Questions About Moving to Dubai

Are you planning to move to Dubai? Or recently moved to this wonderful city?

I receive emails and private messages on my social media pages daily. Mother’s, expectant mother’s and father’s from all over the world with tons of questions they need answered.

I am here to answer them ALL for you:) Below are a few recent messages I received. Please do send any more questions you have my way so I can add them to this list which I hope you find helpful!

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I’m nervous, because I have never visited Dubai, and all we hear in the U.S. about the Middle East is terrorism. We are about to have our third daughter, and I just want to make sure that my children and I will be safe. Is there a reason for me to worry? My main concern is terrorism aimed at Westerners.

Answer: UAE is incredibly SAFE. Media has a wonderful way of making the Middle East look scary. Rest assured, Dubai and it’s 6 Emirates (Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Quwain, Ajman & Fujeirha ) is NOTHING like what you see on TV about neighboring middle eastern countries. Dubai is really westernized, believe it or not! You can even have a fun night out with your husband or girlfriends and enjoy cocktails and no I do not mean mocktails!


I heard that school and housing is really expensive in Dubai. My husband’s salary package consists of house allowance of 140,000 dirham and there is 20,000 allowance for school. I know schools can be much more than that so I am afraid that his actual basic salary won’t be enough to cover all the expenses and also to save a bit of money,

Answer: Yes that is correct, schooling and housing can add up quite quickly. A housing allowance of 140,000 dirham can get you a decent sized apartment in a urban area of Dubai. If you are looking for a large house, sadly with the high demand and rentals you would be paying much more. If you have your heart set on a house, then you will likely have to pay extra from you pocket for a 3 bedroom (somewhere around 40,000 extra).

As for schooling, that is another high expense. You can only enroll your children in private schools in Dubai if you want them to have a good education. Private schools start from 30,000 for little ones all the way up to 90,000 + for year 12 students.

{Check this link out for school fees}


How much would you consider a good salary to live comfortably in Dubai?

Answer: It really depends on what type of spenders you are. If your spouse is getting a living out allowance, enough to cover your housing budget and schooling fees then that is one less worry. So if you have those major expenses covered, then I personally think a minimum salary of 12,000 dirham would be a comfortable range to start. Sorry, but I will not share how much my husband is getting paid:) A majority of working men from western countries can make 20, 000 dirham + per month. With a salary like that you will have no issues saving and having a good quality life in Dubai.


Is it too expensive to do things like swimming, gym for babies, going to kids festival etc? What about baby stuff (nappies, bottles, formula, baby furniture)

Answer: Again, if your salary enables you to live comfortably, then you can enjoy a range of fun family activities. Baby swimming lessons are about 800 dirham + per term. I really love the Baby Splash class at The Dubai Ladies Club {here}. The Little Gym at IBN Battuta Mall is a great gym for kiddies {here} . For a pack of diapers you can buy them on sale at Carrefour and any other leading supermarkets anywhere from 60 dirham and up. I would say that the price is comparable to Canada, including bottles, formula, etc.


We are a quiet couple, we don’t drink much but we like going out for lunch & dinner in good restaurants, are there any?

Answer: Going out for good lunches and dining at fine restaurants can become a past time as the variety is SO vast. Bon Apetit:)


I’ve seen that a lot of houses/apartments are fully furnished. The company will pay only a limit $$ for our relocation costs. So we won’t be able to bring all our furniture/white goods to Dubai. For this reason we are thinking to rent a furnished apartment… But it won’t be my stuff. Is it cheap to buy furniture there?

Answer: Nothing will make you feel more like being at home than having your own personal belongings. In my opinion, try to bring your most cherished pieces. It can be tricky sometimes to find items that remind us of home and they usually come with a $$ price tag. Especially antiques and vintage items, those are really rare to find. I recommend having a browse through {Dubizzle} you can spend HOURS looking at gently used furniture for AMAZING prices. People are constantly coming and going in Dubai. Which means you can find incredible bargains on high end designer pieces that people need to sell FAST. I have found a handful of items at throwaway prices on Dubizzle which I have done excellent DIY projects on. Don’t forget the great summer and winter sales Dubai has two times a year at all the major shopping malls {here}.


Is the weather really that hot?

Answer: Yes, it really CAN get that HOT! But…it can also get really nice and cool too! Usually towards the end of October, the weather can be anywhere from 35C to a low of 23C. Once October passes, the weather drastically changes and you quickly see all the patios filling up and people heading to the lovely parks in Dubai. It can get as lows as 14 in the month of January! February to April are beautiful months! Starting in May, it begins to heat up. July and August are really sticky and uncomfortable to be outside. That is why most expats vacate the UAE during the summer months.


I’d love to know what you think of a single mom, with a 2.5 yr old and 9 month old living in Dubai? I’d be looking at the nanny route unless I find a school with a nursery program.

Answer: Being a single Mom alone in Dubai with two children will be a challenge for sure, just like anywhere else in the world. You will not have a network of family around. But this goes for everyone in Dubai, even married couples. Your family becomes the friends you make. If you find a trustworthy and reliable nanny, I think you can live a really nice life in UAE. She will help take care of the babies while you are working, or drop them off and pick them up from nursery. If you are teaching, you will get perks and discounts at the school you are working at. Schooling should be covered for both of your kids. And have a quick peek at one of the school calendars online in Dubai. There are SO many holidays, which means you will get plenty of time to spend with your little ones:)








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