Dubai is formed on Islamic traditions and it is extremely important to respect and behave suitably as Emirati’s are protective of their culture and traditions. Dubai is know for its entertainment and nightlife which attracts people from all over the world, it still forbids nationals who practice Islam to indulge therefore out of respect often these events are located in tourist areas. Alcohol is not forbidden in Dubai so long as it is confined within a hotel, bar or nightclub and resident’s are free to drink in their home so long as they have an alcohol licence. It is illegal to drink on the streets as nationals may find it offensive. Emirati’s are known for their warm hospitality and generosity.  Emirati’s dress in traditional clothing such as dishdash or khandura (a long white shirt dress) for the men and abaya (a long black cloak) by the women. Expats and visitors are advised to dress appropriately when in the city or historical sites. The most religious time of the year is the fast of Ramadan which lasts for one month. This is when Muslims fast during daylight hours. You must be aware that eating, drinking and smoking in public during the day is not permitted, however most restaurants will black out their windows to allow people to consume. The official language is Arabic, however most people communicate in English due to there being so many different nationalities. 


The lifestyle in Dubai is limitless from theme parks, private beach clubs, the worlds largest and most extravagant shopping malls, cinema complexes, indoor snowboarding and skiing, an abundance of restaurants, incredible music festivals, food markets, beautiful and quirky gardens, aquariums, staycations on one of the world islands (small island constructed in the shape of the world map) and of course the vibrant nightlife hosting the worlds most renowned artists and DJ’s including David Guetta, Katy Perry, Nicky Minaj, Chris Brown, Drake, Avicci at famous clubs such as White Dubai, Cavalli Club, Cirque Le Soir, VIP room, Armani and Blue Marlin. Thursday night marks the start of the weekend as the working week is Sunday- Thursday. Be aware the legal drinking age is 21 years of age. There really is something to suit everyone – Dubai has it all.


You will receive a salary which is paid monthly and tax free, this is completely dependent on your experience and the opportunity. You will receive commission which is also tax free and most companies pay quarterly. Your base salary is broken down into allowances such as housing and transportation allowance, although it is all a cash amount. You will receive private medical cover as a standard. Dependent on the company whether you receive flights and 2 weeks’ accommodation upon arrival – this is not compulsory and will not be given as a standard.

Set up costs on arrival / Accommodation costs

The initial set up will be the largest expense and one to plan for and ensure you have enough savings to set yourself up.

There are 2 ways in which to do this;

Options 1; House/ Apartment share – this is the most popular when first making a move to Dubai without committing to a 12month contract before passing your 6month probation period. These are the easiest to get on a monthly payment basis. For this you will need to pay your first months rent upfront plus a security deposit which will be the monthly rental amount. Rental costs vary dependent on location e.g prime location anywhere from 3,000 AED per month – 7,000 AED per month on average for a room rental which will include; A cleaner, TV cable, wifi, electric and water bills, 24hour security and usually an onsite gym & swimming pool. An apartment/ studio average 6,000 AED – 10,000 AED per month – more difficult to secure on a monthly payment and tend to require quarterly, half yearly or annual upfront payment.

Option 2; House/ Villa/ Apartment rental – Required to pay upfront likely 12 months (possible to negotiate 6 months or a quarter paid upfront.) Furnished & unfurnished available 120,000 AED + per year plus bills (TV, cable, Electricity, water & Wifi. Required to pay; first quarter, 6 months or 12 months upfront (dependent on what is accepted) E.g quarterly 30,000 AED upfront plus 5% agency fee = 6,000 AED, deposit for DEWA (Electricity & water) = 4,000 AED (average). Total cost upfront on an example house price of 120,000 AED = 40,000 AED plus cost of furnishings.

Take a look on

General cost of living  

Compare costs to your current location on; Food, transport, personal care, entertainment;

Education costs

Dependent on school year and school choice – international schooling starting from Nursery 28,000 AED per year paid per term.

Important documents needed

14-16 passport photos on a WHITE background – needed for visas, emirates ID, driving license.

MUST have highest level of education original certificate attested – cost around £180 and required for visa application. Need attesting before moving over.

Opening bank account documents required; emirates ID receipt, passport copy, visa copy & salary letter from employer.