The Guides

How is living in Dubai for British expats?

British expats in Dubai

If you're a Brit that's looking to live in a new city with sunshine all year round, Dubai is a great pick.

Words by Aneesha Rai in The Guides · Dec 30th, 2018

Dubai & the UAE have a long history with the British. You will find many a Brit expat enjoying what the city has to offer along with many long-term residents. In fact, there are over 240,000 British residents in the UAE today, according to an article by The National - making it the largest western community in the country. Both countries share very close ties, that extend beyond diplomatic ones. 

Settling in Dubai as a British expat is relatively quite easy. You're always welcome to come check it out visa-free for a start. Secondly, there are plenty of job openings for every profession available and recently, great potential to start your own business! You will either need to be sponsored by your employer or start your business to be able to work and stay in the UAE. The British expat community is quite connected and always willing to help out. Scour Facebook groups if you're on a lookout for a job.

As a real estate investor, you also have plenty of opportunities in the Dubai real estate market. Currently the market holds ample potential and attractive payment plans. Not just that, investing in a property worth AED 1 million and above, makes you eligible for an investor visa as a perk.

On a social scale, Dubai offers you a lot as a British expat too. It's full of several restaurants that make great British grub and in terms of shopping, most of the fashion labels are available here too. Very little reason to miss home. In addition to this, there are some really popular British style watering holes, in the event that you miss home. Expect to fish out more than a couple of bucks though, as eating out and brunching too often even on weekends can have quite an impact on your savings. Dubai does have quite a high standard of living, but personal income is still tax free!

There are also grocery stores that cater to British tastebuds, such as Marks & Spencer as well. 

In terms of settling down and having a family, Dubai does offer great healthcare services. There are several hospitals and clinics with Western-educated faculty and updated technology. Health insurance is mandatory if you are staying here. There are also plenty of family-friendly areas to live in, such as Arabian Ranches, Meadows and Al Barari.

There are several nurseries, schools and universities that offer British education, so you will be spoilt for choice. Prices are steep, but you can be assured that your child is receiving a sound education. 

In terms of driving and mobility, your UK driving licence can be transferred into a UAE driving licence as well. Besides that, there's the Dubai metro,taxis and buses to help you get around. Uber & Careem is also readily available in Dubai.