Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in Dubai
Living in the UAE is a unique experience that offers a modern and dynamic lifestyle in one of the most prosperous countries on the planet. Today, Dubai is a city located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, known for its magnificent architecture, economic opportunities, and exciting lifestyle. Thanks to the government's sound policies, Dubai attracts people from all over the world and provides its citizens with a luxurious life. However, let's try to understand not only the advantages but also the disadvantages of living in Dubai.
Dubai has many advantages. They may vary depending on the purpose of your relocation to the UAE, but the main advantages are the same for entrepreneurs, employees, and seekers of elite real estate - in general, for all categories of expatriates.
1. Economic growth and job opportunities
Dubai is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. There are numerous job and business opportunities in various sectors, including finance, tourism, real estate, and trade. Talented artists, analysts, IT specialists, and designers are always welcome in Dubai.
2. High standard of living
Dubai offers a high level of comfort and quality of life. The city is known for its luxurious hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, sports facilities, and entertainment venues.
3. Tax benefits
One of the main advantages of living in Dubai is the absence of personal income tax and profit tax for most business sectors. This makes the city attractive for entrepreneurs and employees.
4. International community
Dubai is a culturally diverse city that attracts people from all over the world. You can meet people of different nationalities and enjoy a variety of cultural events and cuisines. The country, in general, remains neutral in international conflicts, so there have been no changes for Russians in terms of obtaining a residence permit in the past year. People are friendly here, and insulting someone based on nationality can result in a fine. Moreover, local residents adore children and treat them like princes and princesses.
5. Easy to get a residency visa
The UAE has introduced residency and investor visas that allow business owners who have established a company in the UAE, employees of Dubai-based companies, and owners of expensive real estate to live in Dubai for 2 or 3 years. Entrepreneurs and property owners worth more than 1 million dirhams can independently obtain a visa. For employees, the company's management takes care of the visa process. Resident and investor visas do not require any special documents and can be obtained within a couple of weeks.
Dubai is known for its high level of safety. The city strictly adheres to the laws, has low crime rates, and ensures the proper protection of rights and freedoms of its citizens. The city is patrolled by many police officers, so you can walk around at any time of the day.
7. Excellent infrastructure
There is plenty to do in this city. You can visit well-maintained public beaches for free, stroll in parks, explore landmarks, have fun in entertainment centers, go to premieres at cinemas and theaters, engage in sports, visit shopping centers, and beauty salons. There is a great number of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs here. These establishments offer diverse delicious cuisine, a pleasant atmosphere, and interesting programs. Many restaurants and bars attract customers with live music and themed parties. In general, you won't get bored here.
8. Affordable prices for goods and services
Dubai is a treasure trove for shopping enthusiasts. Here, you can find many items and services at low prices, including clothing, fur products, leather goods, cars, taxi services, domestic help, computers, and household appliances. Residents claim that food products are abundant both in stores and on the markets as well, which is perfect for home cooking enthusiasts. Car owners will be delighted with the cost of fuel, which is much cheaper here than in Russia.
9. Well-developed public transport
Despite the rapid development of the United Arab Emirates in all areas, public transportation in most emirates is still not well-established. Dubai is the only city in the UAE that boasts a metro system and developed ground transportation. You will be pleasantly surprised by the comfortable train cars and cleanliness in the metro. The fare depends on the distance but generally does not exceed $2. The city streets are filled with numerous new buses used by both locals and residents. The bus routes are well-planned, and the bus stops are equipped with air conditioning.
10. No need to learn complex Arabic language
Fortunately for expatriates, it is possible to live and work in Dubai with a good knowledge of the English language. Every single local resident speaks English. Documentation, road signs, café menus, and many other things are often available in both languages. However, for a comfortable stay, it is still necessary to improve English language skills (both oral and written) to a high level. In private schools, children can learn not only English but also Arabic, as it is a compulsory subject.
11. Convenient location
Dubai is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it easy for expatriates from different countries to visit their families and travel during well-deserved vacations. Dubai has two international airports that receive and send aircraft to all major cities worldwide.
Despite its high standard of living, Dubai also has some drawbacks.
1. Hot Climate
Dubai is located in a desert area and is known for its hot climate. In summer, temperatures can reach up to 45-50 degrees Celsius, which may not be appealing to everyone. However, modern air conditioning systems are prevalent indoors, and many residents cool off in restaurants, grocery stores, or shopping malls during hot days. The temperature during the rest of the year does not exceed 25°C. Thanks to the warm climate, you can fully enjoy the sea air even during the winter. It's worth noting that there is a high level of dust in the air, which may cause breathing problems if you are sensitive to allergens.
2. Exotic Traditions and Legislation
Dubai follows Sharia law, which includes capital punishment for serious offenses according to Islamic beliefs. Being a foreigner does not give you the right to violate local laws, and ignorance of these laws does not exempt you from responsibility.
Prohibitions to be aware of:
— Swearing and displaying rude gestures are prohibited.
— Wearing swimwear in public places is not allowed, except at the beaches.
— Public displays of affection such as kissing and hugging can result in imprisonment.
— Taking photographs of local residents without their consent, as well as interacting with local women and photographing them, are prohibited.
— Homosexual relationships are prohibited.
— Gambling is illegal.
— Alcoholic beverages can only be consumed in bars, restaurants, or hotels. It is forbidden to transport alcohol from one Emirate to another, and offering alcoholic drinks to local residents is also prohibited.
— During Ramadan (the month of Muslim fasting in spring), it is required not to eat or drink in public, and many establishments may be closed. Emiratis do not impose their traditions on expatriates but expect respect for them.
3. Traffic and Communication
Dubai suffers from heavy traffic, especially during peak hours. Even those who use public transportation experience traffic congestion. Moreover, most drivers in Dubai do not adhere strictly to traffic rules. Speeding, changing lanes without signaling, carrying children on the driver's lap, and other violations are not uncommon. Despite the developed infrastructure, communication and internet connections can be unstable in some areas.
Dubai is not a calm and quiet city with a serene atmosphere. There is a high level of noise, primarily caused by:
— Continuous construction sites.
— Calls to prayer, which are recited from mosques five times a day.
— Numerous travelers during the high tourist season who enjoy strolling until the early morning.
— Constant streams of cars.
5. Inability to Obtain Citizenship
The validity period of a resident visa is 2 to 3 years. After that, you can renew it if there are reasons for doing so (owning expensive real estate, a business, or being employed). The UAE is a closed country, and even long-term residence in Dubai does not grant you citizenship. Even children born to expatriates in Dubai do not become Emirati citizens.
6. High Cost of Living
Living in Dubai can be expensive. Real estate, housing rentals, education, and healthcare often come at a significant cost. Medical services in Dubai are of the highest quality, but they are free only for UAE citizens. Non-residents can obtain paid insurance that covers expenses for visiting major specialists and the most in-demand medical services. The cost of education in Arabic universities is more accessible compared to international universities. Additionally, education in the latter generally tends to be more expensive than in other countries.
It should be noted that the advantages of living in Dubai clearly outweigh its disadvantages. You can personally experience this by choosing this vibrant and developed region of the United Arab Emirates as your place of living.