Home > Living in Dubai > Down Under to the Desert: Why You Should Move from Australia to Dubai

Down Under to the Desert: Why You Should Move from Australia to Dubai

Sep 12, 2023 | Living in Dubai

Feeling stuck and yearning for something different? You may be after career advancement and improved income opportunities. You should consider moving from Australia to Dubai, a thrilling destination brimming with growth potential. As a bustling business hub with tax perks and a vibrant mix of cosmopolitan living and cultural richness, Dubai offers unique experiences and opportunities that can enhance your lifestyle and propel your career.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll discover the unique benefits of living in Dubai, get to grips with the cost of living, check out real estate options, learn about visa processes, and get a feel for the city’s social and cultural scene. Discover this life-changing decision’s potential benefits and why Dubai could be your next top destination.

Overview of Moving from Australia to Dubai

You’re not alone if you’re considering moving from Australia to Dubai. Many individuals and businesses are making the same decision, drawn by this city’s numerous benefits. Dubai, along with the other Emirates in the UAE, is gaining global attention, with many famous personalities and businesses choosing to relocate there. The city’s excellent town planning, technological advancements, and unique balance between city and seaside living are just a few of the attractions.

Benefits Of Moving To Dubai

One of the main draws of moving to Dubai is the tax benefits. Unlike Australia, Dubai doesn’t have personal income, capital gains, or inheritance taxes. This can lead to significant savings for both individuals and businesses. The professional opportunities in the UAE are vast, with thriving business economies in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Plus, salaries in the UAE are tax-free, making it an attractive place to live and work.

Dubai is also an international transport hub, with a busy airport and easy access to tourist destinations. You’ll find a diverse food scene, with restaurants dedicated to cuisines from around the world. The multicultural population of Dubai allows for exposure to different cultures and languages, broadening your outlook on life and providing new experiences.

The UAE is known for its strong and stable economy, with a focus on technological and tourism industries. The educational standards in Dubai are high, with numerous international schools. English is widely spoken in the UAE, reducing language barriers for many expats.

When it comes to visa options, there are several available for Australians looking to move to Dubai. The most common visa is the employment visa, which requires a job offer from a Dubai-based company. There are also options for investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees. The UAE has introduced new policies to make it easier for expats and businesses to both move to the UAE and stay long-term.

Comparing Living Standards: Australia vs. Dubai

When comparing the living standards between Australia and Dubai, you’ll need to consider several factors. The cost of living in Dubai can vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences. Restaurants in Dubai are around 2.1 times more expensive compared to Australia. Basic meals with drinks at inexpensive restaurants cost around $10.89 in Dubai, while fast food combo meals cost around $8.17.

Grocery prices in Dubai are also higher compared to Australia. The cost of groceries in Dubai is around 46.9% higher compared to Australia. For example, a loaf of bread in Dubai costs around $1.50, while it costs around $2.00 in Australia.

The rental prices in Dubai can be quite high, especially in popular areas. It’s a good idea to research and compare rental prices before deciding. However, Dubai’s property market offers affordable living options, especially for those looking to rent.

Healthcare in Dubai is of a high standard, but it can be expensive. It’s recommended to have comprehensive health insurance to cover any medical expenses.

Despite these costs, Dubai and the UAE consistently rank highly in quality of living indexes. The UAE is child and family-friendly, with numerous facilities and activities for families. The UAE also prioritizes happiness with dedicated government initiatives.

Moving from Australia to Dubai can offer various opportunities and benefits, including tax advantages, visa options, and a unique lifestyle. However, it’s important to consider the cost of living, housing, and cultural differences before moving.

Aerial Shot Of Dubai

Understanding the Cost of Living in Dubai

Before you pack your bags, it’s essential to grasp the financial implications of living in this sun-soaked city.

Housing Costs and Best Areas to Live

Accommodation is a significant expenditure in Dubai. The price fluctuates based on the area and the size of the property. For example, a city centre apartment might set you back around $1,950 per month monthly salary, while a similar property outside the city centre could be more budget-friendly, at approximately $1,100 per month. Although housing costs have slightly increased by 2023, they remain more economical than other countries and major expat destinations like Hong Kong and Singapore.

Everyday Living Expenses

Essential expenses such as groceries and utilities need to be factored into your budget. The price of groceries can differ based on the store, and utilities like water, electricity, and internet may be slightly pricier than in other cities. Dubai also boasts a wide array of leisure activities, from dining out to visiting theme parks and shopping malls. The cost of these activities will depend on your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Transportation Costs in Dubai

Dubai’s efficient transportation system offers metro, buses, and taxis. The Dubai Metro system, split into the Red Line and the Green Line, is a cost-effective way to get around. The fare is determined by the number of zones traversed during the trip, with prices for a single journey ranging from 4 dirhams to 8.50 dirhams. However, if you’re contemplating owning a vehicle in Dubai, bear in mind that it can be costly, with gasoline and car insurance prices being steeper than in Australia.

Education and Healthcare Costs

The cost of education and healthcare are also important considerations. Private schools in Dubai can be pricey, with monthly fees ranging from $706 for preschool to $12,700 for an international primary school. Healthcare in Dubai is top-notch, with both public and private facilities offering cutting-edge treatment. All UAE residents are required to have medical insurance, with an average annual cost of around $2,720 for a comprehensive policy.

While Dubai offers business and tax benefits such as tax-free income and a conducive business environment, multinational companies must weigh the cost of living, visa options, and other expenses before making the move. Thorough research and professional advice can help ensure a seamless transition.

Finding Your New Home

Real Estate Market in Dubai

As I prepare for my relocation, I’ve been delving into Dubai’s property market. It’s unique, offering stability and long-term appreciation, making it an attractive option for investors. The city’s tax-free status is particularly enticing for many property owners and investments. The residential market has experienced steady growth, with property values increasing significantly in recent years.

The absence of property taxes, high rental yields, low overall price per square foot, international tax laws and the introduction of residency and golden visa programs make Dubai a magnet for buyers. The demand for property in Dubai has reached an all-time high, significantly increasing sales volume and value. However, it’s also worth noting that rents and selling prices in Dubai are soaring, with landlords finding ways to charge higher rents.

Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Selecting the right neighbourhood is a crucial part of finding a new home. Dubai is renowned for its luxury property market, attracting ultra-high-net-worth individuals and solidifying its status as a top choice for second homes. The city offers affordable luxury home prices compared to other global markets.

Dubai’s most sought-after expat areas include Deira, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah, and Palm Jumeirah. Each neighbourhood offers different amenities and rental prices. For instance, Dubai Marina is a seafront area with a plethora of restaurants, bars, and clubs. It’s a blend of a commercial and residential area with high-rise buildings. The rental prices in Dubai Marina are higher compared to other neighbourhoods. Conversely, Deira offers affordable rental prices and has excellent metro connections to other parts of Dubai.

Rent vs. Buy: What’s Best for You?

The decision to rent or buy a property in Dubai depends on various factors. Renting is popular among expats, with a variety of options available in different emirates. Rental costs vary from emirate to emirate, with Dubai having higher costs compared to other emirates.

Conversely, buying property in Dubai can be a more affordable option, with attractive payment plans and lower prices. Dubai offers property buyers a high return on investment (ROI), with desirable areas like DAMAC Hills 2, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), and Dubailand showing promising ROI.

However, it’s also important to consider the general risks of buying property in Dubai before jumping into any investment. There can be delayed completion, project cancellation, and market condition changes when buying off-plan property in Dubai.

Dubai offers a range of business and tax benefits for expats. The city has a favourable tax environment with no personal income tax, capital gains tax, or withholding tax. Several visa options are available for expats moving to Dubai, making it an attractive destination for the relocation process.

Dubai Flag With Cityscape

Visas Options For Australians In The UAE

Understanding the various visa options is crucial for Australians contemplating a move to Dubai.

UAE Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residency visa that gives the holder the freedom to live, work, study, and conduct any business activity in the UAE without needing a national sponsor. It’s now valid for 10 years for all categories, providing a sense of stability and security.

This visa is accessible to a diverse range of individuals, including senior academics, healthcare professionals, financial assets, industry experts, and even those with exceptional talent in fields such as art, culture, digital technology, sports, and innovation. The eligibility criteria are category-specific, but a certain level of investment or specialized talent is generally required.

The Golden Visa offers numerous advantages. It allows you to live and work in the UAE, access top-tier education and healthcare, and sponsor family members for residence visas. Moreover, foreign business owners and investors with investor visas can fully own their businesses within the UAE.

Applications for the Golden Visa can be made online, and it typically takes about 48 hours to process a freelance visa once all the necessary paperwork and documents have been submitted. The Golden Visa costs range from $762 to $1307, depending on the type of service and visa category.

Student Visa

For those planning to pursue education in the UAE, a Student Visa is required. This visa is typically issued for one year and can be renewed annually for the duration of your studies. However, high-achieving students with a high GPA might be eligible for a Long-Term Residence Visa, which is valid for five years.

A UAE Work Permit is required in addition to your Student Visa to work while studying. However, you can only work part-time, up to four consecutive hours. The application and visa process for a Student Visa is handled by the educational institution you’ve been accepted into, and it usually takes about 10-15 working days to process.

Partner Visa

Thanks to the free multiple-entry Visit Visa of 30 days’ validity, Australians can enter the UAE without a visa in advance. This visa doesn’t permit you to undertake paid or unpaid employment in the UAE. However, suppose you wish to stay longer than 30 days. In that case, you can extend your visa for an additional 30 days by contacting the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in the UAE at least three days before your visa expires.

Freelancer Visa

The UAE is introducing new initiatives to enhance the country’s competitiveness and promote industrial development. One of these initiatives includes the introduction of new visa categories, like the Freelancer Visa. This visa is ideal for individuals who own a technical or future-oriented company, have documents of an economic project based on risk and innovation, and have approval from their company name, an auditor, the authorities in the emirate, and an accredited business incubator.

For the most current and accurate information about visa options and visa requirements for moving from Australia to Dubai, it’s advisable to consult with immigration experts or authorities.

Fountains In Dubai

Adapting to Dubai’s Social and Cultural Environment

Understanding Emirati Culture and Norms

As I prepare for my transition from Australia to Dubai, I’ve been immersing myself in the local customs and traditions. Emiratis are known for their warmth and hospitality, often extending long, God-praising greetings to guests. Accepting their offer of coffee and dates is seen as a polite response to their welcoming nature.

The importance of family in Emirati society is paramount, with close-knit extended families being the norm. Their deep-rooted Islamic faith is evident in their observance of Ramadan, fasting from dawn to dusk, and adherence to dietary restrictions such as avoiding alcohol and pork.

Emirati society places a high value on modesty, particularly in terms of attire. Women, in particular, are expected to dress modestly. It’s also important to be aware that specific actions that may be commonplace in Western societies, such as photographing women without their consent or making unwelcome physical contact, are considered highly disrespectful in Emirati society.

Navigating Dubai’s Etiquettes and Laws

Dubai’s legal and social etiquette is deeply intertwined with its cultural and religious values. Actions such as public displays of affection, excessive alcohol consumption, and unruly behaviour are not only frowned upon but can also be punishable by law. Unauthorized photography of women, military installations, and government buildings is also prohibited.

Recent amendments to Dubai’s laws have been made to make the city more appealing to investors and tourists. For example, relationships outside of marriage are no longer criminalized. However, it’s essential to remember that Dubai is an Islamic city, and visitors are expected to respect local customs and traditions.

Regulations around alcohol consumption are strict in Dubai. Drinking is permitted in private residences and licenced establishments, but public intoxication is prohibited. Expats wishing to consume alcohol at home must apply for a licence, and tourists can obtain a temporary one-month liquor licence.

Making New Social Connections and Networking

Establishing social connections and networking in Dubai requires understanding local business etiquette. Formality and respect are key in the Emirati business culture. Business cards, with Arabic translation on one side, are commonly exchanged before meetings. Initial conversations often involve casual ‘small talk’, which is crucial for relationship building.

Timeliness is valued, and appointments should be scheduled at least a fortnight in advance and reconfirmed a day or two prior. The work week in the UAE runs from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday and Saturday being the weekend.

The leader often assumes a paternalistic role in a professional setting, and discussions may veer towards personal topics. It’s crucial not to challenge the leader in a way that could cause them to lose face, as this is considered disrespectful.

Respecting the local culture and religion is of utmost importance in the new country of Dubai, and I’m eager to embrace these norms as I embark on this exciting journey.

Wrapping it All Up

Moving from your home country of Australia to Dubai isn’t just a thrilling prospect. It’s also a decision that needs careful thought and meticulous planning. You’ll need to consider the tax advantages, the thriving business environment, and the exciting lifestyle on offer. But remember to weigh the living costs, from housing to education and healthcare.

You’ll need to examine the diverse visa options and determine which suits your situation best. Get to know the local customs and social etiquette to truly embrace Emirati life.

Dubai offers a unique mix of cultural richness, economic opportunity and world-class lifestyle. With the proper preparation, moving to this vibrant city can be rewarding and dynamic.

Remember the saying, “Know before you go,” and that’s what we’re here for! Embrace the journey and welcome the new chapter Dubai has in store for you.

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