Moving to Dubai with family? It’s going to be quite the adventure! But before you dive in head first, you need to know a few key things. Like how to secure the right visas, find a place to live, and enroll the kiddos in school. You’ll also want to get the lowdown on the culture and customs so you don’t accidentally offend anyone. And don’t forget the finances – you’ll need a plan for supporting your family in this flashy new city.

We get it; there’s a ton to wrap your head around. But don’t sweat it! We’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before moving to Dubai with family. Prepare to soak up the essential information to make your move smooth. The inside scoop awaits!

Why Should You Move Your Family to Dubai?

Moving to Dubai with family seems to be a good ides because it is a family-friendly city with a fantastic lifestyle and opportunities.

Low cost of living

The cost of living in Dubai is lower than in most major global cities. Accommodation, healthcare, and schooling are more affordable. You’ll get more value for your money, especially compared to cities like New York or London.

High quality of life

Dubai has a high standard of living with world-class amenities and infrastructure. It offers luxury resorts, modern hospitals, international schools, and family entertainment options like theme parks, shopping malls, beaches, and more.

Tax-free salaries

Dubai has no income tax for residents. The money you earn is yours to keep. This means higher take-home pay and more savings for your family.

Safety and stability

Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, with low crime rates. It has a stable government and economy. You’ll feel secure raising your children in Dubai’s peaceful environment.

Dubai provides significant benefits for families looking to relocate abroad. While the hot climate may take getting used to, the pros outweigh the cons. Allow your family to experience a fantastic lifestyle in a global city.

Preparation Before Moving to Dubai with Family

Moving to a new country is challenging enough without involving kids or a partner. But with the proper preparation, you can ease the transition for your whole family.

Preparing your family for the big move to dubai

Talk About the Move

Have an honest conversation about what to expect. Discuss the exciting opportunities, like visiting the Burj Khalifa or indoor skiing, and address concerns. Let them know it will be an adjustment, but you’ll support each other.

Learn About the Culture

Read books and watch videos to learn about Emirati culture, religion, and values together. Discuss how certain behaviors may differ from what you’re used to. Set expectations for respecting local customs once you arrive.

Visit Before the Move

If possible, take a family trip to Dubai before moving. See your new home, explore the neighborhood, and get a feel for the city. This can help reduce anxiety and build excitement for the move.

With open communication, cultural awareness, and realistic expectations, your family will feel ready to embark on this new adventure in Dubai together. The rewards of living in such a vibrant, multicultural city will make the challenges worthwhile.

Sort Out Your Paperwork And Visa

One of the first steps in moving to Dubai with family is gathering the necessary paperwork for your move. Make copies of important documents like passports, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and any degrees or professional certifications. You’ll need these for various processes in Dubai, like getting a resident visa, enrolling your kids in school, or job hunting.

Check if your profession requires any additional permits or licensing in the UAE. Some careers like healthcare, education, and finance have specific requirements you’ll need to fulfill. It’s best to look into this well before the move.

You’ll also want to start the process for your UAE resident visa, which you’ll need to stay in Dubai long-term. The requirements vary depending on your situation but typically include a job offer, proof of accommodation, and a health insurance policy for you and any dependents moving with you. You can apply for your resident visa with the proper documents through an official typing center. Plan on at least 2-4 weeks for visa processing and approval.

Having your paperwork and visas squared away ahead of time will make your move and resettlement in Dubai much smoother. Double-check that you have all necessary originals and copies of documents for yourself and your family before you journey to your new home.

Cost Of Living In Dubai

When moving to Dubai with family, remember that Dubai is expensive, but the standard of living is high. Housing and rent are typically the highest costs. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a decent area averages around $800 to $1,500 monthly. Buying a home in Dubai also comes at a premium, with the average price per square foot for an apartment around $290.

Cost of living in dubai

Housing In Dubai

Dubai has some of the most expensive real estate in the world. Housing costs have steadily risen for years as more people move to the city. Luxury apartments and villas are abundant, especially in Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence, and Palm Jumeirah. However, housing options for lower and middle-income residents can be limited.

The government has made efforts to increase affordable housing options through initiatives like Dubai Industrial City and International City. Still, the cost of living in Dubai remains high compared to salaries. For the average resident, finding an apartment within a reasonable commute of work can be difficult and expensive. Property rents are some of the highest in the world, especially for desirable areas close to the beach or city center.

Dubai has abundant luxury housing options, but affordable options remain limited, especially for the many migrant workers that power the city’s economy. The high cost of housing is one of the main challenges for residents and something the government continues to work on improving.

Healthcare in Dubai

Healthcare in Dubai is private, so insurance is a must. Essential coverage for a couple typically starts around $4,500 per year. While Dubai has high-quality care, hospital stays and surgeries will cost considerably more than elsewhere.

The good news is that Dubai has no income tax, so your salary can go further. However, % value-added tax of 5% applies to most goods and services. Utilities like water and electricity are also quite affordable. Gasoline and transportation costs are lower than in Western countries.


Dining and entertainment can be expensive, especially if you frequently eat at Western chain restaurants or go out for drinks at bars and clubs. However, Dubai has many budget-friendly options, like street food, fast casual, and family restaurants with meal deals.

While the cost of living in Dubai is higher than in most cities, many expats find the tax-free income, world-class amenities, and overall quality of life make it worthwhile. With some budgeting and planning, you can keep costs manageable for you and your family. The key is living like a local as much as possible—taking advantage of deals and less pricey alternatives to the lavish options that Dubai is known for.

Do I need a resident visa for my family?

Yes, each family member will need their resident visa to live in Dubai legally. As the primary visa holder, you must sponsor visas for your spouse and children under 18. The process typically takes 3 to 4 weeks and requires documents like marriage and birth certificates.

Will my children have access to schools?

Dubai has a range of private schools that follow various curricula like British, American, and IB. Public schools are also available, but spaces are limited. Tuition fees vary but are generally lower for younger children. It’s best to start researching schools as soon as you know you’re moving to Dubai with family to get your children enrolled.

Is it easy to find housing for families?

Family-friendly housing is available in Dubai, from spacious apartments to private villas. Popular family areas include Arabian Ranches, Jumeirah Village Circle, and Dubai Marina. Most compounds offer amenities like pools, playgrounds, gyms, and 24-hour security. Rent prices depend on the location and housing type, but generally, you can expect to pay between $500 and $3000 monthly for a 2- to 4-bedroom place. Most people would look to buy a 2 bedroom apartment in Dubai with families.

What adjustments will we need to make?

While Dubai is a modern city, it still has a conservative culture. Dress modestly in public, especially for women. Public displays of affection are frowned upon. During Ramadan, eating and drinking in public during daylight hours is prohibited. Life is faster, so be prepared for heavy traffic and long working hours. However, the tax-free income and warm weather make the lifestyle changes worthwhile for most families.


So there you have it – a quick rundown of some of the most important things to consider before moving to Dubai with family. It’s an exciting opportunity that requires good preparation and planning to ensure everyone transitions smoothly.

Don’t let the checklist overwhelm you, though. Take it step by step, do your research, and remember – this is an adventure! Approach it with an open mind, focus on all the fantastic new experiences ahead, and your family will thrive in this multicultural paradise. The extra effort will be so worth it to give your kids a life-shaping global perspective. Who knows, Dubai might feel like home before you know it.

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