Living in Dubai as an expat – what to expect and how to prepare

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Are you considering starting a new life in Dubai? It is a big change in life. Language, tradition, weather, rules, laws, people – everything is different. What’s it like living in Dubai as an expat, how to prepare, what to expect after a move? Get organized before you relocate to Dubai and before you start exploring it.

What to expect when living in Dubai as an expat? Facts to know before moving

How to stay organized when moving abroad and to prepare for a move? You already know that it will be hard, especially if you have never been to Dubai or to cities with a similar lifestyle, rules, regulations, language, and religion.

  • Living in Dubai as an expat is not cheap. The costs of living are high. Groceries and utility bills can be expensive.
  • You should always follow their rules and regulations, which are very different than the rules in the US or the UK.
  • Friday and Saturday are weekend-days. Friday is also a holy day when all Muslims go to the mosque to pray. That is why the weekend starts on Friday.
  • Practice Arab language before you move to Dubai, and you can improve it there later. It will be easier to adjust if you speak their language.
  • In Dubai, something is always being constructed. Houses, buildings, offices, shopping malls… Cranes are almost everywhere. It is a city in progress.
  • Prepare for the weather, especially if you are coming from colder places.
  • Traffic is crazy, so you’ll need to be patient. The Dubai Metro is not finished yet, so some places are not yet accessible by metro.
  • Tuesday is a night for ladies. Clubs are open every day, but Tuesdays are reserved just for girls.
  • You will meet people from all over the world, so be open to new friendships. Almost 80% of the residents are expats.
  • It is legal to drink alcohol in Dubai, but only here. You cannot drink it in other cities or countries in The Gulf.
  • Do not kiss in public, do not swear, wear modest clothing (not too revealing), do not make rude hand gestures, or you can end up in Dubai jail.
  • You will, perhaps, stay longer than you planned. Many people who come here for one or two years spend even more time here, because of their jobs and because they love it here.

Hire a moving company to help you prepare

Moving overseas is very difficult and stressful. It is impossible to do it by yourself, without a company. Choosing a professional moving company is an important part of the relocation process. You need to ship your belongings and pack moving boxes, and that’s not easy to do by yourself. Also, keep in mind that some items are forbidden in Dubai, so you cannot import them.

How to overcome homesickness when moving to Dubai?

Being alone in a foreign country is not simple at all. How to cope with homesickness and what to do when you are feeling sad? When people are moving abroad, they have a big reason for doing that. Being with their family, getting a new job, a better standard of living, etc. But, nostalgia will be there, no matter what’s the reason for relocating.

By following these tips, you will manage it more easily:

  • Be mentally prepared. You should expect to miss your home, friends, and family. It is important to always remember why you moved to Dubai.
  • Stay in touch with your friends and family. Today, it is simple and free to call people from another country.
  • Say “yes” to new experiences. After work, go out with your new colleagues and have fun. Make new friends and do not sit in the house all day long.
  • Living in Dubai as an expat will provide you with opportunities you did not have before. Use them. Learn about its history, tradition, and religion, explore Dubai and travel.
  • Join an expat community. Many foreigners live in Dubai, so you will meet someone from your country for sure.
  • Exercise, because it will help you with nostalgia and depression. Hire Dubai Personal Trainers and eliminate all your negative energy.

Pros and cons of living in Dubai

To know what to expect, you should know all the pros and cons of living in Dubai. Each city in the world has its advantages and disadvantages, and Dubai is no different.

The pros

  • Dubai is the city with many restaurants, bars, clubs, so you do not have to worry about social life and having fun.
  • The weather is perfect 7-8 months in the year. Sunny and perfect for enjoying life.
  • The education system is great. There are many schools and colleges too.
  • No income taxes.
  • Good job market and high salaries.
  • If you love shopping, you will love living in Dubai.
  • The crime rate is low.
  • All the religions are tolerated, and not only Islam.
  • Cars and gas are VERY cheap.
  • Housing is new, and apartments are available everywhere in the city.

The cons

  • The adjustment period will take longer. Not only because of the cultural shock, but also because you’ll need to get a permit for almost everything. Alcohol, driving, working, etc.
  • Unmarried couples cannot live together in the same house.
  • Summer months are very hot, so you cannot be outside during the day.
  • You will need some time to get used to public toilets.
  • Costs of living are high (education, housing, food).
  • Some movies, websites, and even Skype are all censored. It can be very frustrating.
  • Working hours are long.
  • Dubai is always busy, and people are everywhere. You will have a hard time finding a quiet place.
  • It is easier to find home via word-of-mouth, than thanks to a real estate agent. Once it is time to be getting ready when moving, find a home before you arrive here.

To conclude

Knowing what to expect from living in Dubai as an expat will make the process of adjusting faster. It is a big step to take, but when you have a big reason to move and try a new life in Dubai, it is a lot easier.

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