Moving from Qatar to Dubai: Top 10 Things Expats Need to Know

Qatar to Dubai

If you’re considering a move from Qatar to Dubai, you might be wrestling with numerous questions. To help you out, we’ve compiled key information for you to evaluate and understand the transition from Qatar to Dubai better.

Despite some cultural and lifestyle similarities, there are significant differences you need to prepare for when moving from Qatar to Dubai. Your decision to choose Dubai could be driven by various factors like job opportunities, lifestyle changes, or even personal growth.

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Evaluating the Cost of Living

Moving from Qatar to Dubai presents a significant change in housing costs. Depending on your choice of neighborhood, the type of accommodation, and the size of the property, rental or purchase prices can widely vary. Recent years have seen a decline in Dubai’s property prices, creating a more accessible market for expats.

Renting vs Buying a Property in Dubai

If you’re contemplating whether to rent or buy, consider factors like the duration of your stay, budget, and personal preference. Renting is often a suitable option for short-term stays, whereas buying could be a better investment if you’re planning a long-term or permanent move from Qatar to Dubai.

Daily Living Expenses

Apart from housing, you need to account for other daily living expenses, including groceries, transportation, and utilities. While these costs depend largely on your lifestyle, generally, they are higher in Dubai compared to Qatar.

Groceries in Dubai tend to be more expensive due to the 5% VAT introduced in 2018. The public transportation system in Dubai, while comprehensive and efficient, is slightly pricier than in Qatar. As for utilities, electricity and water tariffs in Dubai are higher than in Qatar, primarily due to different subsidies offered by the respective governments.

Qatar to Dubai

Your choice of neighborhood should depend on your lifestyle, family needs, and budget.

Navigating the Real Estate Market

The journey from Qatar to Dubai offers you a chance to explore a diverse real estate market. Some popular residential areas in Dubai include Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, and Arabian Ranches, each with its own unique charm, community feel, and price range.

Your choice of neighborhood should depend on your lifestyle, family needs, and budget. If you prefer a vibrant, bustling atmosphere, Downtown Dubai or Dubai Marina might be right for you. For those looking for a more tranquil, family-friendly environment, areas like Arabian Ranches or Jumeirah could be suitable.

When it comes to renting a property after your move from Qatar to Dubai, the process is relatively straightforward.

Tips for House-Hunting in Dubai

Start by identifying potential properties online and then arrange for viewings. Once you’ve chosen a property, you’ll need to sign a contract, pay a security deposit (usually equivalent to one month’s rent), and register the contract with the Dubai Land Department. It’s always a good idea to engage a reputable real estate agent to guide you through the process, ensuring that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

Understanding the Job Market

Dubai’s job market presents a dynamic and diverse environment, especially if you’re moving from Qatar to Dubai.

Dubai’s economy is not just about oil anymore. Its diversification strategies have resulted in growth in sectors such as technology, finance, and logistics. This means there are numerous opportunities for individuals with a range of skills and experiences. Whether you’re an IT specialist, a financial analyst, or a supply chain manager, you will find a competitive job market waiting for you in Dubai.

Tips for Job Searching in Dubai

Finding a job in Dubai generally starts with online platforms like LinkedIn and GulfTalent, where you can explore available positions and make connections. But don’t underestimate the power of networking in this part of the world. Personal relationships play a critical role in Middle Eastern business culture. Attend networking events, join professional groups, and engage in community activities to broaden your circle.

Setting Up Banking and Finances

The process of setting up banking and finances is a fundamental step in your relocation from Qatar to Dubai.

Dubai boasts a robust banking system, hosting a multitude of local and international banks. From Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, to international institutions like HSBC and Citibank, you’ll find an array of options to suit your banking needs.

Opening a Bank Account in Dubai

Once you have your Emirates ID and residency visa, you can open a bank account in Dubai. It’s a straightforward process, involving submitting a few documents and filling out application forms. Some banks even allow online applications.

Money Transfers from Qatar to Dubai

If you’re planning to transfer money from Qatar to Dubai, there are numerous reliable services that can facilitate quick and secure transactions. Services like Western Union, PayPal, and international bank transfers are commonly used for such purposes.

Qatar to Dubai

When moving from Qatar to Dubai, you’ll find that Dubai’s culture is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions, much like Qatar.

Understanding Taxes and Insurance

Understanding the taxation system and insurance requirements in Dubai is crucial when relocating from Qatar to Dubai.

Taxation System in Dubai

One of the major attractions of moving from Qatar to Dubai is Dubai’s taxation system. Unlike many countries, Dubai does not impose income tax, which means your earnings won’t be taxed. However, Dubai has implemented a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 5% on goods and services. This is lower than the global average, making Dubai an attractive destination for expats worldwide.

Health Insurance in Dubai

In terms of health insurance, Dubai mandates that all residents have coverage. In most cases, your employer provides health insurance coverage for you. It’s important to review the terms and benefits of your health insurance plan, ensuring it suits your needs. In the case of self-employment or business ownership, you’ll need to arrange your own health insurance coverage.

Adjusting to the Culture and Lifestyle

 When moving from Qatar to Dubai, you’ll find that Dubai’s culture is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions, much like Qatar. As an expat, adjusting to the cultural norms and customs will be relatively easy. Dubai is known for its tolerance and acceptance of different cultures and religions, making it a welcoming city for expatriates from around the world.

Dubai’s Islamic traditions play a significant role in daily life. It’s important to respect and adhere to local customs, such as dressing modestly in public places and during religious events. Expats should familiarize themselves with Islamic greetings and etiquettes, which will help foster positive interactions with the local population.

One of the remarkable aspects of Dubai is its cosmopolitan lifestyle. The city offers a wide array of entertainment and recreational opportunities for everyone. From world-class shopping malls to luxurious hotels, fine dining restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and thrilling outdoor activities, Dubai has something for everyone. Expats can indulge in various cultural festivals, art exhibitions, music concerts, and sporting events throughout the year.

As an expat in Dubai, you’ll find yourself immersed in a rich and diverse community. Dubai’s population consists of people from all corners of the globe, creating a multicultural and inclusive environment. Expats have the opportunity to make new friends, build professional networks, and engage in social activities that reflect this diverse community. Joining expat groups, attending community events, and participating in cultural exchanges will enrich your experience in Dubai.

Planning Your Move: Logistics and Documentation

When relocating from Qatar to Dubai, careful planning is essential. Start by understanding the visa process, which typically involves your employer or sponsor handling most of the procedures on your behalf. 

They will assist in obtaining the necessary documents, including work permits, residence visas, and Emirates ID cards. It is crucial to stay updated on the latest visa regulations and ensure compliance to avoid any legal issues.

Visa Assistance from Employers 

Your employer or sponsor plays a crucial role in assisting with the visa process. They will guide you through the necessary steps, provide the required documents, and submit the applications to the relevant authorities. 

It’s important to maintain open communication with your employer and provide any requested information promptly to ensure a smooth visa process.

Shipping Services for Belongings 

To transport your belongings from Qatar to Dubai, you can rely on professional moving companies that offer door-to-door services. 

These companies have expertise in international relocations and can handle the logistics of packing, shipping, and delivering your possessions safely to your new home in Dubai.

Research and compare different moving companies to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Qatar to Dubai

To transport your belongings from Qatar to Dubai, you can rely on professional moving companies that offer door-to-door services. 

Navigating the Education System

Dubai is renowned for its high-quality education system, making it an attractive destination for expats moving from Qatar. The city offers a mix of public, private, and international schools, catering to diverse educational preferences. The curriculum in Dubai’s schools often follows international standards, providing a well-rounded education for students.

Parents have the option to choose from a range of educational institutions, including public schools operated by the Ministry of Education, private schools that follow national or international curricula, and prestigious international schools offering programs such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or British or American curricula.

Each type of school has its own advantages, and parents should carefully consider factors such as teaching methodologies, facilities, extracurricular activities, and fees when selecting the right school for their children.

Dubai also offers excellent higher education opportunities, with internationally recognized universities and colleges. These institutions provide a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs across various disciplines.

Students can pursue degrees in fields such as business, engineering, medicine, arts, and sciences. The multicultural environment and exposure to global perspectives make Dubai an ideal destination for higher education.

Healthcare Facilities in Dubai

When it comes to healthcare facilities, Dubai is renowned for its high standards and comprehensive network of public and private hospitals and clinics. The city boasts a robust healthcare infrastructure, ensuring residents have access to quality medical care.

Extensive Network of Hospitals and Clinics

Dubai offers a wide range of hospitals and clinics, both public and private, catering to various medical needs. Public hospitals such as Dubai Hospital, Rashid Hospital, and Latifa Hospital provide excellent healthcare services to residents. Private hospitals like American Hospital, Mediclinic, and Dubai London Clinic are known for their advanced medical treatments and specialized care.

State-of-the-Art Technology and Skilled Professionals

Dubai’s healthcare facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and modern medical equipment. The city continuously invests in the latest advancements to ensure patients receive the best possible care. Additionally, Dubai attracts highly skilled medical professionals from around the world, contributing to the overall quality of healthcare services.

Specialized Healthcare Services

Dubai is well-known for its specialized healthcare services, covering a wide range of medical specialties. From cardiology, orthopedics, and oncology to fertility treatments and cosmetic surgery, residents have access to specialized care for various health conditions. The presence of renowned medical institutions ensures that residents can receive specialized treatments without having to travel abroad.

Efficient Emergency Services

Dubai has a well-established emergency medical system that ensures swift and efficient response in case of emergencies. Ambulances are equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and staffed by highly trained paramedics, enabling them to provide immediate assistance during critical situations. The emergency services operate round the clock, ensuring that help is available whenever needed.

Qatar to Dubai

Making a move from Qatar to Dubai can be an exciting adventure filled with new opportunities.

Safety and Security in Dubai

Dubai’s commitment to safety and security has earned it a reputation as one of the safest cities in the world. The city prioritizes public safety through strict laws, regulations, and comprehensive security measures.

Low Crime Rate

Dubai has an impressively low crime rate, which is one of the factors that attract expats from Qatar and around the globe. The city’s stringent law enforcement ensures a safe and secure environment for residents and visitors. Instances of theft, violence, and other criminal activities are minimal, creating a sense of peace and security in the community.

Strict Laws and Regulations

Dubai’s commitment to maintaining law and order is evident through its strict legal framework. The city has clear rules and regulations that govern various aspects of daily life, including traffic laws, property regulations, and public behavior. As an expat, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with these laws to avoid any unintentional violations and to ensure a smooth and trouble-free experience in Dubai.

Personal Safety Awareness

While Dubai is generally safe, it’s always prudent to exercise personal safety precautions. As an expat, it’s advisable to remain vigilant and take common-sense measures to protect yourself and your belongings. This includes being cautious in crowded areas, securing your valuables, and adhering to basic safety practices. By staying informed and aware, you can further enhance your personal safety in Dubai.


Making a move from Qatar to Dubai can be an exciting adventure filled with new opportunities. With careful planning and the right mindset, the transition can be smooth, allowing you to enjoy all that Dubai has to offer. Remember, the key to a successful relocation is preparation, flexibility, and an open mind. Welcome to Dubai!

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 694.5 million answer views on, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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