Moving to Dubai: How to Live a Luxury Lifestyle with Zero Taxes

Dubai is a cutting-edge metropolis that is full of ambitions.  This is a beautiful location, with massive malls, some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, and the biggest artificial islands. Dubai is incredibly tolerant of other people’s beliefs and ways of life, providing a scenic environment and outstanding career prospects. 

If you desire to be part of this highly sophisticated environment and significantly improve your lifestyle by moving to Dubai, then IMovingTo will make sure to take care of your international moving process.

Dubai Jumeirah beach at sunset

What Does Living in Dubai Look Like for Expats?

One of the most exciting things you can do is adjust to life in Dubai. For 8 months out of the year, the emirate has the ideal climate. Long, hot days are defined by clear, blue skies, which are accompanied by lovely, warm seawater.

The social aspect of life is wonderful and varied as the emirate is the only place in the world with such a dense concentration of sports clubs.  Expats often join a hotel or exclusive beach club and spend a lot of their free time taking advantage of the services.

As the standard of living is very high, even dining out is an exceptional experience as Dubai’s bars, clubs, and restaurants suggest a wide range of tastes.

It may come as a surprise, but you are not required to pay income taxes in Dubai. In this country, the government is heavily funding not just a public transportation system but also all aspects of social services.

Visa Requirements for Expats

Only those who have a work visa are eligible to work in the UAE. Employers should send the following documentation to the UAE Immigration Service to apply for a work visa:

  • Employee’s original passport
  • Photos
  • Certified diploma
  • Employment contract

If you work in the commercial sector, your residence visa is valid for 2 years; if you work in the public sector, it is valid for 3 years; and you should be able to extend it indefinitely.

As an expat, you should confirm that your employer is willing to sponsor both your work permit and resident visa for the UAE. Before applying, you should undergo a health examination that includes a blood test and a chest X-ray.

Additionally, Dubai has initiated a remote work visa scheme. The program enables you to go to Dubai and stay there for a maximum of 1 year while working there as a self-employed person or for your employer.

Cost of Living in Dubai

Living expenses in Dubai are reasonably comparable to those in London or New York, as it is one of the most costly areas in the world to live. If you decide to relocate outside of the city center, the costs will be much more affordable. However, you’ll have to spend extra if you want more space or a nice neighborhood.

On average, cafes and restaurants are very pricey, considering $12 beers and $5 cappuccinos. Moreover, even groceries are expensive since everything has to be imported through a desert.

Despite the high cost of living in Dubai, there are several sectors, particularly in technology and hospitality, where remuneration can be extraordinarily high depending on demand and market conditions. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider that Dubai offers a proportional relationship between costs and income.

Following this numerical identification will enhance your understanding of the general costs of living.

  • A one-bedroom apartment in the city center will cost around $1,994 per month
  • Lunch for 2 persons would cost about $40
  • A monthly transportation pass will cost about $68

Moving & Shipping Your Household Goods

Moving your personal belongings abroad is expensive, and since Dubai resides at the far end of the Arabian Peninsula, it is very difficult to transport your belongings by van or truck.

In general, importing goods for your personal use is free of duty. However, if a customs inspector suspects something is being imported for a commercial purpose, they will put a 5% tax on the item. Customs duty may vary significantly from Emirate to Emirate.

When delivered separately from you, the companies that transport your belongings should make sure they arrive within a month of your arrival. The goods cannot be cleared through customs unless you are present in person.

As a result, you will need to consider hiring international packers and movers to ship your belongings by air or sea. Depending on the quantity and weight of the products you are carrying, this may cost several thousand dollars.  Due to this, a lot of expat families prefer to rent fully furnished apartments.

Health Insurance & Costs in Dubai

There are both public and private healthcare systems in the UAE. The percentage varies in every Arab Emirate, but Dubai’s is the most extreme, with the industry split 80% privately and 20% publicly.

Despite this, your employer is obligated by law to offer you fundamental health insurance. In Dubai, you will require private medical insurance unless you are an Emirati citizen.

Emergency care, doctor and specialist appointments, diagnostic testing, physiotherapy, prescribed medications, and maternity care are some examples of public services, while dental, ear and eye care are often not included in public services.

You should first obtain a health card from the Ministry of Health, which you can do by submitting an online application. Applying for the health card makes sense since there may be treatments available exclusively through the public system that your private medical insurance won’t pay for.

There is a charge for using Dubai’s public healthcare system, and the cost is substantially greater for expats. They should also pay for a health card, which costs £27 for children under 10 and £71 for those over 10 years old. 

How to Set Up Your Finances in Dubai?

Personal income or capital gains taxes are not levied in Dubai. This applies to both local citizens and expats from other countries.

Dubai collects revenue in different ways besides income tax. Your cost of living will increase as a result of the council tax and rental tax that you will have to pay. VAT is applied to every purchase. Any invitees who stay with you will need to be prepared for these costs since tourists will also need to pay a specific tax, including a departure fee.

The first thing you should do when you arrive in Dubai should be to open a bank account. This is not a difficult process.

There are five requirements to open a bank account:

  • Using your passport as identification
  • Proof of employment
  • A letter of support from your employer detailing the status of your position and your salary
  • Proof of address
  • Emirates ID (a national form of identity)

Specific Laws Expats Need to Consider Before Moving to Dubai

  • According to Dubai law, you can only drink alcoholic beverages at authorized locations and at home. 21 is the legal drinking age. To buy alcohol and keep it at your house as an expat living in Dubai, you should apply for a license. In Dubai, visitors can get a temporary liquor license valid for one month.
  • In Dubai, you are permitted to hold hands with your heterosexual partner, but open demonstrations of affection are not allowed. Kissing and hugging in public spaces may be viewed as vulgar acts, and it is against the law.
  • Dubai’s laws for women require modest clothing. A woman’s clothes should cover her arms and legs under Dubai’s dress codes. It is recommended to cover or hide all undergarments. Unless you’re at a beach or pool, never leave the house in your swimwear.
  • Have you ever acted impolitely toward someone you accidentally ran into or engaged in a fierce online argument? It is forbidden to use filthy language in public in Dubai. Dubai’s laws prohibit obscene or disrespectful behavior, and the city considers both verbal and nonverbal insults to be obscene.
  • It is against the law to photograph residents in Dubai without their permission. Certain military sites and governmental structures are off-limits to photography.

Best Entertainment Options for Expats in Dubai

Dubai is steadily establishing itself as one of the major entertainment hubs in the Middle East, if not the entire world. The major names in sports and entertainment come from all over the world for a range of sporting events, concerts, shows, and festivals.

A typical year’s social calendar includes recurring festivals and sporting events. These events include horse racing, motor racing, golf outings, tennis championships, football, and rugby games, car shows, literature festivals, and international film festivals.

Popular musicians and singers from both the East and the West may be found in Dubai, as can actors and entertainers from all over the world, including Bollywood, Hollywood, and many other locations. Sports stars from all over the world also appear to flock to the city. Additionally, some local performers cater primarily to the expat population.

If you intend to experience something more thrilling, you can swim with sharks at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. A hot air balloon ride over the brilliantly orange desert of Dubai at daybreak is another option that manages to be both peaceful and thrilling. A substantial meal and open-air transportation in antique Land Rovers are included with flights.

Pros & Cons of Moving to Dubai


Job prospects and a strong economy

Dubai has been one of the main trading ports in the world for 60 years. Due to numerous advantages for foreign businesses, Dubai has also drawn significant amounts of foreign investment during the past 20 years.


This indicates that there are numerous employment opportunities for working people who want to advance their careers. There are also tax incentives in numerous professions for residents and employees in Dubai.

Ultramodern architecture

The ultramodern architecture that has made Dubai a powerhouse in global real estate is one factor in its distinction. To appreciate the effect of structures and well-known monuments on the horizon of the city, just take a look at Jumeirah or the Burj Khalifa. Individuality and inventiveness can be found everywhere, from the Jumeirah Mosque to the Dubai Opera.

Advanced public transportation

One of the world’s most advanced and affordable public transportation systems seems to be in Dubai. The comprehensive transportation network includes buses, water buses, monorails, trams, and the Dubai Metro.


General traffic condition

Due to its many traffic cameras, driving in Dubai is not a simple activity, and even a small mistake could result in a large number of fines. Moreover, there are numerous accidents on Dubai’s roads, which you may read about in any newspaper or online, so driving in heavy traffic may be both stressful and dangerous.

Unfavorable weather

The local summer can be very uncomfortable for those who are not used to it, but the local winter is still pretty satisfied with an average temperature of +25 °C. 


Even though it may not rain for months, the summer months are marked by extraordinarily high temperatures from +35°C to +45°C and excessive humidity. Sandstorms are particularly annoying since they can lead to respiratory problems.

Final Thoughts

Do you intend to start a new life in a modern metropolis full of scenic landscapes and outstanding career prospects? If so, get ready for your journey with our experienced team of professionals in the international moving industry.


Dare to seek new adventures in a new country, such as Dubai, and IMovingTo will guide you in receiving comprehensive assistance for all available international relocation services.

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