Living in Dubai can be a very exciting experience. As the most popular emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it has become synonymous with a lavish and bustling lifestyle, diverse culture, and high standards of living. The majority of Dubai residents are actually expats – professionals and business people who want to take advantage of the lack of income tax and are looking to further their careers. And lately, many internationals are also considering Dubai as their ideal place to retire.
Is retiring in Dubai a good idea?
Well, the answer to that question depends entirely on your lifestyle preferences. If you don’t mind the warm climate and the high costs of living are not an issue, then it might just be the place for you.
Why You Should retire to Dubai
1. It is safe
Dubai is generally a very safe place to live, with low crime rates. Of course, like anywhere in the world, crime does exist, but its mostly petty crimes. The rates of violent crime are pretty low, something that’s mostly due to UAE’s strict laws. However, the strict laws may actually be more of a problem than the crime – for foreigners at least.
2. It has good healthcare
Even though expats have to get private healthcare, the healthcare standards in Dubai are some of the best in the world, even matching those in Europe and the US. So, if you can afford to retire in Dubai, you won’t have to worry about the quality of the health care you will receive.
3. It is culturally diverse
Dubai is made up of a large majority of expats, making it a very culturally diverse place, so you get the chance to mix with other cultures and learn something new.
4. English is widely spoken
A large portion of Dubai residents understand and speak English – some go as far as to call it an unofficial second language. So, as long as you speak English, you will not likely have a problem communicating.
The Possible cons of retiring to Dubai
1. The costs of life
Although you won’t have to pay income tax, the costs of living in Dubai can be pretty high. After all, the luxurious lifestyle many of the residents enjoy does not come cheap. Compared to other popular retirement spots, Dubai is actually one of the most expensive, with an average of over AED 3,000 per month for one person – and that’s not including rent.
2. The weather
Although year-around sunny weather sounds amazing, the temperatures from June to September can reach uncomfortably-high levels, with an average of 33.4°C (92.2°F). Dubai’s climate is defined as a hot desert climate and most people prefer to spend their days in air-conditioned places. The high temperatures are especially of risk to elderly people, who are at increased danger of heat-related illnesses.
3. Stricter laws
If you are from a Western country, the strict laws in Dubai may come as a bit of shock to you. There are some things you may have been accustomed to doing freely, but which may get you in trouble with the law if you do them in Dubai. This includes public displays of affection, dressing “immodestly”, swearing or making rude gestures (even online!), eating and drinking on public transport, and even raising money for charity or having a dirty car…
4. The cultural difference
Despite being a culturally diverse country, the UAE is predominantly Muslim. This means it abides by Mulsim laws, which include fasting the Ramadan. Even if you do not fast, you cannot be seen eating or drinking in public, and most of the restaurants are closed anyway.