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Relocating to Dubai: What You Need to Know

July 29, 2014

United Arab Emirates

Have you recently received a lucrative job offer in the Middle East — or are you relocating to Dubai for different reasons? This sunny paradise can offer you and your family all of the finer things in life. From a ridiculously high standard of living to some of the best restaurants and public schools in existence, such a move can very well be a dream come true — or also a nightmare if not carefully planned.

Additionally, let’s not forget that in many ways, Dubai is a world unto itself. This can be a bit challenging for those who are unaware of the steps necessary to smoothly relocate. While the culture is unique and will take a bit of getting used to (as will the heat), let’s instead focus on some of the basic requirements that you and your loved ones should be aware of, in order to make your big move and transition a little smoother.

relocating to Dubai, skyline photo

Dubai skyline by Imre Solt, Wiki Commons

International Schools in Dubai

You can place your worries aside, for Dubai offers some of the best schools in the world. Still, be aware that the two main categories are American-oriented systems and those designed for the British. To avoid confusing the two, here is a list of what many believe to be the best British institutions within the city centre:

  • GEMS Cambridge International School: Dubai
  • Deira International School
  • Dubai British School
  • Dubai College
  • Jumeirah English-Speaking School (JESS)

Dubai Shopping for Children

If you perform an online search with a term such as “baby shop Dubai”, you will find hundreds of options. Still, some of the best locations to buy items for infants and toddlers are all found within the famous Dubai Mall. With brands names such as Jacadi and Dior Kids, you will certainly not be disappointed!

relocating to Dubai, shopping options

the imposing Mercato Shopping Mall

House hunting in Dubai

Unless you already have a house waiting for you, it is likely that you will need to find an apartment. Of course, there are literally thousands to choose from. As with any rental property, be sure to keep in mind the distance to any schools, public transportation hubs and shopping malls.

One thing to pay particular attention to in Dubai, though, is the cost of utilities. Many properties will offer you and your family a garden. Although this may be desirable, rental prices can be notoriously high in such instances. For this reason, be sure to factor in these additional costs. One great alternative is to opt for a self-catering apartment until you find the location of your dreams. These are generally rented on a monthly basis and they will offer you all of the amenities of home (and much more).

relocating to Dubai, apartment complex view

What your typical expat apartment in Dubai could look like! Photo by Hazel Owen, Flickr Commons

Dining Out — in style

One fact that many new arrivals overlook is that local food may be a bit difficult to become accustomed to overnight. So, you and your family are likely to desire a taste from home. In this case, you are in luck! There are a number of British restaurants spread throughout the city. A few of the most reputable include:

The Fish and Chips Room (Dubai Marina)
George and Dragon (Bur Dubai)
Goodfellas (Ramee Rose Hotel)
The Lobby Lounge (Jumeirah)

From the best bangers and mash to traditional fish and chips, there is no doubt that you will leave satisfied.

relocating to Dubai, dining out

A traditional dining courtyard in the Bastakia Quarter of Dubai by Mackay Savage, Wiki Commons

Dubai is an excellent family-friendly city. With these few tips and tricks, any relocation can be pleasant and without stress. Perhaps most importantly of all, your family will thank you for it!

Are you planning on relocating to Dubai or have any other tips?

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