7 Things to Know if You’re Thinking About Moving to Dubai

Here's a thorough list of considerations before making Dubai your new home.

Asia, Lifestyle

Relocating to Dubai isn’t exactly a breeze. Initially, it will probably entail a significant financial outlay. Additionally, there’s the strain of adapting to unfamiliar environments, new highways, a fresh apartment, a different job. And we shouldn’t overlook the cultural adjustment. 

Nonetheless, with some diligent research and meticulous preparation, your transition to the city can be fast, economical, and devoid of stress. Therefore, here’s a thorough list of considerations before making Dubai your new home.

Obtaining a Residency Visa and Emirates Identification Card

Upon exiting the airport, your initial task should be to secure your residency visa. This is crucial for accessing all city services and ensuring a trouble-free stay.

Obtaining a residency visa in Dubai is not a complex task. The process is quite simple and straightforward, eliminating any potential confusion.

Once you have your residency visa, the subsequent step is to acquire an Emirati ID. This identification card is your ticket to enjoying all the city’s services and facilities.

Health Insurance in Dubai

To answer the question, is health insurance mandatory in Dubai? Yes, it is. This is regardless of whether you’re a local or a visitor in Dubai. It’s legally required to be covered by health insurance. Among all the emirates of the UAE, only Abu Dhabi and Dubai enforce compulsory health insurance laws.

These laws in Dubai are designed to guarantee access to healthcare services for every resident and national. Additionally, employers in Dubai are required by law to provide their employees with basic health insurance coverage, without taking the premium cost out of their earnings or cutting their salaries to cover these premiums.

Know the Appropriate Time to Be Conservative

While the UAE welcomes expatriates, respecting the country’s culture and traditions is still essential. For instance, avoid wearing excessively revealing clothing such as short shorts or crop tops when visiting shopping centers.

Beachwear should be strictly confined to the beach. Upon leaving the beach vicinity, including within resorts, it is necessary to dress more modestly. This doesn’t mean you must be fully covered, just ensure your attire is respectful.

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol consumption is permitted in the UAE. However, unruly behavior due to intoxication can lead to imprisonment, so it’s advisable to maintain decorum. 

In the evening, bars offer a more relaxed dress code (within reason). Holding hands with your partner is acceptable, but refrain from other public displays of affection.


Dubai, being a city in the desert, experiences high temperatures throughout the year. The period from May to September is exceptionally warm, with the mercury soaring up to 50 degrees during the day. However, the evenings offer a cooler and more comfortable climate.

The remaining months, especially the winter, bring a milder and more pleasant weather pattern. Yet, the temperature seldom dips below 20 degrees, offering a respite for those accustomed to extremely cold climates, making Dubai’s weather generally appealing.

While the sea breeze does offer some respite from the intense heat, it also contributes to increased humidity levels. Moreover, Dubai receives sparse rainfall, averaging only around 3.5 inches annually.

Understand the Concept of Dubai’s Transportation Infrastructure

Dubai offers an exceptional, interconnected, and cost-effective transportation system. The city has a trustworthy metro and bus service, alongside numerous readily available taxis. The Dubai Metro is an easy means of traversing the city, linking most of the significant districts. 

Likewise, the city’s buses are dependable and economically priced, covering most regions not serviced by the metro.

Holding a valid UAE driver’s license is necessary for those who favor driving. Obtaining a local license is mandatory. Depending on the country your current license is issued from, there could be an option to convert it into a UAE license for a certain charge.

Consuming Alcohol Isn’t Against the Law But Carries a Stigma

While the consumption of alcohol in the UAE is not prohibited, there is a noticeable societal disapproval towards it among most expats relocating there.

Nonetheless, the country boasts an array of exquisite night bars, allowing patrons to savor a splendid cityscape while indulging in a delightful glass of wine.

That being said, public consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden. Additionally, it might be wise to steer clear of discussing alcohol consumption with locals due to the prevalent negative perception surrounding it.

Get a SIM Card

Obtaining a SIM card in Dubai is hassle-free, with only a limited number of providers. You can procure a SIM card at the airport or various mobile phone outlets throughout the city. 

Most providers offer diverse plans and packages to accommodate your needs, encompassing data plans and international calling options. However, acquiring a SIM card may necessitate an Emirates ID.


Dubai is a thrilling place to consider for relocation, with ample opportunities and conveniences. However, before deciding to move here, it’s essential to understand its demographics, legalities, and cultural practices. By studying and understanding its lifestyle, showing deference to its Islamic customs, and acknowledging the significance of the Royal family, you’re paving the way for a more seamless adjustment to your newfound life in Dubai.

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Travel Begins at 40

Travel Begins at 40 Editor

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