, but still rooted in tradition.  Without being solely dependent on oil, they have transformed Dubai into a hub for business and tourism.  As I mentioned at the beginning, for a person who has sensitivity and respect for other cultures and laws, Dubai is an opportunity to explore and enjoy.

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