Skip Navigation

Living in Dubai

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Living in Dubai

Page
  • 1
  • 2

Last Post

1. Posted by moscowmetr (Full Member 267 posts) 11y

Hello There,

I have recently gained the oppotrunity to work and live in Dubai. I know very little about the city outsude the obvious. It is on the ocean near a dessert, has many world class hotels, has alot of money and is growing very quickly.
Living there seems interesting but there are alot of things I need to learn. I understand that UAB is a musliom country, does this mean that if I want to have a drink I need to find a Hilton and sit in a cheesy Hotel bar? Do most everyone speak english, is language barrier a problem? Cost of living, I dont want to find out that my pay is enough to go out on the town once a week. getting around.. do I need a car, how big is the city?

Much thanks for any help in advance

MM

2. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Daniel, found some links and am not sure will they be helpful to you or not

1.http://dubaitourism.co.ae/
2.http://www.uae.org.ae/
3.http://www.uaeinteract.com/news/?cntDisplay=20&ID=20
4.http://www.ameinfo.com/23990.html
5.http://www.emirates.org/
6.http://www.dubairchobbies.org/useful_websites_in_uae.htm
7.http://www.wikinfo.org/wiki.php?title=Dubai
8.http://dmoz.org/Regional/Middle_East/United_Arab_Emirates/Dubai/Society_and_Culture/
9.http://www.welcome-to.com/Dubai/
10.http://www.theemiratesnetwork.com/dir/Society_and_Culture/UAE/Guides/Dubai/
11.http://asiatravel.com/dubainfo.html
13.http://www.scotsindubai.com/
14.http://www.datadubai.com/about.htm

Hope those would help.

Bon voyage,
Lee

3. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 11y

Quoting moscowmetr

Hello There,

I have recently gained the oppotrunity to work and live in Dubai. I know very little about the city outsude the obvious. It is on the ocean near a dessert, has many world class hotels, has alot of money and is growing very quickly.
Living there seems interesting but there are alot of things I need to learn. I understand that UAB is a musliom country, does this mean that if I want to have a drink I need to find a Hilton and sit in a cheesy Hotel bar? Do most everyone speak english, is language barrier a problem? Cost of living, I dont want to find out that my pay is enough to go out on the town once a week. getting around.. do I need a car, how big is the city?

Much thanks for any help in advance

MM

Dubai is very western orientated because, many Europeans/Americans live there, don't bother about drinking a cold beer in a good bar. English is widely spoken. I've been there a few days (waiting for my flight to Delhi), first thing I noticed: small sheik guys in big cars. Everyone in Dubai seems to have a big fancy car. Dubai is really rich, you can't imagine. To me its all glitter and glamour. The airport of Dubai is the most glamorous I have ever seen.

4. Posted by moscowmetr (Full Member 267 posts) 11y

Thanks Ciku and Woutee,

I dunno, after some research doesnt look like the right fit. It seems more new age metropolis then Toronto and kinda of an oil mans version of Las Vegas. Thanks again for the tips though.

Cheers,

D

5. Posted by cikusang (Respected Member 1361 posts) 11y

Dubai is very western orientated because, many Europeans/Americans live there, don't bother about drinking a cold beer in a good bar. English is widely spoken. I've been there a few days (waiting for my flight to Delhi), first thing I noticed: small sheik guys in big cars. Everyone in Dubai seems to have a big fancy car. Dubai is really rich, you can't imagine. To me its all glitter and glamour. The airport of Dubai is the most glamorous I have ever seen.

Wouter, I can't comment much on your statement as I never been there before. But what you've said is exactly as what I heard from those people returning from Dubai. High-cost life, global giant investors are 'utilizing' Dubai to make any out of it: uniquely designed landscape and buildings...and those websites I attached are generally commercialized...so it's up to you to decide, pal.

6. Posted by dencity (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

JUST AN INQUIRY, MAY I KNOW HOW MUCH TO LIVE IN DUBAI?
IS THE Dhs. 7,000 IS AFFORDABLE FOR A MONTHLY SALARY?
RENTALS OF A APARTMENT PLUS FOOD AND TRANSPORTATION.]

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by AndrewS (Budding Member 5 posts) 10y

Hi there, Dencity.

The short answer to your question is, yes, 7,000Dhs/month will support you, but it will not allow many luxuries.

The UAE government requires a minimum salary of 6,000Dhs/month for an expat worker to spnsor their husband/wife to live with them, which indicates they believe 6,000Dhs will support two people.

My situation is that I have accepted a job in Dubai. I've made a three-day trip to the city to scout it out, and I've done a lot of research on the internet. But I'm not there yet.

Nevertheless, I thought I'd share a few of the things I've discovered through talking to people in Dubai, talking to my future employers and through internet searches.

All of this is from the perspective of someone currently living in the UK, so your mileage may vary.

1) Cost of Living
The single biggest cost will be accommodation - and Dubai is pricey in this regard.
For up-to-date prices, check the Flats to Let section of the Gulf News classified adverts. These are available online at: http://www.gulfnews.com/Classifieds/
However, some general principles:
Most flats in Dubai are rented by the year, cash up front. My employer allocates just under half my salary as housing allowance, and is prepared to advance me a year's housing allowance to enable me to get a flat. I don't know whether this is a legal requirement in the UAE, a common business practice, or my employer being very nice to its staff. But check the details of your offer - you may need to pay tens of thousands of dirhams up front to get somewhere to live.
Some flats are rented monthly, but this is not as common and tends to be more expensive over a year.
Prices depend on where in Dubai you're prepared to live, and what facilities you expect. In general, accomodation is cheaper north of the creek.
You can get a studio flat for as little as 21,000Dhs/year (that's about £3,230 a year; £269 a month), but this will be on the outskirts of town, north of the creek. Bear in mind that traffic is very congested in Dubai, and there are only two bridges and one underpass to get over (or under) the Dubai Creek.
My employer is based south of the creek, and I've been advised to make sure I get a flat south of the creek as well. The cheapest place seems to be Bur Dubai - I've seen a studio flat there for as little as 28,000Dhs/year, but rents of between 35,000 - 55,000Dhs seem more common. At the lower end of the price range you should be getting built-in air conditioning, at the upper an apartment block with secure parking, gym and swimming pool. As somene who's grown up in the UK, I regard good air conditioning as a necessity (summer temperatures reach 48 degrees C), so I'm not considering cheaper flats with window-rattler A/C.
Some firms provide accommodation; you may also be able to arrange a house-share - but be warned, if you're not the leaseholder, you won't get a licence to buy alcohol.
Food is generally about the same price as the UK. Transport is generally cheaper - taxis are common and not too pricey. Cars can be rented on a daily basis for less than 65Dhs per day, so my plan is not to buy a car but rely on taxis, buses and company transport for most purposes, and rent a car if I want to go out into the desert.
Cigarettes are much cheaper than the UK - around 6Dhs (c. 90p) a pack. Bottled water is around 1.50Dhs a litre.
If you have your own flat, you'll likely have to pay monthly electricity and water bills to DEWA. The Australian University of Woollagong advises students at its Dubai campus to budget around 250Dhs a month for this.
There are 40 per cent sin taxes on alcohol and pork products, which makes both of them pricier than the UK. I don't know about pork, but to buy alcohol you must either hold a licence to shop in one of the alcohol shops, or drink at a licensed bar. The licensing requirements for bars mean these are generally attached to 4/5 star hotels, so this is a very, very expensive way to drink. To get a licence to buy alcohol in one of the specialised shops you must have a residence visa and be the leaseholder on your flat.

2) Living in Dubai
Dubai is very bureaucratic. There are plenty of forms to fill in for just about everything, and it seems most forms from ex-pats must be accompanied by a passport photo. Make sure you have plenty spare - 15 or 20 passport photos should see you right.
Dubai is an Islamic country, and is run under the Sharia law. But it is very open and tolerant of other religions and ways of life, so long as visitors remain within the law. It's a very safe place to live - it regularly wins awards for tourist safety - but cross the line, and you will feel the full penalty of the law. Minor offences will lead to fines and probably deportation; more serious offences will secure a term in Abu Dhabi Prison followed by deportation. You do NOT want to end up in Abu Dhabi Prison.
Politeness is highly valued. You can expect people you meet to be polite to you, and they will expect you to be polite in return - so be on your best behaviour.
Unmarried couples may not live together in Dubai. You may get away with it if you're discrete, but if you're found out, you will be deported.
Clothing is not regulated, but avoiding showing too much flesh in public is only polite - don't wander around town shirtless, for instance.
Be especially sensitive during Ramadan. Wear clothing that covers your limbs; don't drink, eat, smoke or chew gum in public during daylight. The vast majority of the population is fasting at this time, so show them some respect. Even as a non-Muslim, you will be welcome at Iftar (fast-breaking) feasts after sundown, and these events are supposed to be great fun. This year, Ramadan is nearly over at the time of writing, so I'll have just under 11 months to prepare for the next one.

3) Stuff I'm looking forward to
So long as you play by the rules, Dubai is a very friendly and tolerant city. Show respect, and you will receive respect. It's incredibly multi-cultural and very high-tech.
Driving down Sheikh Zayed Road, I was reminded of the city-scapes from the movie Blade Runner. The architecture is truly awesome.
In my spare time I hope to learn Arabic, and learn as much as I can about Arab culture.
On the whole, I'm very excited about the prospect of living in the city.

I hope this has been of help to anyone else thinking of working there.

9. Posted by woohoo (First Time Poster 1 posts) 10y

Does anyone know abt the law in Dubai that prohibits cohabitation between a male and a female unless they are married? Does this also apply to non-muslim? I'd be relocating to Dubai in a month's time and would like to share an apartment with my bf there. What if a tenant (who is a male) wants to sublet his apartment to a female? Is that also illegal?

10. Posted by kareensore (Budding Member 2 posts) 10y

Hi all
I lived in Dubai for the last two years.

It is indeed a great place - it feels good to be part of all that expansion and development.

That said, I also decided to leave for that same reason - the dust, the cranes, the contruction sites, the traffic made me tired.
I was also tired of the 6-day work week

Dubai is quite expensive. You can live cheaply - but there are SO many temptations that sooner or later you will also be part of it. I am not a big spender myself... at least I was not before I lived there... but all the luxury around you makes you want to have it too! :-)

I lived on Dhs11000/month - which is average. I had a two bedroom apt in Satwa (Dhs38000/yr)- which is far from an 'elite' area (it's also called "little india"), I drove a new car... and went out on ladies night ;-)
Food cost is comparable to North American/European standard; fuel is obviously cheap ; bars&nightclubs are -yes in hotels- but of all kinds.

In terms of values & religion - everyone is very open and tolerant... but obviously you have to be VERY respectful of Islam principles. That said, after a while, they become common sense to you too and I must say that I miss the prayer calls (5 per day!).

Beautiful beaches, tons of activities, convenient to travel pretty much anywhere in the world.

I had a great time in Dubai. I made many friends and miss them all very much. I hope to go back someday... but not to live.