In the last five years, Dubai – the most crowded of the seven United Arab Emirates – has seen a population boom. An impressive half a million people have uprooted from their homelands and made the move, boosting Dubai’s population to over 3 million for the first time ever in 2023. Most interestingly, over 90% of these newcomers are foreigners. The “Cost of Living in Dubai” is offset by the city’s welcoming environment, which eliminates language and cultural barriers, making it an easy place for people from all walks of life to connect and interact.
Alongside low taxes, the high level of security, crime rate reduction, and numerous professional and business opportunities were primary drivers behind rapid population growth.
Cost of Living
Families from around the globe move to Dubai each year with children in tow, and typically the primary expense associated with that move is rent, which varies depending on where your chosen apartment or house is.
“If you want to live in an exclusive tower at the center of Dubai Downtown with views of Burj Khalifa & Dubai Fountains, expect to pay upwards of $5,500 per month for an 80 sqm apartment.“
However, just outside the city center are beautiful one-bedroom apartments for as little as $550 to $900 in residential buildings that feature pool/gym access as well as 24-hour supermarket service.
As a single individual in Dubai, your living expenses should range between $900 to $1,700 annually (including rent). Your costs may differ significantly depending on where you reside in Dubai.
Since 2020, unmarried couples are also allowed to live together in one apartment, incurring living costs ranging from $1,400 to $2,700 annually.
Families of four living in Dubai should expect monthly living costs ranging from $3,400 to $5,600. Gated communities around Dubai City Centre provide ideal living arrangements for these households – these communities usually feature swimming pools, playgrounds, and gyms, as well as supermarkets, schools, and leisure activities nearby.
Cost of Moving to Dubai
Dubai is an increasingly popular business destination, and the costs associated with immigrating there can depend on several variables. If you wish to incorporate a company in Dubai to obtain your Residence Visa, costs range between $9,500 and $17,000.
If you want to buy a property or retire in India, the total cost of a Residence Visa, including all fees, should come out to approximately $3,300.
If you plan to reside in Dubai, be aware that rent must usually be paid annually in advance; with sure landlords, you may also negotiate semi-annual or quarterly payments.
Establishing a company in Dubai
Establishing a company in Dubai offers freelancers and entrepreneurs many advantages that they can use to their advantage.
Free trade zones exempt businesses in free trade zones from this requirement for 50 years; there is no commercial register, and there is no residency requirement for company founders – however if your company operates in Dubai as part of a free trade zone, then every six months to maintain your visa may be necessary for its upkeep.
Taxes in Dubai
Dubai is widely acknowledged to be an exceptional tax haven. Most individuals and companies are exempt from all but VAT when it comes to paying any taxes in this emirate.
VAT in Dubai
Since 2018, Dubai has implemented a VAT of 5%, which only applies to end consumers and must be settled and paid by companies operating in Dubai or the United Arab Emirates with sales over $120,000.
VAT should only be collected from customers located in the UAE; thus, if your business serves customers outside of this area, you don’t need to worry about charging VAT.
From mid-2023 on, a corporate income tax of 9% will be levied in Dubai or across the UAE on companies that generate profits exceeding $120,000 yearly; however, free trade zones remain exempt until 2067.
Income Tax in Dubai
Dubai does not impose income tax for employees, entrepreneurs, and self-employed alike. Furthermore, non-wage labor costs do not exist, so all earnings are 100% tax-free unless you reside elsewhere and need to file income taxes therein.
Health Insurance and Medical Services in Dubai
Health insurance starts from only $30 a month; more comprehensive plans cost between $115 to $350 monthly. You’ll find numerous local hospitals as well as international facilities in Dubai.
Schools in Dubai
Dubai boasts an estimated 300 schools that collectively enroll over 150,000 students and employ 12,000 teachers, giving you ample options when selecting an educational setting for your children.
School fees in Dubai range from $450 to $28,000 annually per child, depending on their school of choice and level. At an English school in Dubai, annual costs can range anywhere from $11,000 to $22,000, depending on your child’s education level.
Prejudice Against Women Driving in Dubai
Perceptions that women in Dubai cannot drive legally and are required to cover themselves are incorrect.
Whoever violates women in the United Arab Emirates may face fines of up to EUR3,500 and, in extreme cases, jail sentences of one year or even longer. Therefore, you can feel safe.