Dubai is popular with expats from around the world for it’s vibrant architecture, luxury lifestyle and tropical climate. It’s a modern city but culture, tradition and values are still important. As long as people relocating are aware and respectful of this, they will be able to have a smooth move and settle in to living in an exciting country. Here are a few things you should be aware of before relocating to Dubai:
It’s important to be aware that modest dress is to be expected in all public places. The minimum requirement is being loosely covered from neck to elbow to knees. Drunkenness, drug use, dishonest behaviour, bad language and public displays of affection are all criminal offenses. The raising of the third finger hand gesture is considered offensive and could land you in prison. It’s also important not to argue or raise your voice to a policeman or any state official.
Dubai is an Arab emirate
Dubai is fairly liberal but it’s important to remember that it’s an Arab emirate. The Islamic religion plays an important role in all aspects of Muslims daily lives. The call to prayer occurs five times a day which can mean that non-Muslims may have to wait to continue their business until Muslims return from prayer. During the holy month of Ramadan there are shorter working hours and most restaurants will be closed during the day.
Other religions are allowed to be practised in the city and there are Christian churches and a Sikh temple located in Jebel Ali however, there is a strong warning that no evangelisation will be tolerated across the region.
Renting property in Dubai
Buying a house in Dubai can be difficult because there are restrictions on foreigners owning property. However, it’s fairly easy to rent a property and there are plenty of affordable options in the city. The busy Dubai Marina is popular with expats, whereas Deira an Burj Dubai are traditional areas. If you are prepared to go further out, the Arabian Ranches and the Green Community Jumeirah, Al Wasl, Al Safa and Umm Seqeim offer luxury residential accommodation.
One of the impressive things about relocating to Dubai is the quality of the accommodation. New high rise flats and serviced apartments are available in the city and they come fully furnished and are serviced as part of the rent; short-term leases are also available for this type of accommodation.
Dealing with landlords
In Dubai annual rents on apartments must be paid in full and up front. Some companies will cover this for their employees and then deduct amounts monthly from their wages. Estate agents can be difficult to work with and it’s a good idea to either consult a property lawyer or carry out your own research before the move. Often good deals can be found through networking within the expat community as news tends to travel by word of mouth.
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