Moving to Dubai - Making the Decision

Published: 23 Jun at 2 PM
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Filed: Expat Guide to Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Deciding to live in Dubai was not necessarily an easy decision. Sure I have lived in a hot country before (namely Cyprus) but that was Europe and a lot closer to home. So when the option of Dubai came up, a lot of pro's and con's lists were made and several Skype conferences with my partner, who was living in Germany at the time, followed.

To give you a little background before we launch head first into this Moving to Dubai series, my partner and me have been together for 10 years and for the past three, have been living in Cyprus. My partner moved in 2013 to Germany for a year for work and I remained in Cyprus to continue with the Mediterranean life.

The obvious point to note here is that we have no qualms about moving countries and living abroad. However it would be irresponsible to run head first into another expat adventure before considering all the issues first.

A huge amount of research ensued because living outside of Europe can bring with it a range of challenges and I wanted to be fully clued up on what lay ahead; the process of relocation, the requirements and the lifestyle the country offered.

Google quickly became my best friend; I asked it countless questions over and over again and I have to say it didn't disappoint, churning out answers and helpful websites. Making an overview of our situation at this point helped because I knew better what to research and the questions I should be looking to answer. I wanted to the know:

  • The cost of living in Dubai
  • What documents are needed to move to Dubai
  • Expat friendly areas to live
  • How to cope with the climate
  • What the culture was like
  • How safe is Dubai for women
  • Is Dubai dog friendly
  • How religious holidays like Ramadan affect expats
  • The quality and types of transportation
  • What the average salaries, rents and shopping bills are

During the research stage several negatives popped up such as the extreme heat in the summer months, problems getting used to the culture and the high expenses often associated with life in Dubai. But researching further and knowing a few people in the country already meant I could get to the bottom of any so called negatives to see if they were fact or fiction and make an informed decision about moving.

Expats Blog website was really valuable in seeking out other bloggers who were already living in Dubai and Expat Women ( is a great website giving you lots of tips and advice (not just for women) from expats who have done the move to Dubai already and know all there is to know about the country and the moving process. Working out the cost of living in Dubai is a really important part of the research because the city is notorious for its high prices. Living in Dubai's article has some great advice ( while Numbeo ( gives you the average price of common goods and services, such as a food, transportation, eating out, sports and leisure activities and clothing.

One of my most consulted websites though was Expat Echo Dubai ( which gives you information on everything from moving tips, health, pets and it has a great section called new to Dubai which details legislation, cost of living, education and activities.

Moving to Dubai has been a rather stressful process, but one that seems to have been worth it so far. This is the start of a new chapter in our lives and this article is the first in a series, which will cover all aspects of moving to Dubai, as it happens. I say as it happens, because this is being written on board my flight British Airways flight to Dubai; the rest of the series will reflect on the preparations undertaken in London and highlight every step I take upon landing in Dubai. Wish me luck.

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMimi is a British expat living in United Arab Emirates. Blog description: The life and loves of an expat now living in Dubai, have relocated from Cyprus. From food to fashion, photography, design, art, culture, lifestyle and the weather.
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