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UK Expat Living in Dubai

The Ultimate UK Expat Guide

Want to know about Living in Dubai as a British Expat?

UK Expat Living in Dubai is an exciting but significant transition. To ensure a smooth move, it is important to consider crucial factors like visa requirements, housing options and cost of living. 

Dubai’s expat-friendly environment offers diverse job opportunities,  however, understanding cultural norms and local laws is essential. 

The climate can become very warm in the summer and Arabic is the primary language, but English is widely spoken.

Explore healthcare, education, and transportation options while embracing the unique lifestyle that this vibrant city offers. 

Prepare well and enjoy a successful relocation from the UK to Dubai.i

Lets Learn the Dubai Basics

Many people dream of living in Dubai, which is an emirate within the United Arab Emirates, This unique city offers an expat experience unlike any other place on earth.

As the most celebrated emirate, Dubai draws attention for its popular quality of life for many families living in the west such as United kingdom, America, Australia, Canada and more, defined by safety and a place where the international community can come and live in peace. 

With over 80% of Dubai’s population comprised of expats from all over the world, far as countries such as; USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Russia, it’s clear to many families that have spent time here in Dubai that it has perfected the art of welcoming foreigners from all walks of life.

Why Dubai?

Dubai’s popularity among expats stems from its nice clean streets to its safe lifestyle and robust economy.

You can enjoy the view of skyscrapers on your way to work or when you are on a family day out to Global village or you could be heading to Al Qasba Sharjah to experience the corniche, or you could check out some yacht parties, and indulging in a nightlife scene that rivals the world’s most famed hotspots.

Dubai is not just about luxury, though; it’s a forward thinking city with a futuristic approach to crypto technology, business, and daily living making it a place that ticks nearly all boxes for families search for a safe place to live.

The Best Neighbourhoods

Choosing where to live in Dubai largely depends on your lifestyle preferences and budget:

  • Downtown Dubai: The beating heart of the city, known for the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. Ideal for those who crave city life and don’t mind the hustle and bustle.
  • Jumeirah: Perfect for families, Jumeirah boasts lovely beaches, expansive villas, and a more laid-back vibe.
  • Dubai Marina: A place for young professionals from the west and singles with its high rise apartments, vibrant social scene, and stunning waterfront views.
  • The Palm Jumeirah: Known for its luxurious apartments and villas, it’s a unique locale built in the shape of a palm tree on reclaimed land in the Arabian Gulf.

Cost of Living

Dubai’s cost of living can be high, but it varies significantly based on lifestyle choices. Housing is usually the most substantial expense, with prices in premium neighbourhoods reflecting their desirability. However, this is offset by the absence of income tax, allowing more disposable income for enjoying what the city has to offer. Essentials like groceries, transportation, and utilities are reasonably priced, but international schooling and dining out can add up.

Expat Life and Safety

Expats in Dubai enjoy a vibrant community life. There are numerous expat clubs, social groups, and professional networks to help newcomers settle in. Moreover, Dubai is one of the safest cities globally, with low crime rates and high police visibility ensuring that residents feel secure at all times.

What to Consider as a UK or USA Expat?

While Dubai offers a high standard of living and many luxuries, there are a few things to consider:

  • Residency: Unlike some countries, the UAE does not offer citizenship to expats, but you can obtain long-term residency through various visas, including the Golden Visa for investors.
  • Cultural Adaptation: While Dubai is modern, it is still deeply rooted in its cultural and religious traditions. Expats are expected to respect these customs, particularly during Ramadan and in their dress and behaviour in public.
  • Climate: The climate can be a challenge, with extremely high temperatures in the summer months.

Planning Your Move

If you’re considering making Dubai your home, it’s advisable to plan thoroughly. Understand the visa requirements and explore employment opportunities before arriving.

It might also be beneficial to connect with a Dubai consultancy company such as Expat Zone that can help you apply for your or your family visa as well as finding you a property to rent or buy in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Abu Dhabi or Ras al Khaimah.

About Us

UK Expat Living in Dubai Hub provides in depth trusted information on life in Dubai, offering vital guides, insights, and global research to assist you in planning a successful transition to the UK to Dubai UAE. Explore our resources for a seamless and informed experience as you embark on your journey of living in Dubai. 

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Family Attractions in Dubai

Where are the Dubai Attractions?

Planning a family trip to Dubai from the UK? Wondering where to create lasting memories? 

How about a thrilling day at IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park, where your family can enjoy rides and meet favorite characters? 

Curious about underwater wonders? Explore The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, where kids can marvel at marine life in a captivating setting. 

And for a touch of culture, the Dubai Miracle Garden is a vibrant spectacle of flowers, perfect for a leisurely stroll. Ready for a family adventure in Dubai?

Pros and Cons in Dubai

What are the Dubai Pros and Cons?

Considering Dubai for your family vacation? Eager for luxury, but concerned about expenses? 

Dubai’s world-class attractions and shopping are unbeatable, but be mindful of the higher cost of living.

 Intrigued by the futuristic skyline? Yet, the scorching summers might be a drawback. Enthralled by the cultural diversity? 

Keep in mind the conservative local customs. Weighing the pros and cons for your Dubai trip?

Moving to Dubai from the UK

Thinking of Moving from UK to Dubai?

Contemplating a move from the UK to Dubai? 

UK Expat Living in Dubai can learn about the tax-free income but wondering about cultural adjustments? 

Dubai offers a dynamic lifestyle with stunning architecture, but be prepared for the warm climate. 

Eager for job opportunities in a thriving economy? 

However, consider the potential culture shock and the need for a residence visa. Ready for a life change in Dubai?

UK Guide and Facts About Dubai

What is Life Like for Brits

Are you a UK Expat Living in Dubai? Picture a city where modernity meets tradition, 

with British expats enjoying tax-free incomes in a bustling cosmopolitan environment. 

From shopping in world-class malls to savoring diverse culinary delights, Dubai offers a lifestyle like no other. 

However, adapting to the desert climate and understanding local customs may require a bit of adjustment. 

Ready to learn more about Dubai embrace the unique experience of life in Dubai as a Brit?

Working Life in Dubai for UK Expats

Finding a Job as an Expat?

Embarking on a job search in Dubai? Eager for opportunities in a global hub but unsure about the market? 

Dubai’s diverse economy offers positions across various sectors, particularly in finance, technology, and hospitality. Wondering about work culture? 

It’s generally professional, but be mindful of local customs and business etiquette. Ready to explore career possibilities in the vibrant job market of Dubai?

Getting Around Dubai for UK Expats

Travelling within & Around Dubai

Navigating Dubai as a UK expat? Excited to explore, but curious about transportation options? 

The city offers a well-connected metro system, efficient buses, and plenty of taxis. Planning to drive? 

Adapt to the right-hand traffic and be aware of the strict traffic rules. Interested in the convenience of ride-hailing services? 

Apps like Uber are widely used. Ready to smoothly traverse the dazzling cityscape of Dubai as a UK expat?

Right Place to Live in Dubai

Where are the Best Neighbourhoods?

Searching for the right place to live in Dubai? Consider the vibrant expat-friendly community of Jumeirah, where stunning beaches and upscale amenities abound. 

Want a mix of tradition and modernity? Explore Al Barsha with its diverse housing options and proximity to shopping and entertainment. 

Eager for a family-friendly environment? 

The Meadows offers a serene suburban lifestyle. Ready to find your ideal home in the diverse tapestry of Dubai’s neighborhoods?

Healthcare in Dubai for UK Expats

How Much is Healthcare?

Contemplating healthcare in Dubai as a UK expat? The city boasts world-class medical facilities and skilled healthcare professionals. 

Expats usually opt for private health insurance, providing access to great hospitals like Mediclinic and American Hospital. Wondering about costs? 

While medical services are of high quality, expenses can be relatively higher. 

It’s advisable to have comprehensive coverage to ensure peace of mind. Ready to prioritize your health in Dubai with the right healthcare choices?

Cost of Living in Dubai for UK Expats

Is Dubai Expensive as People say?

Alright, now let’s discuss the cost of living in Dubai. Now, Dubai may offer a high standard of living, but it’s crucial to plan and budget wisely. 

Here are some key things to consider when it comes to the cost of living in Dubai for us Brits:


First up, accommodation, buddy. The cost of housing in Dubai can be a bit steep, especially in popular areas like Downtown Dubai or Dubai Marina. Rent for apartments or villas will vary based on factors like size, location, and amenities. 

Education in Dubai for UK Families and Kids

Education for Your Children

The educational scene here for us UK families is very good. Dubai offers a whole bunch of educational opportunities for our kids

whether it’s public or private schools following different curricula, including the ones we’re familiar with from back home. 

Here are some important things to know about education in Dubai for us Brits:


Curriculum Options, brits. Many schools in Dubai offer a British curriculum, like the National Curriculum of England and Wales or the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. 

Shopping in Dubai for UK Tourists

Shopping Places in Dubai for UK Tourists?

UK Expat Living in Dubai can learn about the shopping scene here. It’s like a dream come true for us UK folks, with so many options to suit every taste and wallet. 

Here’s the lowdown on shopping in Dubai during your holiday: Malls, brits. Dubai is all about those extravagant malls that’ll blow your mind. 

You’ve got the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, and Ibn Battuta Mall, just to name a few. 

These places are packed with international brands, designer labels, and luxury goodies. 

Restaurants in Dubai for Foreigners

My fellow Expats, let me tell you about the food in Dubai. It’s a food lover’s paradise with a smorgasbord of flavors from all around the world. 

As an expat, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a place to satisfy your taste buds. 

Check out these top recommendations for UK Expats Living in Dubai:


First up, you gotta try some local Emirati cuisine, guys. 

Head over to Al Fanar Restaurant or Café Bateel for an authentic Emirati dining experience. They’ll serve you up some delicious machboos (spiced rice with meat or fish), khuzi (roasted lamb), and luqaimat (sweet dumplings). It’s a real treat to taste the flavors of the local Emirati culture.



Learn Dubai Culture

What is the Dubai Culture?

Brits, let me give you a taste of the vibrant culture for UK Expats Living in Dubai. 

It’s a city that beautifully blends its traditional Arabian heritage with a modern cosmopolitan vibe, creating a cultural experience like no other. Here’s a sneak peek into the vibrant cultural scene:


First off, let’s dive into Emirati culture, mate. Despite all the glitz and glamour, Dubai has managed to preserve its Emirati roots. You gotta check out the Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Historic District, and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. 

These places will take you on a journey through Bedouin traditions, local customs, and the captivating history of Dubai. 

It’s a fantastic way to connect with the authentic Emirati culture proudly embraces its traditional Emirati culture while welcoming people from all walks of life. 

Nightlife in Dubai

Where is the Nightlife in Dubai?

Let me share some advice on exploring the vibrant nightlife scene in the city. Here are a few recommendations:


Start at Dubai Marina: The Dubai Marina is known for its stylish waterfront bars and lounges, offering a stunning backdrop of the marina and the city skyline. 

It’s a great place to begin your night and soak in the energetic atmosphere.

Indulge in Luxury Hotels: Dubai is renowned for its luxurious hotels, and they often house world-class restaurants and chic nightclubs.

If you’re looking for a glamorous experience, consider visiting iconic hotels like the Burj Al Arab or Atlantis The Palm, where you can enjoy fine dining and experience top-notch entertainment.

Explore Alserkal Avenue: For a more cultural and artsy evening, head to Alserkal Avenue. This vibrant district is home to art galleries, trendy cafés, and creative spaces. 

Dubai Public Services

Are There any Public Services?

Dubai has the efficient and reliable public Government services that contribute to a high standard of living in the city. Allow me to share some insights and advice regarding these services for UK Expats Living in Dubai:


Transportation: Dubai boasts a well-developed transportation system, with the Dubai Metro being a popular mode of travel. The metro network covers various areas of the city, making it convenient to commute and explore different neighborhoods and landmarks. Additionally, taxis are plentiful and equipped with modern amenities, providing a comfortable and reliable means of transportation.

Healthcare: Dubai takes pride in its world-class healthcare system. The city is home to both public and private hospitals and clinics that offer excellent medical services. Whether you require routine check-ups, specialized treatments, or emergency care, you can expect high-quality healthcare facilities and well-trained professionals.


Dubai Laws & Rules for UK Tourists

What are the Laws & Rules for UK Tourists

Understanding the importance of familiarizing oneself with the laws and regulations that govern the city. Allow me to provide you with some key advice to ensure a smooth and compliant stay in Dubai for UK Expats Living in Dubai:


Residency: As a UK expat, it’s crucial to obtain the necessary visas and permits to live and work in Dubai legally. Familiarize yourself with the visa requirements and ensure that you have the appropriate documentation to maintain your residency status throughout your stay.

Alcohol Consumption: While alcohol consumption is permitted in Dubai, it is strictly regulated. It is important to consume alcohol only in designated areas such as licensed restaurants, bars, and clubs. Public intoxication and drinking in public places are not allowed and can result in legal consequences.


Dubai Safety and Security for UK Expats

Is Dubai Safe for Women?

Safety and security as fundamental aspects of daily life. Dubai is renowned for its commitment to maintaining a secure environment for residents, including UK Expats Living in Dubai like myself. Here are some insights and advice on ensuring your safety in Dubai:


Low Crime Rates: Dubai enjoys remarkably low crime rates due to its strong police presence and effective law enforcement. However, it’s still important to exercise caution and take common-sense safety measures to protect yourself and your belongings.

Awareness and Vigilance: Being aware of your surroundings is crucial. Stay attentive in public areas and trust your instincts. Avoid displaying valuable items and keep personal belongings secure. It’s advisable to use well-lit and populated areas, especially when walking alone at night.

Stay Informed: Stay updated on local news and developments through reliable sources. Pay attention to any travel advisories or safety recommendations issued by your embassy or consulate. This will keep you well-informed and prepared, ensuring you make informed decisions about your safety.


Faith and Religion in Dubai

What is the Religion in the UAE?

As a UK Expats Living in Dubai, I can attest to the city’s embrace of cultural diversity and respect for religious freedom. While Islam is the official religion of the UAE, Dubai warmly welcomes individuals from all walks of life, including expats, and recognizes and honors the various faiths practiced by its residents and visitors.


Dubai boasts an impressive array of religious sites, with numerous mosques dotting the cityscape. 

One such remarkable mosque is the Jumeirah Mosque, known for its stunning architecture. 

It even offers guided tours specifically designed for non-Muslims to learn about Islamic culture and traditions, providing a valuable opportunity for cultural exchange and understanding.


In addition to Islam, Dubai allows the practice of other religions, and you’ll find several churches, temples, and gurdwaras catering to different religious communities. 

The Christian community, for instance, has a vibrant presence, with churches offering services in various languages, providing a sense of familiarity and comfort for UK expats and other worshippers.



  • What is the best time to visit Dubai?

    The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, from November to March, when the weather is pleasant and comfortable for outdoor activities. The temperatures are milder, ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (86°F), making it ideal for exploring the city’s attractions.

  • Do I need a visa to visit Dubai?

    Yes, most visitors to Dubai require a visa. However, the requirements vary depending on your nationality and the purpose of your visit. Citizens of certain countries may obtain a visa on arrival, while others need to apply for a visa in advance for living in Dubai. It is advisable to check with the UAE embassy or consulate in your country for the specific visa requirements.

  • What is the currency used in Dubai?

    The currency used for UK Expats Living in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is the UAE dirham (AED). It is advisable to carry some cash in dirhams for small purchases, but credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and shops.


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