The Most Important Financial Matters When Moving to the UAE

Many people have decided in recent years that moving to the UAE would be a good decision. This is something that some people do for their career, others for a better lifestyle and some others for both of these reasons.

The most recent figures show that this country has the sixth-largest number of migrant workers on the planet. Around 90% of the workforce here was born abroad. If you are thinking of joining them, what financial matters do you need to think about first of all?

Compare the Salary to the Cost of Living

High salaries are a big attraction for those who come here to work here. A look online shows us that salaries in Abu Dhabi or Dubai vary widely. At the time of writing, we can see monthly figures mentioned such as AED 11,393 for an account and AED 15,009 for an architect. It is suggested that close to AED 17,000 is the average salary, which works out as an annual salary of AED 204,000, over £43,000 or $55,500.

Further research gives us the average annual figure for project managers in Abu Dhabi as AED 285,000. In general, the average salary in Abu Dhabi is listed as AED 117,000. This works out as around £24,600 or close to $32,000.

Remember that your salary here will be tax-free. This means that you will be able to spend more or save more, depending upon your priorities. The cost of living here can be quite high, but it all depends upon what you want to do.

Some online sources give the cost of living in Abu Dhabi as AED 8,200 per month, for a single person. In Dubai, it is listed as 9,420. Clearly, your food and transport costs can vary greatly, depending upon your lifestyle.

Look at Rental Prices

For most migrants anywhere in the world, their property rental cost is their biggest expense. In the UAE, there is a big selection of different properties, with many of them in sleek, modern developments.

We can use the example of renting apartments in Sharjah. This neighbour of Dubai is well-known for offering better rental prices than Dubai. You can save money by commuting from here. Prices in Sharjah start at under AED 10,000 yearly, while the listings in Dubai start at 16,000 or so.

Consider the Lifestyle You Want to Live

As we have seen so far, the UAE offers high salaries and a flexible cost of living. The amount that you spend each month really comes down to how you want to live. If you move here to enjoy an enviable lifestyle then the most expensive restaurants in Dubai will give you some unforgettable experiences.

On the other hand, you might plan to come here to build up savings for the future. In this case, you will be happy to eat more modestly and perhaps take the low-cost bus to work rather than buying a car. Whatever your reason for going to work in the UAE, it is always a good idea to consider your lifestyle expectations before you leave home. If you want to know more about financial matters, you can find more relevant information at


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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