Living & Working in Dubai

What languages do they speak in Dubai?

Arabic is the official language of the UAE in both written and spoken communication, however, despite this, English remains to be the most spoken language in Dubai. This makes it easy to communicate with natives and expats wherever you go. However, you will garner further respect from natives if you make an effort to learn and speak Arabic.

How to you obtain residency in Dubai?

To obtain residency in Dubai, foreign citizens can either be sponsored by an employer or purchase real estate. Once you have gained residency, you will be allowed to open a bank account. It’s important to note that the Dubai residence visa needs to be renewed every three years.

What are the legal requirements of moving to Dubai?

There are a number of paperwork requirements when it comes to moving to Dubai. If you’re coming from the US, UK, Canada or the majority of Europe, you can obtain a visa on arrival. If you already have a residence permit, your passport must be valid for a minimum of three months before travelling to the country. If you have a job prior to entering, your employer will usually handle all of the paperwork for your work permit and visa.

If you are moving to Dubai with loved ones, you must also prove that you earn a salary of at least 10,000 AED ($2,722) per month before you can obtain an entry permit for family members.

How much does it cost to live in Dubai?

– The average monthly rent for a 1-bedroom apartment in the city centre is 7,324 AED ($1,994)
– Monthly transportation pass is approximately 250 AED ($68)
– 3 course lunch for two is 150 AED ($40)
– Living expenses for one person for a year adds up to around 38,280 AED ($10,422)

How do you buy property in Dubai?

Since the new ownership regulations were introduced by the Dubai government in 2002, it’s very easy for foreigners to buy and own property. Whether you are based overseas or you are a resident of Dubai, you can purchase from Dubai’s freehold property market in designated areas.

You do not need any type of residency permit to purchase property. However, it’s worth noting that a 25% deposit is required to buy property in Dubai.

Can I drive in Dubai with a US license?

A US license is valid for non-resident visitors of Dubai. If you have a residency visa, you will need to obtain a local driver’s license.

How expensive is education?

Tuition in Dubai can be expensive, with fees ranging between 12,733 and 64,093 AED annually. This equates to approximately $3,500 to $17,500. However, it is said that if you do your research, you can find reasonable tuition.

What healthcare is there?

Dubai is recognized as having one of the best public health systems in the world. They offer a very high standard of medical care with modern facilities. Healthcare in Dubai is run by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

Working in Dubai

What are the usual working hours in Dubai?

In Dubai, the usual working week starts on Sunday and ends on Thursday. Friday and Saturday are seen as days of rest; however, some people do work on Saturday. Office working hours are typically 8 hours, from 8.30 or 9.00 am to 5.30 or 6.00 pm.

How much annual leave are you entitled to?

In Dubai, employees are entitled to two days of annual leave per month, if they have completed six months of employment, but not yet one year, or 30 days of annual leave per year if they have completed one year of service. This annual leave includes official, recognized holidays.

What benefits are you entitled to?

After three months of service, you are entitled to sick leave of not more than 90 days per year.

Do I need a visa to work in Dubai?

As an expat, you are required to have a residency visa to live and work in Dubai. Once you have a residency visa, you can obtain a work permit or a labor card from the Ministry of Labor.

How should I conduct myself in a business meeting?

Suits are compulsory for meetings in Dubai; you should always dress in smart and formal attire. It’s also important to note that you should never shake hands with the opposite gender unless they offer their hand first. You should also make sure to use your right hand.

The Do’s


  • wear modest clothing in public
  • practice small talk in business settings – it’s polite etiquette
  • wait for the other party to begin the discussion about business in a meeting

The Don’ts


  • practice public displays of affection. The holding hands of married couples is tolerated, however kissing in public is not
  • use profanities in a business setting
  • use negative language in regards to Islamic culture
  • drink alcohol in public – if caught being intoxicated you could be imprisoned
  • drink or eat in public during Ramadan

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