Moving to the UAE in 2024: top tips

Moving to the UAE in 2024: top tips

Today, many individuals from different parts of the world are wondering how to relocate to the UAE. The country attracts expats with its high quality of life, safety, low taxes, resort-like climate, and modern real estate, which is much more affordable than in major cities in Europe and the USA.

If you are planning to relocate, it will be useful to learn how to immigrate to the United Arab Emirates, what life and work in the UAE are like in 2024, and what expats should expect in this country. Read our article to find out the whole truth about the UAE.


How to move to the United Arab Emirates

To move to the UAE for permanent residency, you will need a long-term residence visa. You can obtain it on several grounds:

  1. Employment in a local company. In this case, an invitation from the employer is required. The visa is valid for 2 years and can be extended if you continue working.
  2. Studying at a higher education institution. The average tuition fee per academic year at a local university starts at AED 18,000 ($5,000).
  3. Freelancing with a confirmed income of AED 15,000 ($4,100) per month or a pension with the same monthly income level. The duration is 5 years with the possibility of extension.
  4. Doing a business. For example, this option is suitable for the owners of startups in the UAE with a value starting from AED 500,000 ($136,000). The duration is the same.
  5. Purchasing real estate in the UAE. In Dubai, investments in property starting from AED 750,000 ($204,000) allow you to obtain a renewable 2-year visa. In other emirates, you need to invest a minimum of AED 2 million ($544,500), and the visa duration is 5 years.

Moving to the UAE in 2024: top tips

Life in the UAE: an inside look

If you have decided to relocate independently to the UAE, there are several nuances to consider. If you are moving for work, it is necessary to ensure that you have a signed employment contract with the hiring company in advance. If you are searching for a job remotely, ask the potential employer to send you the contract by email, translate it into your native language, and carefully review it.

In addition to the monthly salary, other provisions may be included in the contract.

  1. Medical insurance. The employer is obliged to provide it for you, but for your family members, this point is optional. If insurance does not cover them, obtaining and paying for the policy will be your responsibility. Please keep in mind that not having insurance in the country may result in a penalty.
  2. Payment of round-trip plane tickets once a year.
  3. Payment of housing rent.
  4. Payment of transportation expenses.
  5. Partial payment of your children’s education at school.

Points 2–5 may not be included in the contract, so it is necessary to know in advance that renting a standard 1-bedroom apartment in Dubai will cost at least AED 3700–5500 ($1,000–1,500) per month.

Moving to UAE: pros and cons

Among the main advantages of relocation, the following can be highlighted:

  • Developed and stable economy. The local currency, the dirham, has maintained its exchange rate to the dollar since 1997. In 2022, the country’s GDP reached AED 1.62 trillion ($441 billion), with a growth rate of 7.9%.
  • Favourable tax policy. There is no personal income tax, and the corporate tax is only 9% (for comparison: in the USA – 21%, in the UK – 25%).
  • High income levels. The average salary in 2022 is AED 20,000 ($5,500) per month.
  • Quality healthcare. Local healthcare services are among the best globally. The basic insurance package costs only AED 525–750 ($145–205) per year.
  • The UAE is among the top three safest countries in the Numbeo Safety Index. In the same rating, the USA is ranked 88th, while the UK is ranked 77th.

What are the disadvantages of relocation to the UAE?

  • Prolonged heat. The heat, lasting for more than six months, from April to November, might be challenging for expats. However, the beach season lasts all year round, and there are many beaches, so sun lovers and those who enjoy coastal relaxation may find this a personal advantage.
  • High food prices. For instance, the price per kilogram of beef is AED 48 ($13), a loaf of bread costs AED 6 ($1.6), and a dozen eggs cost AED 9 ($2.5).
  • Paid education. Private school fees average from AED 35,000 ($9,500) per year. However, your children will be studying according to internationally recognised programmes and will be fluent in at least two foreign languages.

Moving to the UAE in 2024: top tips

How do foreign retirees live in the UAE?

What is it like to live in the UAE as a retiree? It is a wonderful country for elderly individuals. Thanks to a safe environment, excellent infrastructure, and high-quality healthcare, many foreign retirees aspire to relocate to the UAE. With the introduction of the new retirement visa scheme, they now have this opportunity. However, it is worth noting that the government does not provide a pension to expats, and to obtain a residence visa, a permanent monthly income of at least AED 15,000 ($4,100) is required, or a bank account or real estate valued at a minimum of AED 1 million ($272,500).

How do expats live in the UAE?

Life for expats in the United Arab Emirates is quite comfortable. It is a good country for families with children, offering a wide range of opportunities for work, education, and leisure. There are numerous international schools and kindergartens with excellent developmental programmes, extensive green parks for outdoor walks, safe beaches, and amusement parks such as Aquaventure, Legoland, Wild Wadi Waterpark, and IMG Worlds of Adventure. In most modern residential complexes in Dubai, there is a children’s pool and a playground, as well as security and surveillance, maintaining a high level of safety. There are projects with private nurseries on-site and the option to use the services of a qualified nanny. So, if you are wondering, “Is it worth living in the UAE and relocating here with your family?” – the answer is a strong yes.

Moving to the UAE in 2024: top tips

Buying an apartment in the UAE

The aggregator website Emirates.Estate will help you find an apartment or house in the UAE and choose the best option from a multitude of offers. Results can be sorted by price, area, location, and other parameters. Start your search for your own apartment in the UAE today.

See also