Dubai is an attractive location for expats from all over the world. According to Global Media Insights, the expats in Dubai account for 88.52% of its population, which is a huge ratio for any country.
Most of the people relocate to Dubai for work opportunities. There is a large supply of attractive jobs, relatively high salaries, low taxes, and better standards of living. But what you will notice is that most of the expats are individuals. They do not relocate to Dubai with their families, which leaves one wondering, “is Dubai family-friendly?”
So is Dubai good for families? Well, who better to ask than someone who’s been living in Dubai with their family for over 8 years now? I’m a mother of two teenagers who were only 6 and 8 years old when we moved to Dubai. I’ve listed down some of the pros and cons of living in Dubai so you can make up your mind about whether or not you should relocate.
Let’s dive right in!
Pros and Cons of Living in Dubai
1. No Income Tax and High Wages
One of the main reasons why professionals relocate to Dubai is that it does not levy any income tax on the income generated in Dubai. Although it does impose tax on alcohol, rental accommodations and VAT, there is absolutely no tax levied on income.
So professionals can keep 100% of their income which is quite a bit higher when compared to other parts of the world. The nation is considered as a high-paid expat haven among the rest of the world. This might be changing a bit now but it is still relatively attractive for people looking to move overseas.
2. New Housing and Short-Term Leasing
Most of the expats in Dubai rent properties. There are many popular areas where expats choose to live, including Deira, which is more of a traditional area, and Dubai Marina, which is a safe haven for expats. There are also many other areas with high-rise apartments and villas available for residential accommodation. Arabian Ranches, Emirates Hills and Damac Hills, just to name a few.
Most of the housing in Dubai is newly built. So you can expect state-of-the-art infrastructure, excellent facilities, newer building materials, and minimal maintenance costs. There is a lot to choose from, some rental accommodations come furnished and will be serviced as a part of your rental agreement.
What’s more, many of the rental accommodations are also available on short-term leases. So you can live in an apartment for a few months on a short lease and decide if it works for your family. If it doesn’t, you can easily move out to another place with no strings attached.
3. High Standard of Living
Living in Dubai, you will get to enjoy a lot of indoor and outdoor activities. The standard of living in Dubai is above par and the crime rate is very low. It has some of the best shopping malls in the world with some tax-free shops. The beaches are very clean and scenic.
There are many national and international restaurants. You will find gyms and swimming pools in almost every apartment building. You can get around the city in one of the most advanced transportation systems in the world. So you can expect a really good quality of life in Dubai.
4. Great Education
Dubai is especially a great place to live for families since its educational standards are incredibly high. Dubai has around 222 international schools with a mix of both American British and other educational systems. Moreover, Dubai has some of the most top-rated universities in the world including the American University in Dubai and some campuses of the world-famous universities.
1. The Intense ‘Dubai Heat’
If you are planning on moving to Dubai from a cold country, you should prepare yourself for the intense ‘Dubai heat’. You will get to experience extremely hot summers in Dubai from June through September.
The average temperature often rises above 40 °C. So while you may be excited to relocate to a sunny nation after spending more than half of your life in a cold country, you will not appreciate the sun after just a few days. It will be hard to move around and you will need to get used to staying in air-conditioned environments.
2. Expensive Rental Accommodation
If you are relocating to Dubai from a regional area in your country, you will find the rents very expensive. The rent for studio apartments is not much. But if you are moving with your family, you will have to rent an apartment or villas of at least 2-3 bedrooms.
The average rent for a 3-bedroom apartment in the City Centre in Dubai is USD 2,940.41 monthly Whereas the average rent for a 3-bedroom apartment outside of the Centre is USD 2,039.58 monthly. So while the standard of living is good in Dubai, it’s also pretty expensive.
3. Traffic Congestion
You may not expect traffic congestion in Dubai but sometimes, the traffic can be terrible. The traffic in Dubai is really bad during evening rush hours since most of the people in Dubai leave their homes during the evenings due to intense heat in the daytime. So you can expect slow traffic on the roads during rush hour.
Is Dubai good for families? Yes. But there are also some downsides of living in Dubai. So the ultimate decision of living in Dubai totally depends on you. But let me tell you one thing: you should definitely spend a few months with your family here before you relocate entirely.