Explore the top reasons why expats are moving to Dubai, UAE!

Dubai is a city where tradition meets the future and dreams turn into reality.

Nestled on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai is a dazzling metropolis known for its iconic skyline, luxury lifestyle, and boundless opportunities.

Between 2022 and 2023 just under 100,000 expats moved to Dubai, according to Dubai Statistics Centre. But why is Dubai such a popular destination for those looking to move abroad? 

In this blog, we will look at the six key reasons why people are moving to Dubai, and how EasyFX can help you if you choose to embark on the journey of relocating to the UAE.

Birdseye view of streets and high rise buildings in Dubai, UAE.

Table of contents: 

1. Thriving economy and job opportunities in Dubai

As of 2024, Dubai's economy continues to thrive, driven by booming industries that attract people from all over the world.

Finance and banking in Dubai

Dubai's finance and banking sector stands as a cornerstone of Dubai's recent economic successes, offering unparalleled opportunities for expatriates looking to advance their careers somewhere new. 

As a leading financial hub in the Middle East, Dubai is home to many banks, investment firms, and financial service companies. Giving those who move there more than enough options for any future career changes. 

Located between the East and West of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai provides a unique advantage for professionals in finance, facilitating cross-border transactions, and making moving through the UAE easy and convenient. 

Expatriates in Dubai also benefit from a tax-free income policy, making it an attractive destination for top talent in the financial sector, we discuss this further below! 

The Dubai International Financial Centre serves as a dedicated financial free zone, which offers both robust regulations and world-class infrastructure tailored to the needs of financial institutions. 

The UAE government's proactive approach to adopting fintech and blockchain technologies has seen Dubai at the forefront of financial innovation. This commitment to technological advancement opens doors for those who specialise in digital banking, financial technology, and cybersecurity. 

For expats looking to elevate their careers whilst experiencing a vibrant, cosmopolitan lifestyle, Dubai's finance and banking sector offers a gateway to professional growth. 

Real estate and construction in Dubai

Dubai's real estate and construction sector stands as a testament to the city's unyielding ambition and commitment to innovation. 

For those looking to move abroad, Dubai offers endless possibilities and great living standards, complete with architectural marvels that are not only visually stunning but also offer unparalleled luxury and comfort. 

The city's property market is booming, with a diverse range of property options to suit various lifestyles and budgets. Making it popular with expats looking for modern apartments or a luxury townhouse. 

The real estate sector in Dubai has shown an ability to maintain high growth rates, helped by thoughtful governance and regulations.

Although Dubai has seen some extreme weather recently, its real estate market is still expected to grow by 5-7% in 2025

This has made Dubai an attractive destination for foreigners looking to invest their money in property that will not only maintain but increase in value. 

Recent regulatory reforms and incentives for foreign investors have made property ownership more accessible and attractive, encouraging both long-term residency and investment. 

Construction in Dubai is synonymous with cutting-edge technology and sustainable practices and is transparent about its aim to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance quality of life for residents.

Projects like the Sustainable City and Masdar City are leading examples of how Dubai is integrating green practices and smart technology into eco-friendly urban environments.

In summary, Dubai's real estate and construction sectors are not just about building new homes but creating lifestyles. The city's blend of luxury innovation and strategic growth makes it an ideal destination for expats looking to invest in their future and enjoy a high standard of living.

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Tourism and hospitality in Dubai

Dubai is globally renowned for its dynamic tourism and hospitality sectors. 

These industries form the backbone of Dubai's economy and offer an array of opportunities and experiences, making the city a prime destination for expatriates seeking a career in this industry and an enriching lifestyle. 

Attracting millions of visitors each year, Dubai's tourism industry is a beacon of success.

The city is home to iconic landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, which is currently the tallest building in the world, and the Palm Jumeirah, an architectural phenomenon, visible from outer space. 

These attractions, along with a year-round calendar of world-class events, festivals, and entertainment all ensure there is always something to captivate Dubai's residents and new expats.

The hospitality industry in Dubai is infamous for its luxury and innovation. The city boasts an impressive portfolio of hotels and resorts, ranging from the ultra-fancy Burj Al Arab to budget-friendly options so that all manner of visitors are catered for. 

Most hotels in Dubai are known for their exceptional service standards, world-class amenities, and unique experiences, such as underwater suites, rooftop infinity pools, and desert safaris

Dubai's technology and innovation sector

It is no secret that Dubai has rapidly transformed itself into a global hub for technology and innovation, making it an attractive destination for expatriates seeking a career in this sector. 

The city's commitment to fostering a tech-friendly environment is evident in its strategic initiatives, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and vibrant start-up ecosystem.

Dubai's vision for technological advances is highlighted in several ambitious projects and strategic plans. The Dubai 10X initiative aims to position the city ten years ahead of other world cities by leveraging disruptive technologies. 

Meanwhile, Smart Dubai focuses on making Dubai a happy and positive place to live by implementing technology-driven services in various sectors including healthcare, transport, and public administration.

The Dubai Future Accelerators program is a key player in Dubai's growth, connecting startups with government entities to work on futuristic solutions.

In addition, Dubai's Silicon Oasis offers a free zone with a unique urban community, complete with residential and commercial spaces tailored for tech startups. 

Innovation in Dubai spans across various sectors. In transportation, the city is pioneering autonomous vehicles and the Hyperloop project, which aims to reduce travel time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to just 12 minutes.

Aside from this, the healthcare sector is being revolutionised by AI robotics, improving both patient care and operational efficiency, whilst the real estate sector benefits from smart building technology and blockchain. 

The employment prospects in Dubai

The city's diverse economy means there are ample job opportunities for expats in various industries. The UAE government's initiatives to attract foreign talent, such as the Golden Visa program, make it easier for expatriates to live and work in Dubai long-term.

Employers in Dubai usually offer competitive salaries and comprehensive benefits also to attract talented people from across the globe.

Dubai's dynamic job market is complemented by numerous opportunities for professional development as well. Whether expats want to attend international conferences or enroll in workshops at world-renowned institutions, they can enhance their skills and careers. 

2. Tax-free income when working and living in Dubai

One of the most significant benefits for expats looking to move to Dubai is the absence of personal income tax. 

This means that expatriates can enjoy their full salary without deductions, significantly enhancing their disposable income and savings potential. 

The tax-free regime not only attracts professionals but also high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs seeking to maximise their earnings. 

Attractive financial benefits for expats in Dubai

One of the most appealing aspects of moving to Dubai is the tax-free income.

The UAE does not levy personal income tax, which means residents, and non-residents working and living in Dubai can keep all of their earnings. This can result in significant savings, especially for high-income earners and entrepreneurs. 

Unlike many countries that expatriates originate from, Dubai offers competitive salary packages

This is because employers in Dubai recognise the need to attract top talent and often provide lucrative compensation packages that can include bonuses and performance-related incentives. 

In addition to the attractive salaries, many employers in Dubai offer comprehensive benefits as well which often include: 

  • Health insurance.

  • Housing allowance (covering rent).

  • Education allowance (for expats with children).

  • Transport allowance.

For those who like to plan, Dubai does not have a mandatory pension scheme for expats, many employers instead offer private pension plans or retirement saving schemes as part of their benefits package.

This is appealing to expats as they can plan for their long-term financial security much easier. 

Villas and restaurants by the river in Dubai

3. High quality of life in Dubai

Dubai emphasises safety and cleanliness, boasting a low crime rate and meticulous city planning. 

The city's commitment to sustainability is evident in its numerous green spaces and initiatives like the Dubai Green Economy Partnership.

Known for its opulence and world-class amenities, the city provides a living experience that is both lavish and convenient. From ultra-modern high-rise apartments, with skyline views, to sprawling villas in gated communities, there is something that will suit everyone's standard of luxury. 

Luxury and comfort 

Dubai is synonymous with luxury, which is reflected in the city's retail experience.

With numerous shopping 'malls', like the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates, which all house high-end brands and designer boutiques.

Fine dining is an art form in Dubai, with an abundance of Michelin-starred restaurants and diverse culinary options from all around the world. 

All of these factors make it an attractive destination for those looking to relocate abroad. 

Safety and Security

Dubai is renowned for its exceptional safety and security, making it an ideal destination for expatriates and those with a family.

The city boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the world, thanks to its efficient law enforcement and strict regulations. Public areas are well-monitored, and there is a strong presence of security personnel ensuring a safe environment. 

Dubai's commitment to maintaining peace and order extends to its rigorous traffic laws and comprehensive emergency services, providing expats with a reassuring sense of safety and well-being in their day-to-day lives. 

Healthcare and education

Dubai's infrastructure and services are second to none, ensuring that expats have access to everything they need.

The city boasts some of the best healthcare facilities in the region, with state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics offering top-notch medical care.

Both public and private healthcare facilities provide comprehensive medical care, from routine check-ups to advanced treatments and surgeries. 

With stringent regulatory standards and a focus on patient care, Dubai's healthcare system guarantees accessible, efficient medical services, contributing significantly to the well-being of its diverse population. 

It is worth noting that health care for expats in the UAE is not free but they do have access to public health services through purchasing a health card, additional fees depending on the service are paid after that. 

When it comes to education in Dubai, there is a wide array of high-quality options on offer for expatriates. The educational system in Dubai caters for a range of international standards and curricula. 

Many prestigious schools are available that follow British, American, Indian, International Baccalaureate, and other recognised systems.

These systems provide excellent academic programs, combined with world-class facilities and extracurricular activities that help holistic development. 

Many schools in Dubai emphasise multilingual education, cultural awareness, and global citizenship, ensuring that students receive a well-rounded and inclusive education.

There is also a presence of world-renowned universities and higher education institutions within Dubai, providing ample opportunities for advanced studies. This makes the city a prime destination for expat families seeking the best education for their children or for those students looking to extend their education abroad.

Lifestyle and recreation in Dubai

Beyond work, Dubai provides a vibrant lifestyle that appeals to expatriates from all walks of life. 

Its modern infrastructure, luxurious lifestyle, diverse culinary scene, and a myriad of entertainment options make it a great place to live. 

The city offers pristine beaches, luxury shopping, and cultural districts like Al Fahidi, where history comes alive. This neighbourhood is particularly popular, filled with art galleries, specialised museums, cultural and artistic associations, and centres.

If museums aren't of interest, outdoor enthusiasts can indulge in activities such as dune bashing, skydiving, and sailing, whilst those seeking relaxation can enjoy a tranquil spa retreat or beach club

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4. Dubai's strategic location 

Global connectivity 

Located between Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai is a global hub for travel and trade.

The city's world-class airport, Dubai International Airport (DXB), is one of the busiest in the world, offering direct flights to hundreds of destinations worldwide. 

Dubai's infrastructure including cutting-edge office spaces in iconic buildings and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) to seamless connectivity with the rest of the world via Dubai International make it an appealing place for businesses to continue to invest. 

Benefits for businesses in Dubai 

Dubai's time zone bridges the gap between the East and West, making it ideal for coordinating international business operations.

Coupled with its impressive airport, it allows expats to easily travel for business, enabling swift commutes for potential international business meetings. 

The location of Dubai allows access to other rapidly growing markets in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, allowing for business expansion. 

Dubai has a free trade zone and offers numerous incentives for foreign companies, including 100% ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified customs procedures. 

Additionally, Dubai's status as a major Maritimes hub, with the Jebel Ali Port being one of the largest and busiest in the world, supports extensive trade and logistic operations. 

This strategic positioning enhances Dubai's appeal to expatriates by offering a dynamic and well-connected environment that excels in global business opportunities. 

5. Dubai's cultural diversity

Cultures, festivals, and food in Dubai

Dubai is home to a diverse and multicultural population which creates an inclusive community throughout. 

Expats from all over the world come together, bringing their cultures and traditions with them. This diversity is reflected in the range of international schools, healthcare facilities, and recreational activities. 

Dubai hosts a variety of cultural festivals and events that celebrate its diverse population. 

From the Dubai Shopping Festival to the Dubai Food Festival, there's always something happening in the city, offering both locals and expats numerous opportunities for entertainment and cultural exchange. 

Dubai's culinary scene is a melting pot of flavours, reflecting the city's population.

Consequently, Dubai has become popular with expats who have a passion for food and beverage.

Thriving expat community 

Home to over 200 nationalities, Dubai is a combination of cultures. The city's expat-friendly policies and inclusive environment ensure that newcomers quickly feel at home.

The extensive network of expat communities, social clubs, and professional associations provides great networking opportunities.

The expat community in Dubai and the UAE is vast and continuously growing, so much so, that around 88% of the UAE is made up of expatriates from all over the world, with Dubai being its most popular city. 

6. Dubai's futuristic vision and innovation 

As a city, Dubai constantly looks forward to the future with a visionary flare that is unmatched. Dubai's commitment to innovation is an exciting prospect for expats seeking a dynamic forward-thinking place. 

The Expo 2020 Dubai, themed "Connecting Minds, Creating the Future", further highlights the city's role as a global hub for innovation and collaboration. 

This world fair brings together nations and organisations to showcase innovations that address some of the planet's most pressing challenges, reinforcing Dubai's position at the forefront of global progress.

Smart city initiatives

At the heart of Dubai's futuristic vision is its Smart City initiative, aimed at transforming Dubai into one of the world's most technologically advanced cities.

This initiative uses AI, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to enhance urban living, streamline government services, and boost economic efficiency.

Dubai's sustainability efforts 

Dubai's commitment to a sustainable future is evident n its ambitious environmental initiatives. 

The Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 which was launched in 2015, aims to make Dubai a global centre for clean energy and a green economy, with targets to generate 75% of its energy from clean sources by 2050.

The city is already making strides with projects like the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world. 

Other key projects include smart grids and sustainable energy solutions, all integrated to create a more safe and sustainable urban environment. 

Dubai's transport network

Dubai's world-class infrastructure is a big draw for expatriates, it offers a unique combination of convenience and high quality of life. The city has a cutting-edge transport network that includes the ultramodern Dubai Metro, and extensive road systems, allowing for seamless connectivity across the city. 

Why people are moving to Dubai: A summary

Dubai is set to remain a top destination for expats for the rest of 2024 and beyond due to its ideal blend of professional opportunities, luxurious living, and exceptional quality of life.

The city's booming economy which is powered by finance, real estate, tourism, and technology sectors, offers endless career prospects. 

Multinational corporations, regional businesses, and startups thrive in Dubai, creating a dynamic job market that appeals to younger and older expatriates.

Tax-free income, competitive salaries, and benefits packages provide significant financial advantages. Great for those looking for economic stability and growth. 

High-speed internet, advanced healthcare, and top-tier educational institutions add to Dubai's appeal, especially for families looking to relocate abroad.

Overall, Dubai's cosmopolitan nature fosters a culturally rich and inclusive community offering ample social and networking opportunities. 

All of these reasons cement Dubai as a popular and premier choice for expatriates looking for change and a life overseas, for the better.

Let us make your move to Dubai, easy. 

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Our expert brokers and customer service team are always available to answer your questions. They will guide you through the process of sending money abroad and make sure you're getting the best value possible. 

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If you're looking to relocate to Dubai, or anywhere else in the world, our team with years of experience supporting customers by not paying over the odds for their international moves are here to help. 

Please chat to us and get a free transfer quote today! 

The top reasons why people are moving to Dubai, UAE!
Learn why so many expats from across the globe are making the move to Dubai!
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Need to transfer money to the UAE? We can help.

At EasyFX, our goal is to make international money transfers affordable, smooth, and easy, for everyone. Whether a small transfer or large transaction, we can cater to all types through our money transfer app, or our expert brokers, who are ready to find you the best rate available, saving you money.

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6 Reasons Why People are Moving to Dubai!
Thinking about relocating to Dubai? We go through the top reasons why expats from all around the world are moving to the UAE's most popular city!
10 minute read

Need to transfer money to the UAE? We can help.

At EasyFX, our goal is to make international money transfers affordable, smooth, and easy, for everyone. Whether a small transfer or large transaction, we can cater to all types through our money transfer app, or our expert brokers, who are ready to find you the best rate available, saving you money.

If you'd like to receive a free transfer quote, please contact our team today!

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