Dubai is one of those places you either love or hate. It’s a place that you really need to understand before visiting or moving here, and it’s a place that really divides people for a number of reasons. A lot of people have weird assumptions about Dubai life and most of it is ridiculous or over-exaggerated thanks to the million and one media stories that circulate every year.
Since living in Dubai we have had a crazy amount of questions and I thought I would write this blog to address the main questions we always get asked.
1. Are women allowed to drive?
I’m still shocked people ask this – yes women can drive on the same roads men drive on! Women are treated with a lot of respect here and treated as equals or more special if anything!
2. Is everything in Dubai man made?
No! Dubai existed long before all the tourism and man made islands came into place. There are still areas where you can go to to experience the more traditional side to Dubai – check out our blog post here.
3. Does everyone get a free house with their job?
No but every job offer includes different packages which are negotiable, so some may offer free accommodation or housing allowance. It really does depend on the job you do, salary and what you negotiate with the company. Check our blog post on employment here.
4. Are salaries really tax free?
Yes they really are. However, saying this it doesn’t always mean you will save a lot as things are quite expensive here. Also tax will be introduced on certain items (not income tax) soon so that will definitely affect cost of living in some way! Check our blog on how to save in Dubai here.
5. Do you have to speak Arabic to live in Dubai?
No if anything I’ve learnt more ways to speak English on different levels than Arabic! English is the main business language here but I would say it will help if you know Arabic, especially if you need to speak to people in government jobs who tend to be Emirati.
6. Is it easy to get a job in Dubai?
This is a really difficult question to answer – some people walk into their ideal job within weeks, however majority of people put in a lot of hard work and dedication in doing applications and attending interviews to bag that perfect job. Ayaan worked two random jobs before getting his ideal job two months ago so I would say it is easy to get A job here but it might not always be your perfect job first time round.
Also due to the influx of expats coming into Dubai, a lot of companies are increasing the minimum qualification requirement to degrees or even masters!
7. Is healthcare expensive?
Yes it is but fortunately it’s become law that all sponsors are responsible for ensuring their dependents are covered by some kind of medical plan. So if you get a job your company will be your sponsor and arrange your medical insurance, if you’re married your husband/wife is your sponsor and will be supported in getting you covered etc. Just be sure to confirm what type of medical package you have so you know how much cover you have.
8. Can I wear shorts or dresses in Dubai?
Yes you can. You’ll notice Dubai is very lenient in terms of what you can wear, however there are some rules that generally apply to what you wear in public places and that usually includes not having your assets out in public or wearing the bikini you wore to the pool to the shopping mall lol. We have covered some of the myths about clothing in Dubai here.
9. Do you ever see locals or is it all expats?
Majority of the people you interact with are mainly expats, however you will most definitely meet locals here. Emirati people are so heartwarming and welcoming and they’re not hermits lol they will go to the same places that expats go – I would be shocked if anyone lives in Dubai and hasn’t seen a local! Also go to Umm Suqeim and Jumeirah areas and you are bound to see locals in their luxurious cars!
10. Is Dubai worth the move?
Hell yeah!!! We’ve learnt so much over the last year or so and been through a crazy amount of ups and downs but it is so worth it. I love the fact you can be in a place where the sun is almost always shining, there are a million and one things you can do here, there is something for everyone and it’s a tourist hot spot so you end up seeing friends and family quite a bit!
Phew! Those are the main questions we get asked and there are a lot more but if you want to know more about anything specific feel free to message us here and we’ll get back to you!