Top10 Things to Know About Living in Dubai

By: Mitch Williams

I am fortunate to be living in Dubai and able to experience all that it has to offer from the sights, sounds to the diverse cultures that move through the city daily. It’s truly amazing to see how a city has evolved from the desert and now showcases the best that the world has to offer.

When living in Dubai there are key things one should know when considering to move here:

1.     Transport – Dubai has a plethora of taxi’s available to you on ever corner, mall and on a busy night they are a call away. One tip I can share with you is that road names are there but no one knows them, if you want to get around direct your driver to the building name or the nearest landmark store and you will arrive at your destination without an issue.

2.     Online Services – Tying in with the lifestyle that Dubai offers of convenience there is either an app or website available 24 hours a day for you to order anything that your heart may desire, from taxi’s to groceries to a post party maid cleaning service so you don’t have to face the aftermath of entertaining the next morning.

3.     Its all about respect – Dubai is a place filled with many people from many different backgrounds, beliefs and heritages. Living here you learn that it’s all about respect, respect for people, their property and for what they do. It’s an inspiration to see how people live in harmony amongst such diversity.  Also there are rules and regulations, don’t go against them, they are there for a reason and will be enforced, go about your normal day and you will not have any issues.

4.     Property – Looking for a place to live in Dubai is a tricky one because you have to pay your rent upfront for the year, which means its either the full amount, or 2-4 post dated cheques to cover the expense. When coming here chat to your company about helping you pay for the initial rental (and you pay the company back monthly) and use a rental agent. The agents know the areas, are able to facilitate all the paperwork and give you piece of mind when signing a contract for such a long period. 

5.     Banking – Once your bank account is set up and running, beware there is no credit control in place as yet and the banks will offer you exorbitant amounts of credit. You are living in Dubai earning a tax-free salary; don’t get sucked into the allure of credit to sustain a lavish lifestyle.

6.     Work – Dubai is an engine, it’s always on and running at full speed, and when you move here you will see how people work, not only do they work hard but also they work long hours. This is not because there is a lack of resources but because of the work ethic that comes with a city that thrives on being connected to the rest of the world across many time zones.

7.     Processes – While the city prides itself on being so forward in all aspects, official processes for visa’s, banking, etc. do take some time and rely heavily on having plenty supporting documentation. Don’t try and rush the process follow the guidelines and submit all the necessary documentation and the application will go through in time.

8.     Driving – If you love driving, as I do, you are probably going to want to get a car of your own. There are two options here, buy a car through your financial institution or do a long-term rental. The rental option is the best it allows you to have a vehicle of your own but you do not have to worry about maintenance and insurance on the vehicle for the period of your lease, also the headache of having to sell a car is no longer there if you want to leave as you just hand the car back to the company.  

9.     You will sweat – And here I am not kidding, when you think of Dubai you know it’s going to be hot but summer is a scorcher and the humidity makes it even worse. Everything is air-conditioned, even the bus stops but it is still extremely hot and whether you think its gross you will sweat. Just drink lots of water and if you plan well enough take your vacation during the summer months. The rest of the year the weather is amazing bordering on 22 degrees, which is chilly for this city.

10.    Travel – Moving to Dubai you have the world at your doorstep, with most destinations being a couple hours away and airlines such as Fly Dubai you have no excuse to stay in Dubai for the weekend. Get out and go explore!

There are a thousand little tips and tricks that you learn as you live here but these are the ones that I know would have prepared me for this exciting journey.

Dubai is home for me, only a couple months in and I fall in love with it again each day, if you're ever in town let me know would be great to show you around!

I have gotta run now and explore, until next time peeps… ;)

About the author

Expat Blog ListingMitch Williams is a South African expat living in United Arab Emirates. Blog description: Living each day with passion! (by MitchGWilliams) #MitchDoesDubai
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Contest Comments » There are 14 comments

Shayna Williams wrote 10 years ago:

Wow! I found this blog to be very informative and honest. I love that Mitch pointed out the good and the bad of Dubai. Definately helps to have this information online when planning a trip overseas especially from someone who came from the country in which I live... South Africa! Thanks Mitch and good luck!

Karen Williams wrote 10 years ago:

After reading the description of Dubai written with such passion by Mitch it has inspired me to start planning a trip to see this amazing place.

Karen Williams wrote 10 years ago:

After reading the description of Dubai written with such passion by Mitch it has inspired me to start planning a trip to see this amazing place.

Karen Williams wrote 10 years ago:

After reading the description of Dubai written with such passion by Mitch it has inspired me to start planning a trip to see this amazing place.

Mitchell Williams wrote 10 years ago:

Thank you for your comment Karen, can't wait to show you what Dubai has to offer.

Sonja Raath wrote 10 years ago:

An awesome, informative read. I can't wait to visit the beautiful city and will keep Mitch's comments close on hand when I arrive.

Robby wrote 10 years ago:

Very helpful article. This will go straight to a friend who's thinking of moving to Dubai.

Adam wrote 10 years ago:

With reading all the everything Mitch has said about Dubai it makes me want to travel and see the sites and sounds of Dubai. I'm greatful with everything Mitch has said about Dubai very informative Thank you

Dez Whitehead wrote 10 years ago:

Great pointers.. Even as a future tourist I can find many handy tips to think about. Love how the bus-stops have Aircon.

GERRARD wrote 10 years ago:

It was a very good read. Hope I can find it useful in the near future. Thanks for the cool tips Mitch :)

Jaco Du Plessis wrote 10 years ago:

I love this Dubai Bio! Well written and informative! Great job Mitch!!

Yasmin wrote 10 years ago:

I think that pretty much covers Dubai!How long have you been here for? You seem like a natural!

Anfal wrote 10 years ago:

Although i have been living here in Dubai for one year till now, yet when i read your blog i had a second thought; well i guess i do not know Dubai yet! Thanks !

Metsi Letlala wrote 10 years ago:

Thanks for the fantastic tips!! Gives people a mini template of what to consider!

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