Dubai, now more than ever, has exponentially grown to become the center of everyone’s universe. Time and time again, people often wonder what life is like in Dubai, seeing all the expensive cars, luxury yachts, lavish trips and Instagram models living the high life.
This makes people wonder, how is life really like in Dubai?
As someone who was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, I like to think of myself as a little bit of an expert of living in that part of the world. Although there are many truths to the legends of living Dubai, I would like to clear up some common misconceptions that I read about from people online.
Everyone is rich rich in Dubai
Although it’s true that there are many rich people in Dubai, not everyone who lives there is actually rich. Most people there are average working people with 9-5 jobs and bills to pay.
So where does this misconception come from? Well firstly, there is no tax on income in Dubai. This gives people plenty to spend on luxury goods and services. This, however, is counteracted by the fact that there is no real pension or stability in Dubai.
People who live in Dubai, who are not citizens of the United Arab Emirates are not secure. Everyone there lives on a sponsored employer visa, and if you lose your job you would either need to find a new job or leave the country.
You’re likely to never get to become a citizen
This point relates to my first one. Nationals of the United Arab Emirates are born into their nationalities, there is no such this as becoming a naturalized citizen.
This is massively different than the US or Canadian ideaology of what being a citizen requires.
Even people who are born in the United Arab Emirates will likely not become citizens of the country.
There are small exceptions to the rule, however, again the odds are not in your favour.
Luxury is everywhere
In Dubai, people are very spoiled. People living in Dubai are constantly surrounded with luxury and abundance.
Even just going to the mall is such a grand event for people in Dubai. The malls are covered with beautiful Arab geometric gold plated designs, the restroom are consistently clean and exorbitant, and you can even feel the luxury in the air.
Arabs are also known for their extreme generosity, and so when you visit the country, you’re likely to be offered coffee and dates on several occasions.
Arabic is the only language used in the country
So, growing up in the UAE education system, I was taught Arabic and English simultaneously since first grade. Moreover, I was offered a “French as a second language” course in school which I found funny since that means they consider English and Arabic our first languages.
The UAE is extremely diverse. Business is conducted in English generally, however due to the diversity of the background of the immigrants in Dubai, there are common languages such as Arabic, Hindi, French, and Tamali which are very common.
Overall, Dubai is such a wonderful place, and although there are many misconceptions about how life is there, I would urge people to save up and visit the country to get a first-hand experience of what it is like to spend some time in Dubai.