Located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is the largest city in the UAE and is also home to the Burj Khalifa (the tallest skyscraper in the world).
As compared to other countries in the Middle East, the UAE’s economy does not completely rely on oil and is diversified into sectors such as finance, real estate, tourism and aviation. Because of this, the city attracts a large number of businesses and expatriate workers from all over the world.
Living in Dubai
Choosing where to live in Dubai depends on your preferences and way of life. Downtown Dubai is in close proximity to the Burj Khalifa and is considered as the heart of the city. It offers all sorts of amenities and both villas and apartments can be rented here.
Emirates Hills consists of spacious villas and is very popular with families. This locality has beautiful parks, lakes, restaurants, cafes and also boasts some of the best international schools in Dubai. The Jumeirah Lake Towers are well-known for their affordable apartment accommodation. The area itself has a good selection of eateries and many apartments offer breathtaking views of the man-made lakes.
Situated near the airport, the community of Mirdif also has a good selection of villas and apartments. One of the best malls in the city, The Mirdif City Centre, is located in this district. If you fancy spectacular views of the ocean, then the Jumeirah Beach Residence is for you. It’s a bit expensive but the facilities are top-notch.
Located outside the main city, the Arabian Ranches community is populated by western expats. The suburb has outstanding schools, shopping outlets, eateries, cafes and medical facilities.
Roads are the main mode of transport in the city. Taxis are readily available and fares depend on the distance traveled and time of day.
The city offers a world-class, driverless Metro service which connects to various attractions including the Dubai Marina, the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Financial District and the Gold Souk. A tram service operates from Al Sufouh to the Jumeirah Beach Residences and also links to the Jumeirah Lake Towers and Palm Jumeirah. Buses are another great option for exploring the city. The shelters and vehicles are air-conditioned and fares can be paid via Nol card.
The Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and links Dubai to over 140 international destinations.
A famous tourist destination, Dubai offers a wide variety of leisure activities. The Safa Park, the Creekside Park and the Mushrif Park are stunning gardens which are visited by hundreds of people every day.
In addition to a plethora of shopping malls, Dubai is also home to the Wild Wadi Water Park which has the largest water slide outside of North America. Sports enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as powerboat racing, kite surfing, go-karting, rock-climbing, ice skating, falconry and camel racing.
The Ra’s al-Khor wildlife sanctuary is a treat for bird watchers who get to observe eagles, sandpipers, storks, harriers, ospreys and many others species during migration in the spring and autumn.
Working in Dubai
1. Jobs Prospects
The city offers employment opportunities in different sectors. Skilled workers are always needed in education, healthcare, hospitality, tourism, IT, engineering, advertising, sales and public relations. Graduates in accountancy can find good opportunities in the banking and finance sectors.
English is the primary business language and having a working knowledge of Arabic is a big plus. Many international recruitment agencies hire experienced professionals for work in Dubai and jobs can also be found online.
2. Starting a Business
In addition to great job opportunities, Dubai is the ideal city in the Middle East city for starting a business.
First, you will need to choose a business type from a list of over 2100 activities provided by the Department of Economic Development. This will determine the type of license you’ll need. Keep in mind that most businesses need a local partner who will hold a 51% share in the venture. Businesses incorporated in the free-zones don’t have this requirement. They are also exempt from commercial taxes, import and export duties, land taxes and building and property license fees.
You’ll also need to show that you have enough capital to run a business. It’s advisable to consult with a good lawyer from the start because he’ll be able to guide you through the red tape and the registration process.
3. Finding Office Space
The most renowned localities for office space in Dubai includes Downtown Dubai, Business Bay, the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers Free zone.
Downtown Dubai sports several commercial developments and enjoys excellent transport links. The Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marina in the world and has several office towers right on the waterfront. Business Bay is being constructed to facilitate international firms looking for a foothold in the UAE while JLT Free zone currently hosts numerous multinational corporations from all across the globe.
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