Dubai is the most established expat destination in the UAE. In recent years, thanks to the vision (and the petrodollars) of its leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Dubai has transformed itself into a cosmopolitan metropolis, with the majority of its population actually being comprised of expatriate workers. There is plenty to see and do in Dubai, and there are fantastic work opportunities available for skilled and qualified expats looking to start a new life in the UAE.
Although many foreigners move to the UAE to save money in the tax-free environment, expats should note that the cost of living in the UAE remains steep, and it’s important to factor this into any contract negotiations, particularly the two likely largest expenses: accommodation and schooling. Aside from these larger bills, groceries, transport, utilities and of course petrol, are quite reasonably priced when compared to other expat destinations.
Things you must know:
1. If you hold an Israeli passport or if your passport has entry/exit stamps from Israel, you will probably not be permitted to enter any UAE country.
2. A permit is necessary for the purchase of alcohol from registered vendors. No alcohol at all is permitted in the Emirate of Sharjah.
3. There is no free state education for those living in the UAE who are not UAE nationals.
4. Many rental accommodation contracts are for at least one year and many landlords will request that the full year’s rent is paid in advance. If you leave the country before the end of the
year the likelihood is that you will not get the money back.
5. If anyone in the UAE requests to keep your passport, e.g. a hotel or your company, you should always say no. They don’t have the authority by law to keep possession of your passport.
6. Internet censorship is very severe in the country