Life as an Expat in Dubai

It’s never easy to live and work in another country. Because the culture, language, places, and people are not familiar to you, it’s easy to feel isolated and alienated. Such is the life of an expatriate.

The experience of expats in the UAE, however, can be a bit different than the usual ones of those from other countries. Whether they are devout attendees of a non-denominational church in Dubai or a Buddhist, there is one thing they share in common – expat life in the UAE is distinctly colorful.

To illustrate further, here are helpful insights from someone who experienced life as an expatriate in Dubai.

The Experiences of Sergey

Sergey moved to Dubai in August 2011 from Novosibirsk, Russia, bringing along his wife and son, in order to gain the necessary international experience for his career. He now works in an international market research company.

Traffic and Climate

According to him, Dubai is a good and convenient place to live in, as he has yet to experience traffic jams in the city. In addition, he finds the climate nice, as there are no winters, and the beach – a perfect place to visit because of the usually sunny weather – is a five-minute drive away from the city.

The downside to this, however, is that it can get unbearably hot during the summer season, with the temperature rising around 50 degress Celsius. `

The Price of Living in Dubai

When it comes to the cost of living, Sergey doesn’t find Dubai any different than Moscow. For him, he hardly finds any difference between the prices of living spaces between Dubai and Moscow. In fact, he says the apartments in Dubai are even bigger, better, and have more facilities – swimming pool, gym, sauna – as compared to those back in Russia’s capital.

Getting Around Town

Public transportation is also a lot more affordable in Dubai because of the lower prices of petroleum in the Middle East. And not only is it cheap, but also fast, efficient, clean, and convenient. There are taxis almost everywhere, and they are always comfortable and fairly priced. This makes owning a private car almost unnecessary.

Nevertheless, a lot of expatriates buy their own cars, as they take advantage of the lower automobile prices in Dubai. Aside from the fact that they’re cheap, cars can save you ten to thirty minutes of travel time to work, not to mention that it makes traveling to neighboring countries like Oman and Qatar a lot  easier and faster.

The Workplace

With Dubai’s economy on the rise, a lot of industries in the city require a lot of experts, thus the increase in demand for employment. However, just because there are a lot of job openings doesn’t mean everyone will get to land one, as the market is highly competitive. And once you’re already employed, you have to be prepared to work hard and spend long hours for it, which is the norm.

Finally, it’s important to know the nationality and cultural background of those you work with, especially of your superiors, as their work ethics are greatly affected by such things.

The Social Scene

But of course, not everything in Dubai is all about the city itself – the people are just as important, if not more. And according to Sergey, you’ll be spending most of your time dealing with your fellow expatriates which are comprised of hundreds of nationalities, as there are more of them as compared to the local Emiratis who live in Dubai who make up only 5% of the total population.

Despite the many differences expats have, they find it easy to make friends with one another. In addition, there are many spots for socialization such as restaurants, nightclubs, and beaches, where people can not only spend time with their friends but also make new ones.

Dubai is a colorful and exciting frontier that promises both luxury and career growth. Still, it’s no perfect haven, but that doesn’t make the city any less inviting. So, if you’re looking for a melting pot that offers higher heights and exciting sights, this is the city to be.

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