Living in the UAE: Top 4 Money Matters to Consider Before Making the Big Move

Living in the UAE Top 4 Money Matters

Folks who have migrated to Dubai seeking a more fulfilling life and standard of living certainly can’t find much to complain about. It actually makes a lot of financial sense to move here, especially if you happen to be moving from a developing country.

You get a chance to earn significantly more than what you are in your homeland – the lack of an income-tax policy means there are no deductions at all and you take home whatever you earn. Plus, the fact that Dubai is practically crime-free is a very attractive proposition in its own.

Put two and two together, and you’ll soon find yourself enjoying the finer things in life that you were unable to back home; say, a mid-range exotic car you’ve always wanted to drive or own a nice piece of property in Palm Jumeirahoverlooking the beach.

Before you make the big move though, you need to take a few financial matters into account.

On Matters of Rent

As of last year, there was a noticeable increase in rent – residents who are on fixed allowance from their companies were the ones to take most of the hit. However, industry experts and realtors are claiming rent is set to go down this year, which is going to go down further next year as well.

Currently, a 3-bedroom villa in The Springs, for example, can be had on rent for anything between 165,000 and 170,000 Dirhams per year. This has pretty much remained unchanged since last year, though residents have voiced their grievances on social media that landlords are not charging them according to what realty experts believe should be paid. In this case, you might want to use the RERA rental index system to determine what your annual rent should be for any given localty.

A report published by the EIU – Economist Intelligence Unit – reveals that in plain terms, high-end accommodation rent rates in cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai compare quite favorably with those in New York, Sydney and London, though not quite as favorable for cities of developing countries like Pakistan or India.

As far as the UAE is concerned, expatriates do have the tendency to rent more high-end accommodation. Therefore, the current dynamics offer certain advantages to expatriateslooking to own property for sale in Dubaithough most prefer to live on rent.

Cost of Education

Schooling expenditures may appear to be a bit of a challenge for some, particularly in cases where employers are not willing to offer education allowance.

Another EIU report reveals that school fees provisions are no longer a part of expatriate salary packages as competition in the region continues to get stiffer. Currently, you’re looking at an average of more than 50,000 Dirhams annually for a British school, in fact, some going as high as 94, 000 Dirhams per year.

This rise in tuition fee is often attributed to special international trips to premium destinations organized by the school. And then there are extra-curriculars like piano or guitar lessons, ballet, swimming and fitness classes, soccer etc. so you may be looking at an additional 1,800 Dirhams or so.

One parent said that he declined to pay 15,000 Dirhams to let his grade 5 son go with the school on a Switzerland ski trip, although he may have to give in at some point like most parents do.

A Helping Hand

Having a nanny or maid working for you is considerably cheaper than what you would expect to spend in the West, though rates have relatively gone up in the UAE: the one-time security deposit for a maid visa is now 3,000 Dirhams.

The Ministry of Interior has put such rules in place to protect people who work in homes and you may have to adjust your household budget accordingly. Then there’s the commission you must pay to the agency providing maid and nanny services.

While you may not see this as a necessity, particularly if you’re from the West, maids have become an integral part of many homes in Dubai.

Other Everyday Expenses

The cost of buying groceries has arisen slightly; however, this will likely be felt more by certain nationalities. For instance, currently Dubai and Abu Dhabi are 42% and 38% cheaper than say, Sydney, based on EIU’s Global Cost of Living survey.

Compared to London, it’s 37% for Dubai, and 35% for Abu Dhabi, while compared to New York, it’s 30% and 27% respectively. So, if you’re moving in from somewhere in the West or Europe, you’re looking at savings and more take-home earnings.

You’ll be seeing a different picture though, if you’re moving in from somewhere in the East – let’s say India – where the EIU-listed grocery items are cheaper. The same consumables, compared to New Delhi, cost 62% and 55% more in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

In addition, laundry and home maintenance costs have risen as well though not significantly.

Ensure that you are getting the most ideal accommodation by relying on the best real estate companies in Dubai with an established track record.


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