Since the discovery of oil in the Emirates, foreign workers and investors have flocked to the UAE. It is now a true nation of expats with immigrants constituting around 84% of the population. The UAE’s British born population has more than doubled in the last seven years and today stands at around 250,000. There are now more people in the UAE from Britain than any other Western nation.
Check out our guides to the main expatriate destinations in the UAE, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The guides including information about areas to live, leisure activities, transportation and facts about each city.
Employment and Wealth
As well as the obvious advantages of the glorious climate and spectacular location, your career and finances could also benefit from moving to the UAE.
Salaries for skilled professionals can be around 30% higher than the UK and, if you qualify as being a non-UK resident, you won’t have to pay tax on your earnings making your hard earned pay packet could go a lot further.
Some living costs are also considerably cheaper in the UAE. Petrol, for example, can be less than a quarter of the price you’d pay in the UK. However, as there is no state funded healthcare service, you may need to pay for private health insurance and, while there is a free public school system, most British Expats choose one of the private English schools.
As the UAE is at the crossroads between Africa, Asia and Europe, there are a huge variety of travel options for that well deserved time off.
For an exotic safari adventure, you can fly to Nairobi in under five hours. Alternatively, explore the treasures of India with Delhi, Mumbai and Goa all around 3 hours flight from Dubai.
The idyllic islands of the Indian Ocean are perfect for a romantic getaway and easily accessible in just 4½ hours.
The summer sun of Southern Europe is also just a short hop away with Greece and Italy around 4-5 hours flight from the UAE.
But how easy is it to move there?
You can travel to the UAE on a long term visit visa for up to 90 days, ideal for researching work and accommodation. This will incur a fee of around £180 as well as a £160 deposit.
Once you have secured work, starting a new life in the UAE is a fairly straight forward process. You will need both a work permit and residency visa which your employer will apply for – check out our guide to employment in the UAE. Residency visas are valid for up to three years, but can be renewed. The application fees and medical checks will cost around £1000.
Men moving to Dubai with earnings of at least £750 per month will be able to sponsor a spouse as well as any dependent children, on a family visa. Women are also permitted a family visa providing they work in particular sectors such as healthcare and education. Anyone over the age of 15 moving to the UAE will also need a National Identity Card which can be applied for on arrival and will cost £56.