Expat Guide: How to Effectively Manage Cost of Living in Dubai


This is a repost of the article of the same name on www.dubaiexpatblog.com

Dream of having a high-paying job in a foreign country is in the eyes of every second working professional or a job aspirant. However, with all the administrational issues and cultural differences, living in an unknown land can be a hard nut to crack. So, if you actually want to escape the expat bubble, you as an expat should have a better understanding about managing life at a new place.

In the recent times, Dubai has emerged as one of the top employment destinations for expatriates from different parts of the world. If you somehow throw a glance at the city, you will find everything; skyscrapers, well-laid roads, shops, hotels and much more. Amongst intangible entities, an expat can find high incomes sans any corporate taxes, better jobs, booming private sectors and easy housing options.

As the economy of Dubai flourished, the cost of living too got upgraded and inclined a little on the pricey side. So, here’s how you can manage the cost of living in the given salary, effectively.

  1. Do Some Initial Homework

Doesn’t matter if you are an experienced professional or a fresh graduate aspiring for a job; a little homework done beforehand can save you from several problems. So, before choosing Dubai or any other city, it will be better if you understand the nature of expectations and career goals you have in your mind. Moreover, think whether you are going to visit the new city for work, business, further studies or combination of any two.

  1. Cultural Know-how & Country Background

It may seem that cost of living has no connection with the cultural shock you may experience in an Arab city like Dubai but this is a very important aspect. This pre-requisite should be clear in your mind as you have to manage life in Dubai, where religion is regarded at a very high place. It is better that before you relocate or simply during the first few months of your arrival in Dubai, roam around, mix with people and know the culture and nation as a whole. This will help you understand the people’s sentiments and you will have better options in your mind to go for.

  1. Know the Political Condition & Stability

Yes, this is a very important aspect as minor political unrests can leave a deep impact on the smooth immigration activity or employment market. You should take note of the political condition and make sure that the government is stable and smooth. This will assure that there are no issues with expat movements and policies for grabbing a job and settling out there remains supportive and friendly. Moreover, political unrests can also lead to riots or negative ripples in sensitive areas; therefore be a pro in recognizing a place with better political system.

  1. Opt for Better Transportation System

Now that you have a good job in hand and your residence is fairly away from your office; so it is obvious that you will seek for a transportation system, bus or cab to travel. Moreover, the main point to ponder over is that you have to manage daily traveling in the same salary. So, here’s good news, buses and taxis in Dubai are some of the good options to travel on a regular basis. Apart from this, you can also go for renting a car by paying a monthly average of few bucks and can ultimately save money that will be incurred in buying a car.

  1. Have A Good Knowledge Of Banking Policies

It is important that you as an expat should have a fair understanding of the current banking policies in Dubai, UAE. There are certain facilities like inviting foreign investments regardless of the immigration status, which in turn let the city issue you tax identification cards and an allowance to open bank accounts. So, it doesn’t matter whether you are experienced or a job aspirant seeking to build career in UAE, economy and bank stability should be in your mind.

  1. Few Important Tangible Excellent Options

First thing is the food cost, which is relatively inexpensive in Dubai owing to a huge expat populace in Dubai. Another aspect is the house rentals. The good news is that the government of the UAE has recently allowed liberalization in the property market. This will allow expats who are thinking to invest into a house to buy freehold lands anywhere in the city. Another thing that is advantageous for non-emiratis is that you don’t have to contribute in the UAE’s social security.

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