As of 2019, over 26,000 Australians have upped sticks and relocated to the United Arab Emirates, with more than 16,000 of those settling in the economic heart of the country, Dubai. There are many advantages for doing so, ranging from a higher quality of life to the complete lack of income tax that allows ex-pats to maximize their earnings. If you're considering a career move to the so-called 'City of Gold', there are some things you'll need to know before you go. Here's how to ensure your move to Dubai is executed flawlessly.
Moving to Dubai: Visas
If you have already visited Dubai on vacation, then you'll know that as an Australian you do not require a visa to enter the country. However, anyone looking to spend longer than 30 days in Dubai and who wishes to work will need to secure the right type of visa before they go. You will need a long-term, multiple-entry working visa that should be filled out at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC). Fortunately, your employer in Dubai should be able to help you navigate all of the necessary paperwork.
Money & Banking
As previously mentioned, any foreigner working in Dubai is not liable for any income tax payments whatsoever, so this is one less thing for you to worry about. However, you will need to make sure that you have access to the right type of bank account and banking services. You can open a bank account upon arrival, with the only documentation required being your residence permit and visa. Thanks to Dubai's role as a global finance hub, you can opt to bank with an international company that you might recognise from back home, such as HSBC or Bank Australia.
As for accommodation, there is an incredibly varied and competitively-priced local property market that is catered to the ex-pat community, which makes up 90% of the local population. You can choose to rent or buy, but renting is often recommended for foreigners. As an ex-pat, it's a good idea to rent from a trusted apartment broker such as Bayut, for example, which offers apartments and homes to suit every lifestyle and budget. Make sure to opt for an apartment that is close to your workplace and offers the kind of amenities that appeal to you, such as an on-site supermarket or a swimming pool.
Finally, if you're bringing your family in tow, then you will need to explore local schooling options. Fortunately, Dubai has an extensive network of highly-rated international schools. There are schools taught in English, French, German, Spanish, and just about any other major language, you can think of. Naturally, fees can be quite expensive but many international employers offer 'packages' for ex-pats which often includes vouchers that subsidise the cost of international school tuition. Local schooling is also an option, although this is not typically recommended for Australian ex-pats.
Moving to Dubai may well be the most exciting and fulfilling decision you ever make. Just make sure to follow these simple guidelines to guarantee a smooth journey.
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