A tax-free haven in the sun, modern, progressive and cosmopolitan – it’s not hard to see why hundreds of thousands of people from across the world have relocated to Dubai.
There are more than 200 nationalities residing in the emirate and it has much to offer expats in search of a different, exciting place to live and work. Two-thirds of the population is aged between 20-39, giving the emirate a youthful vibe, full of energy and optimism.
Dubai is a melting pot of East and West, and the city has drawn influences from all parts of the world, offering its inhabitants a glimpse of almost all cultures in its retail and dining experiences, and in daily life. Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world. Dubai offers its residents good healthcare and educational facilities, and modern infrastructure to ensure life is comfortable – people here are some of the happiest in the world. Western Expats scored 8.5 out of 10 on a happiness scale according to the Community Development Authority.
For many, the attraction of living here is the opportunities it presents. Dubai is an excellent base from which to experience the rest of the world, it is just an eight-hour plane journey away from two-thirds of the world’s population.
Dubai’s location in the Gulf has propelled our emirate into a global hub not just for travel and tourism, but for business and trade, too. Many international companies have their regional headquarters in Dubai bringing in global expertise, employment and opportunities.
Here, two Dubai residents – one born, one ‘raised’ - share their experiences:
The Dubai-born Artist: Dallal Ahmed
27-year-old Dallal studied Visual Communications at the American University in Dubai and now practises her art in the city.
“The real beauty of Dubai lies not only in its marvellous buildings or its luxury living. It’s the very soul of this city that makes it irresistible. Those who fall so deeply in love with Dubai can swear by that ‘pulse’ - this enlivening vibe that brings our beautiful city to life.
“This is largely because of the extremely colourful array of cultures that have made Dubai home. Our diverse expat community is one of the main reasons Dubai is such a unique ‘little-big city’. The integration of all these cultures in a city so well endowed with almost anything and everything citizens of any background can wish for [has meant] living in Dubai allows for a wholesome human experience. We learn so much from each other, and thrive together.
“As a human being first, and a young Emirati woman, I personally feel tremendously blessed to live in such an environment. I believe it has allowed me to not only broaden my perspectives, but also to become more conscientious and worldly. As an artist I derive most of my work from this plethora of inspiration that is Dubai.
“Dubai was once called danat al duny,a which translates as “the world's biggest pearl” and truly what a gem our city is.”
The British expat: Ibrahim Ahmed
Also 27, Ibrahim is a PR professional from the UK. He has lived and worked in the UAE for five years, and is now based in the Tecom area of Dubai.
“Apart from being sunny and warm each and every day, it is a relaxing place to live. Dubai houses a lot of various attractions in the one city, making you feel as if you are on a holiday all the time.
“I started my career in PR in Dubai and have worked for amazing clients, on amazing projects and events in the past four years that I wouldn’t have been able to anywhere else. Dubbed ‘the land of opportunities’ – Dubai is the place where people can make their dreams a reality.
“Dubai already has all sorts of businesses operating in the emirate so urge anyone who wants to set up a shop here to be creative, think outside the box and bring something new that no-one else is doing already (and get a good PR professional.).”