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Pros and cons in Dubai mainland Safety, Tourism, and Opportunity Converge for Expats

Moving to Dubai

Dubai will always be a top destination for tourists, as it is one of the most popular places to visit and is considered one of the 10 safest cities for women. The high number of visitors, supportive government policies, and secure environment have all contributed to Dubai’s strong GDP growth. These factors make Dubai an appealing option for expats looking for a home in the UAE. Living in Dubai offers expats the chance to experience the benefits of a bustling tourism industry, women’s safety, and a robust economy with opportunities for investment and career growth. The core message is that Dubai’s safety, popularity, and economic prosperity make it a worthwhile place for expats to live and work.


Reasons Dubai stands out as a one-of-a-kind place to live well


Dubai is renowned for having the most fashionable and luxurious shopping in the world. The Dubai Mall alone houses over 200 luxury brands, making it the number one destination for tourists in the city. Surveys show that 97% of visitors rank the Dubai Mall as the top place to visit in Dubai, as evidenced by the image above listing the city’s most popular attractions. Clearly, the Dubai Mall exemplifies why Dubai has gained global fame for its extravagant shopping and status as a shopper’s paradise. The mall cements Dubai’s reputation as a world-class retail and fashion hub.


Dubai is globally recognized for its record-breaking architecture, most notably the Burj Khalifa, the crown jewel of the city’s buildings. At 828 meters tall, Burj Khalifa holds the title of being the tallest building in the world. Since its completion in 2010, it has been regarded as the premier and most striking skyscraper globally. The iconic Burj Khalifa exemplifies Dubai’s reputation for awe-inspiring construction and having the most groundbreaking developments in the world. It continues to captivate people as the pinnacle of modern engineering and design.


More important than the number of hospitals is the quality of care and service provided. Dubai has 38 hospitals, with 6 government-run and 32 privately-owned facilities. Regardless of ownership, Dubai’s hospitals deliver exceptional public healthcare, with a focus on hospitality and accessibility. Residents benefit from being able to access superb medical treatment from any of the city’s hospitals, thanks to Dubai’s world-class healthcare system. The emphasis is on providing the best possible care and experience for every patient.


A top priority for any city is ensuring citizens feel safe and secure. By this measure, Dubai excels, with very low crime rates. Data shows Dubai ranks 3rd among the world’s safest cities for solo female travelers. A remarkable 84% of visitors to Dubai are women, and they report feeling secure walking alone at night. This highlights why Dubai is regarded as an exceptionally safe destination, especially for women. The city’s strong focus on safety allows citizens and tourists alike to feel at ease and protected from harm. For any place, cultivating a strong sense of security is key to quality of life – and Dubai sets the standard in this regard.



As noted in other articles on this site, Dubai is widely considered one of the best cities globally to live in, attracting expatriates from all over who choose to plant roots there. However, in the interest of providing a balanced perspective, it is worth examining if there are any downsides associated with living in a metropolis as highly praised as Dubai. Though the city has many advantages that make it an appealing place to settle, discussing potential drawbacks provides a more transparent look at what life is truly like there.

No Citizenship on Offer

One major disadvantage of living in Dubai is that the United Arab Emirates currently does not grant citizenship to residents, no matter how long they have lived there or how much money they have invested. This means that once a person retires, becomes unemployed, or closes their business in Dubai, they must go back to their home country unless they can find a way to remain in the city. Without Emirati citizenship, expats do not have the right to permanently settle in Dubai after they stop working. So upon retirement or job loss, the lack of citizenship poses challenges for people who consider Dubai home but must leave the country.

Cost of Living

While Dubai offers excellent infrastructure, safety, and a high quality of life, living there comes with a high price tag. Rent is typically one of the largest expenses after moving to Dubai, since many opt not to purchase homes given the lack of citizenship. Overall, the cost of living in such a modern, secure city makes Dubai an expensive place to reside. The great amenities and lifestyle have to be weighed against the substantial outlay required to cover rent and other living expenses. So the drawbacks of Dubai include the high rental and general cost of enjoying all the perks of the city.


Even before relocating to Dubai, job seekers can face major challenges. With people from all corners of the globe vying to move there, competition for employment is exceedingly high. For every open position, there may be thousands of applicants, so distinguishing yourself becomes critical. The sheer number of people wanting to work in Dubai means that landing a job often requires finding ways to rise above the stiff competition. This upfront hurdle of securing employment is a notable drawback for those considering a move, as they have to beat the odds in an extremely saturated job market.


A major advantage Dubai used to offer was a completely tax-free environment, but this has changed in recent years. The UAE first introduced a 5% Value Added Tax (VAT) a few years ago. Additionally, the country plans to implement a 9% corporate tax in 2023 that will apply to all companies operating there. While Dubai was previously a tax haven, the emirate has gradually begun imposing taxes. The VAT and upcoming corporate tax demonstrate how the benefit of living in a tax-free city no longer applies. This loss of Dubai’s tax-free status is a drawback compared to earlier years when no direct taxation existed.



Before relocating to Dubai, securing the proper visa is essential. Two main long-term visa options exist:

The 5-year Green UAE Visa allows skilled professionals, freelancers, investors, and business partners to live and work in the UAE for up to 5 years without company sponsorship. Applicants receive a 60-day work permit to finalize the process once in Dubai.

The 10-year Residency “Golden” UAE Visa enables expats looking to settle long-term for career or investment reasons. It is available to investors, executives, scientists, students, and entrepreneurs meeting specific criteria. Eligible real estate or other investments also qualify applicants. 

Both visas provide longer-term residency, with the Golden Visa allowing a full decade in the UAE. But obtaining the right visa upfront is key before pursuing a move to Dubai.


– A high overall cost of living, especially pricey rent
– Sweltering and humid weather with extremely hot summers
– A conservative society with rigid laws on public behavior
– An absence of political rights
– Expensive housing options on the man-made islands
– The high expense required for enjoying amenities in the city


Dubai and the UK contrast sharply across categories like culture, economy, lifestyle, and infrastructure. The UK boasts a storied history, varied traditions, and outsized global impact on literature, music, and art. Dubai conversely represents a cultural melting pot fusing Emirati roots with international flavors. The city prioritizes modern extravagance over heritage. While the UK derives cultural wealth from its history, Dubai’s multiculturalism produces a distinctive blend of old and new. The two locations differ markedly in cultural foundations yet both offer compelling cultural experiences. Their divergent identities shape varied ways of life for residents.



Dubai is synonymous with extravagant living, but resides often pay a premium price tag. Despite tax-free salaries and abundant amenities, housing, dining, and entertainment impose steep costs.

Conversely, the UK cost of living differs by region. London notably carries higher expenses, primarily for housing. Yet other British cities and areas can facilitate more reasonably priced lifestyles. Overall, Dubai exacts higher living costs, especially factoring its opulence, while the UK ranges based on location.


Dubai provides a varied job market across finance, tourism, healthcare, construction, and more. Tax-free salaries and career advancement attract expats.

Similarly, the UK presents abundant employment options, notably in finance, technology, healthcare, and creative fields. A mature business climate and robust job market thrive there. Both offer strong job prospects and business environments. Dubai appeals to expats through tax incentives and growth while the UK leverages established industries and overall economic strength.


Dubai maintains a robust healthcare system blending public and private facilities, with cutting-edge hospitals and specialty medical centers.

Contrastingly, the UK‘s renowned National Health Service (NHS) supplies residents with free or low-cost care. It delivers comprehensive services and specialist access.


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