Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
Discover the top reasons to move to Dubai, including its diverse culture, tax benefits, and endless sunshine.
Dubai, a city that has rapidly risen from the desert sands, stands as a testament to human ambition and innovation. Over the past few decades, this vibrant metropolis has transformed itself from a small trading port into one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Its remarkable journey through time is as fascinating as its gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious lifestyle. In this guide, we invite you to explore the top reasons to move to Dubai, where tradition harmonizes with modernity, and opportunities are as boundless as the desert horizon.
What is Dubai Famous For?
Before we dive into the reasons why people move to Dubai, let’s take a moment to explore how Dubai ascended to the list of top destinations and what makes it special.
Contrary to common misconceptions, Dubai is not a country, but a city located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE comprises seven distinct emirates, which are akin to states or provinces. These emirates include Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Sharjah, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah. Geographically, Dubai is located between Abu Dhabi to the south and Sharjah to the north, while its eastern border shares proximity with Oman.
Dubai stands out as the most favored emirate, thanks to its forward-looking vision and groundbreaking modernization efforts. Consequently, Dubai has become synonymous with the UAE, drawing countless travelers who visit the country primarily to explore Dubai. For many years, Europeans have been seeking refuge from rainy, gloomy, and cold climates by choosing Dubai as their vacation destination. More recently, Americans have also discovered the allure of this fantastic holiday spot, having become the sixth-largest group of international visitors in 2022.
The city’s affinity for the extraordinary is evident in its obsession with world records. Google “the largest something in the world,” “the tallest something in the world,” or “the highest something in the world,” and you’re likely to find at least one record-breaking feat in Dubai. This emirate has truly earned its reputation as the ambassador of world records, where ‘the bigger, the better’ is a way of life.
Dubai’s focus on sustainability and green initiatives is another remarkable facet. The city has embraced the shift toward eco-consciousness, with initiatives like the Sustainable City and the Dubai Water and Electricity Authority’s ambitious clean energy goals. It’s becoming a model for environmentally responsible urban planning.
In the realm of art and design, Dubai is fast emerging as a creative epicenter. The Dubai Design District (d3) and Alserkal Avenue are hubs for artists, designers, and creatives from around the world. These spaces foster innovation and artistic expression, setting the stage for Dubai’s future as a global cultural influence.
Ultimately, what sets Dubai apart is its relentless pursuit of excellence and evolution. It’s a city that doesn’t rest on its laurels but continually reinvents itself, making it an exciting and dynamic destination that attracts forward-thinkers, creatives, and those seeking to be part of an ever-evolving global phenomenon. Now, having delved into Dubai’s spirit of innovation, let’s explore its exceptional experiences and opportunities.
Situated at the confluence of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai’s geographical location has long established it as a formidable trading center. Its pivotal position allows it to effortlessly access the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal, and the Red Sea, thus laying the foundation for its international trade network.
Also, Dubai’s location offers unparalleled travel convenience. Residents appreciate the ease of reaching most global destinations within just five to six hours. This proximity turns distant dreams into achievable adventures, be it the sun-kissed beaches of Greece, the tranquil shores of Goa, or even far-flung destinations in Asia or the distant reaches of Australia, all easily accessible from Dubai.
Dubai’s appeal as a relocation destination is bolstered by its thriving economy. Remarkably, even amid global uncertainties and fluctuations in oil prices, Dubai’s economy stands resolute, with a projected GDP growth rate of 5.9% in 2022 and 4.4% in 2023. This showcases the city’s economic resilience and diversification into sectors like trade, tourism, real estate and finance alongside its welcoming policies for expatriates and businesses, painting a promising picture of Dubai’s future growth.
In the first half of this year (2023), Dubai’s tourism sector thrived, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. International visits surged by an impressive 20%, with Dubai hosting 8.55 million visitors from January to June. This marks a record-breaking performance, surpassing the previous high of 8.36 million tourists in the first half of 2019.
Furthermore, Dubai’s property market has made a huge recovery from the slowdown caused by the pandemic. Government initiatives like retiree and remote worker residency permits, the expanded 10-year golden visa program, and the economic boost from Expo 2020 Dubai and higher oil prices played pivotal roles. As proof of its strong real estate performance, Dubai has emerged as the global leader in the market for $10 million homes, with first-half sales totaling $3.1 billion. This achievement surpasses major cities like Hong Kong and New York, according to data from global property consultancy Knight Frank.
With a steady and powerful economy comes an abundance of professional opportunities. The United Arab Emirates not only offers the potential for substantial earnings but also serves as a platform for advancing your career through innovative approaches.
Metropolitan centers like Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with their thriving business ecosystems, actively seek multilingual talents to champion their advancements on the global stage. Dubai, in particular, solidifies its status as the Middle East’s hub for commerce and entrepreneurship.
Notably, many global tech giants such as Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Meta, IBM, Dell, HP, and Siemens have established significant hubs in Dubai, further underscoring the city’s importance in the global business landscape.
As you explore the wealth of professional opportunities in Dubai, another enticing advantage comes into focus — the promise of tax-free living. Whether you’re a professional within an organization or an enterprising entrepreneur guiding your business endeavors, Dubai’s tax policies create a remarkably conducive environment. Income here remains untouched by taxes, and the city goes above and beyond to eliminate various tax burdens. Dubai offers universal tax-free living by abolishing stamp duty, capital gains tax, direct taxation, and inheritance tax.
Additionally, a 5% VAT rule applies, but numerous companies, particularly in sectors like healthcare, education, transport, construction, residential real estate, precious metal investments, select food industry segments, and export trade, enjoy a 0% VAT rate or full exemption.
Furthermore, the city’s free zones introduce a comprehensive tax exemption regime, covering income tax, interest income, and dividends. These zones are designated areas within the city that provide businesses with a range of benefits, including 100% foreign ownership, full repatriation of profits and capital, and no import or export duties.
No Language Barrier
Building on the professional opportunities and tax-free advantages in Dubai, another remarkable facet that enhances your experience in this vibrant city is its language accessibility. Unlike many other global hubs, you don’t need to be an expert in the local language to thrive here. English is the language of choice and widely spoken. At work or while enjoying the city’s attractions, you’ll find seamless communication is readily available. So, say goodbye to language barriers, and say hello to a world of exciting opportunities!
Child and Family Friendly
Dubai isn’t just a business hub; it’s an ideal destination for raising a family. The city understands the importance of family time, offering a wealth of family-friendly activities that’ll keep everyone smiling. For those sunny days, Kite Beach is the perfect spot to soak up the sun and enjoy various water sports. But the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down; Dubai boasts indoor ice rinks and trampoline parks that promise hours of entertainment.
Speaking of entertainment, Dubai takes it to a whole new level with its quality theme parks. If your little ones are LEGO enthusiasts or thrill-seekers, Legoland and IMG Worlds of Adventure are bound to elicit ear-to-ear grins. For a more interactive experience, OliOli, an experiential children’s play museum and KidZania, an innovative edutainment center, offer unique ways for your kids to unleash their creativity and imagination.
Now, if you’re craving an adrenaline rush, Dubai has just the ticket. Ever thought about water sliding through a pool of sharks? Dubai’s waterparks offer a unique experience sure to get your heart racing. And it’s not just for kids; even adults will be begging for more.
Moving to a new location inevitably raises various concerns, with safety and security being a paramount consideration, especially when you have children in tow. But this will not be the case with Dubai. This city has just been named the best city in the Middle East and the fifth-best globally in the 2023 World’s Best Cities report by Resonance Consulting. This annual report examines 100 cities from around the world, each with a population over 1 million, across six main areas: place, product, programming, prosperity, people, and promotion.
The spotlight is particularly bright on Dubai’s performance in the ‘place’ category, where it has proudly secured the top spot on a global level. It’s a reflection of Dubai’s concerted efforts towards personal safety, the plethora of outdoor activities and the year-round sunshine that truly set the city apart.
Central to Dubai’s security landscape is the resolute oversight exercised by the local government, resulting in an exceptionally low crime rate that stands as a cornerstone of the city’s allure. The city’s stringent legislation echoes this commitment, with penalties for law infringements ranging from fines to imprisonment, and in some cases, culminating in deportation alongside a lifelong ban from reentry into the United Arab Emirates.
If you have kids, one of your top concerns is undoubtedly finding the right school, and Dubai has a long list of options. The city takes pride in offering a diverse range of educational facilities, accommodating various curriculums including UK, US, Indian, Pakistani, Australian, German, and French. Whether it’s Dubai International Academy, American School of Dubai, or GEMS Modern Academy, you’ll find reputable institutions that align with your preferences.
Dubai’s commitment to education extends beyond primary and secondary schooling. The city’s higher education landscape is blossoming, with renowned institutions like the American University in Dubai, the University of Wollongong in Dubai, and Heriot-Watt University offering an array of higher learning opportunities. This means that as you make Dubai your home, you’ll be part of a community that values and supports lifelong learning.
Sunshine Across the Calendar
Dubai beckons with its sun-drenched charm, making it a haven for those who cherish the warmth of the sun. With constant sunshine, the city welcomes sun lovers to bask in its radiant embrace. From September to May, a cooler and more temperate climate prevails, creating an inviting backdrop for residents to explore Dubai’s remarkable outdoor attractions.
While the summer months can present a challenge with temperatures soaring above 40°C, Dubai’s ingenious solution lies in its comprehensive air-conditioning. Every corner of the city is thoughtfully cooled, ensuring comfort if you choose to venture outdoors or find solace indoors. This harmonious blend of experiences equips you to have adventures available throughout the year, tailored to your preferences.
Diverse Cultural and Sport Events
Dubai, a city that stands as a global beacon of harmony, is home to a diverse tapestry of over 200 nationalities. This blend includes people from every corner of the globe, all living together in an atmosphere of acceptance and a warm welcome. Alongside this cultural richness, Dubai plays host to a wide range of festivals year-round, celebrating traditions from Diwali to Ramadan, and Christmas to Hanukkah and Chinese New Year.
Sports lovers, you’re in for a treat too. Dubai welcomes top-notch international events in tennis, golf, and rugby. Also, the Dubai World Cup is one of the most prestigious and richest horse racing events in the world. It takes place annually at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, usually in late March. The event features a series of thoroughbred horse races, with the highlight being the Dubai World Cup race itself, which has a massive purse and attracts top-class racehorses and jockeys from around the globe.
Living in Dubai means savoring a global culinary journey that caters to an array of tastes and palates. A prime illustration of this rich gastronomic diversity is the Dubai Food Festival, an annual extravaganza typically held in March. It’s an embodiment of Dubai’s commitment to offering residents and visitors a taste of the globe, reflecting the vibrant and multicultural essence of this city.
Moreover, the city is dotted with trendy cafes and restaurants that further elevate the dining experience. Now, picture this: you’re dining at Dubai’s very own Ossiano, an underwater haven located within Atlantis, The Palm. It’s an experience orchestrated by none other than multi-award winning chef Gregoire Burger himself. And if you prefer your dining experience with a touch of celebrity flair, you can savor the delights of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen or experience the theatrics of Salt Bae’s Nusr-Et. And for those looking for a sophisticated ambiance and gourmet dishes, The Arts Club awaits. But that’s just a glimpse of Dubai’s dining scene. If you’re eager to explore the city’s culinary treasures, be sure to check out our guide on where to dine like a royal in Dubai.
Dubai is celebrated for housing the world’s largest shopping mall and is well-known for its extraordinary, upscale shopping centers. It is suited to shoppers with diverse budgets, offering high-end malls as well as traditional souks where buyers can find a wide range of products at more affordable prices. The city also transforms into a shopping paradise during special events like the Dubai Shopping Festival, which takes place between January and February, and Summer Surprises held in July and August.
Sealing the Deal: Find Your Reasons to Move to Dubai
We’ve explored some of the top reasons to move to Dubai, from its economic growth, and business opportunities, to its diverse culture and tax benefits. However, it’s essential to remember that relocation is a significant decision that comes with its set of advantages and challenges. While Dubai offers an array of opportunities and experiences, the final destination rests in your hands. Your journey to Dubai, much like life itself, is an adventure waiting to be written, shaped by your aspirations, dreams, and choices.
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Summary of the Top Reasons to Move to Dubai
- Prime Location
- Robust Economy
- Professional Opportunities
- Non-taxable Income
- No Language Barrier
- Child and Family Friendly
- Advanced Security
- Educational Facilities
- Sunshine Across the Calendar
- Diverse Cultural and Sport Events
- World-Class Dining
- Retail Paradise