The historical and cultural connection between India and the UAE has led to a significant Indian expatriate community in Dubai. Indians have been attracted to the UAE for better employment opportunities, particularly since the discovery of oil in the 1960s. With approximately 27 percent of the population, Indians have made their mark in various sectors, including hospitality and entertainment. In this article, we will explore the expatriate experience of Indians living in Dubai and their quality of life in the city.
You can go to Dubai from India on a flight that is considered a short-haul journey. Because of their freedom to practice their faith and maintain their culture, many people from India have chosen to make Dubai their permanent residence.
Indians now have a much easier time in Dubai due to the city’s efforts to establish a sizeable Indian population there. In Dubai, one will have no trouble finding facilities and shops that specialize in the sale of Indian goods and Indian supplies. Also, before moving to Dubai from India, we suggest you know the best movers and packers in Dubai.
The following is a list of some of the challenges that Indians face while residing in Dubai:
Dubai’s culinary scene offers a wide array of Indian restaurants, ensuring that those who crave the flavors of Indian cuisine won’t be disappointed. With numerous establishments serving authentic Indian food, it almost feels like dining in India itself. This is great news for Indian expatriates who miss the taste of home.
Interestingly, while Indians in Dubai have access to a diverse range of international cuisines, their love for shawarma, a Middle Eastern dish, has become prominent. With a thriving Indian community and businesses in Dubai, residents can easily find Indian goods, ranging from traditional attire and gold to everyday items available in supermarkets. The city’s central business district is a hub for meeting the needs and preferences of the Indian population.
Dubai is home to a significant number of Indian schools that follow the ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) curricula, catering to the educational needs of Indian students. However, many parents prefer to enroll their children in schools that follow the educational standards of the United States or England. Dubai offers a diverse range of international schools that provide education based on American or British systems, allowing parents to choose the educational approach that best suits their preferences and aspirations for their children.
In Dubai, English is widely spoken and serves as a common language for communication. The city is known for its multilingual environment, and signage, as well as information boards and store names, are often displayed in English. While Indians may face some challenges conversing with fellow Indians in Dubai due to the dominance of English, it is not uncommon to encounter other Indian immigrants who can provide assistance and support in navigating daily tasks and activities. The multicultural nature of Dubai fosters a sense of community, where individuals from various backgrounds are often willing to lend a helping hand.
Dubai offers a vibrant and inclusive community for Indian residents, providing a sense of belonging and connection to their cultural roots. The city hosts numerous events and activities organized by Indian organizations, including tournaments, outings, and celebrations of religious and cultural festivals. This ensures that residents from India can actively participate in and enjoy their traditional festivities, eliminating any feelings of loneliness or homesickness. Whether it’s Eid, Diwali, Christmas, or the UAE National Day, Indian immigrants in Dubai have the opportunity to reunite with their families and join in the joyous celebrations. Dubai’s multicultural environment embraces diversity and encourages residents to celebrate their cultural heritage.
Dubai prides itself on being a city that respects and accommodates people of all faiths, including Indian immigrants. This inclusivity is evident through the presence of various places of worship in the city. Indian immigrants in Dubai can find churches, a Sikh Gurudwara, Hindu temples, Jain temples, Buddhist temples, and a significant number of mosques, providing them with the freedom to practice their religious beliefs and maintain their cultural traditions. The availability of diverse worship spaces reflects Dubai’s commitment to religious tolerance and ensures that individuals from different backgrounds can find solace and connection in their faith while residing in the city.
Indian residents in Dubai have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the vibrant world of cinema and entertainment. They can enjoy a wide range of Bollywood and Hollywood films at theaters, as well as movies in other Indian languages like Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam, which are frequently screened in Dubai. Additionally, Indian artists, including actors, singers, musicians, and comedians, regularly perform and entertain audiences in Dubai, creating a lively and engaging cultural scene.
Dubai also caters to cricket enthusiasts, with the Dubai International Stadium hosting matches for prestigious events like the Indian Premier League and the Asian Cup. This dedicated cricket stadium provides a thrilling experience for fans who can relish the excitement of live cricket matches, further enhancing the connection between Indian culture and the sporting world in Dubai.
Dubai, being situated at the intersection of East and West, offers a favorable position for travel enthusiasts, including Indians residing in the city. This advantageous location allows for convenient exploration of various destinations. For instance, neighboring countries like Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Azerbaijan, among others, either offer freelance visas upon arrival or have visa-exemption policies in place. This opens up exciting travel opportunities for Indians in Dubai, who can easily visit these countries and even opt for overland journeys to nearby nations. Dubai truly serves as an ideal base for those with a passion for discovering new places.
There is a significant population of Indians living in Dubai at all economic levels, including that business owners and professionals. Regardless of their country, everyone is welcome to find a job in Dubai and attain the level of success they rightfully deserve. Are you interested in working in Dubai but need help figuring out how to get started?
Because our site has a comprehensive guide covering how to obtain a job in Dubai and all of the recommendations for getting a job have been verified, you should read it. In the next paragraphs, we shall investigate some of these opportunities:
Indian immigrants in Dubai actively contribute to various sectors such as healthcare, banking, education, retail, and more. They play a vital role in the city’s workforce, bringing their skills and expertise to enhance these industries. In addition, Indian entrepreneurs have successfully established renowned brands and franchises in Dubai, including Lulu Hypermarket, Landmark Group, Jumbo Electronics, Danube, and Aster DM Healthcare. They have made significant contributions to the business landscape of the city. It’s important for individuals considering living in Dubai to be aware of the major cost of living in Dubai, which can help in making informed decisions about their finances and lifestyle.
Indians in Dubai have the opportunity to make profitable investments in the real estate market, particularly in the freehold districts where foreign investors can own properties. These districts offer a wide range of real estate options, including luxury and budget-friendly properties such as apartments, duplexes, villas, and townhouses.
Investing in real estate in Dubai not only provides potential financial returns but also offers a pathway to obtaining residency in the United Arab Emirates. This makes it an attractive option for Indians looking to establish their roots and create a home in Dubai. The availability of such investment opportunities adds to the desirability of the country for Indian residents.
If you are an Indian immigrant living in Dubai, there are several important things you need to take care of:
- Ensure that your passport and visa are valid for at least six months.
- Keep your personal documents secure to prevent loss or theft.
- Respect the local customs and practices, particularly the five daily acts of worship in Islam.
- Familiarize yourself with the local laws and understand the consequences of non-compliance.
- Use designated pedestrian crossings when crossing the road.
- Obtain a valid work permit from the Ministry of Labor before starting your employment.
- Obtain comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses outside your home country.
- Show respect for the national symbols of the UAE, such as flags and emblems.
- Adhere to the rules and customs during the holy month of Ramadan, including refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public areas during daylight hours.
- Carry your identification card with you at all times.
- Before leaving the Emirates, ensure that you cancel your work visa and settle all financial matters, including bank accounts, credit cards, and phone connections.
Following these guidelines will help ensure a smooth and respectful stay in Dubai as an Indian immigrant.
When in the UAE, it is important to avoid certain actions that may be considered disrespectful or illegal:
- Do not issue checks unless you have sufficient funds in your bank account.
- Show respect towards women and avoid engaging in conversations or actions that may be perceived as disrespectful.
- Refrain from taking photographs, especially of individuals or households that include women, without their consent.
- Do not carry medications that are prohibited in the UAE without verifying their legality.
- Do not drive without a valid UAE license, and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Avoid participating in any activities that are prohibited by law in the UAE.
- Show respect towards Islam and the ruling dynasty, avoiding any disrespectful actions or comments.
- Do not take or share images of local incidents, such as fires, as it is illegal to do so.
- Respect designated non-smoking areas and refrain from smoking in public places where it is prohibited.
- Understand that engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage is considered illegal in the UAE and may have legal consequences.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure a respectful and lawful experience during your time in the UAE.
Initially, we resided in a one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment at Lake View Towers in JLT for a year. During this time, my mother and sister accompanied me as I adjusted to living alone. In 2016, I made the permanent move to Dubai to assume the role of Head of Product at a health technology firm, while my husband continued to commute between Bombay and Dubai.
Our Dubai journey began in a studio apartment on Street 5 in Discovery Gardens. Subsequently, we relocated to a serene one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment on Street 11 in Discovery Gardens, where we resided for the next three years. Even as our family grew to four members, we found comfort in our home in Discovery Gardens.
In our search for an apartment, our criteria included ample lighting, proximity to a swimming pool, ample parking, a spacious kitchen, and the inclusion of maintenance and a chiller. It was crucial to avoid apartments with signs of seepage, as it indicated potential issues.
We made a point of choosing apartments that covered both maintenance and chiller costs in the rent. To further optimize energy efficiency, we installed a smart thermostat or a thermostat with automated fan speed regulation and turn-off capability. This decision resulted in a significant reduction in our monthly power expenses, saving us over fifty percent.
The investment in the thermostat paid off in less than three months, as it allowed us to maintain a consistent temperature while optimizing energy usage. It automatically adjusted the cooling system based on our needs, ensuring efficiency and cost savings.
Contrary to common belief, it is entirely feasible to live in Dubai without owning a car. It is advisable to choose an apartment with a nearby shop or easy access to essential amenities for convenient and quick purchases.
For commuting to his workplace in Knowledge Village, my husband relied on bus number 85, which took him approximately 15-20 minutes. Public transportation is favored by many individuals from Bombay, and he often shared fascinating stories of his interactions with fellow commuters on trains and buses.
Dubai’s road infrastructure continues to improve, and utilizing GPS navigation can help find the most efficient routes. If considering a vehicle, investing in one equipped with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto can greatly enhance the driving experience. We experienced the joy of incorporating Apple CarPlay into our Volkswagen CC, making every journey within Dubai or Abu Dhabi an incredible delight.
During the intense summer heat in Dubai, home delivery is a convenient option, although it may take some time. When ordering groceries from Carrefour, we highly recommend utilizing the valet trolley service for added convenience.
For the freshest agricultural goods, consider cycling to Spinneys, where you can find a variety of vegan and specialty food items that may be challenging to locate at Carrefour. Spinneys is known for its superior quality meat and salmon selection.
Kibsons is an exceptional option, particularly for avocados, vegan products, and a diverse range of hypoallergenic milk products. Don’t miss out on trying their Oatly ice cream, and their environmentally friendly packaging is an added bonus.
If you have a car, visit the Deira Waterfront fish and vegetable market for a wide selection of freshly caught or flown-in fish and vegetables. It’s a great place to explore if you’re looking for premium produce options.
In Dubai, there is a vibrant street food culture that can be found in areas like Bur Dubai and Deira. These neighborhoods not only hold historical significance but also serve as a culinary melting pot, blending flavors from around the world. From shawarmas to biryani and mandi, there is a wide array of cuisine options available to suit different tastes and budgets.
Dubai caters to a diverse population, including migrant workers and tourists, as well as those with a higher spending capacity. However, it’s important to note that Dubai is not Punjab, where poor-quality cuisine would rarely be encountered. While exploring the local street food scene, it’s possible to come across some unpleasant experiences with the food or service.
If the best 24-hour restaurants in Dubai closed before they had a chance to serve customers, you obviously got everything. It’s easy to be fooled by appearances; a room full of vacant seats sometimes means something other than what it seems to imply. Certain businesses have armies of customers that prefer home delivery.
Having said that, if you witness taxis and huge SUVs squeezing into the little parking spot in front of the restaurant like they’re playing Tetris, you can be confident that you’ve found a hidden treasure of the culinary world.
If you notice Italian sports vehicles, though, you should consider them seriously before buying one—unless you want to rack up a few thousand points on your AMEX card.
Dubai offers a range of options for entertainment and activities that promote a healthy lifestyle. The city is known for its focus on fitness and wellness, with events and competitions held throughout the year. Notable events include the Dubai Marathon and the Dubai Fitness Challenge 30×30.
During the winter months, from October to February, Dubai becomes a hub for fitness-related activities, with many events taking place at the Dubai International Sports City. The city encourages physical activity, and it’s not uncommon to see people jogging on the sidewalks, even late at night. Dubai’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle is evident in its vibrant fitness culture.
When seeking healthcare in Dubai, it’s important to be aware of your insurance coverage and any potential out-of-pocket costs. Understanding your insurance benefits beforehand can help you avoid unexpected expenses.
American Hospital is a reputable medical facility that may be covered by your health insurance. It offers a wide range of medical services and can serve as a comprehensive healthcare provider.
For emergencies near Discovery Gardens, Saudi German Hospital is a convenient option to consider. It provides prompt and efficient emergency care.
Dr. Suleiman Habib Hospital is known for its exceptional emergency department, as well as its gynecology and pediatrics divisions. If you require specialized care in these areas, it may be a comfortable and reliable choice.
Choosing the right healthcare provider depends on your specific needs and insurance coverage. It’s advisable to research and confirm the coverage and quality of care before seeking medical assistance in Dubai.
If you, too, have fantasized about experiencing the abundant way of life in Dubai, there are a few things you should be aware of before you board the aircraft. Before you decide to relocate, the following is a comprehensive list of everything you need to be aware of:
In the United Arab Emirates, the Federal Government does not impose taxes on individuals or most businesses, providing a favorable tax environment. This is particularly appealing for individuals who can keep their entire income without deductions.
However, certain industries, such as the oil sector, are subject to taxation. Oil companies face a significant tax rate of 55%, reflecting the importance of the oil industry in Dubai’s economy.
It’s important to note that while individuals may not be subject to income taxes, other fees and charges may apply in specific cases, such as property-related expenses or specific business taxes for certain industries. It’s advisable to consult with a tax professional or seek guidance from relevant authorities for specific taxation details in Dubai.
In Dubai, the work week differs from the typical Monday-to-Friday schedule. The weekend starts on Friday and lasts until Saturday, allowing for a two-day break. This adjustment is made to align with the religious significance of Friday, which is considered a holy day in Islam.
While it may take some time to adjust to the new schedule, you will soon adapt and find your rhythm within a few weeks. It’s important to plan your activities and commitments accordingly to ensure a smooth transition and maximize your productivity during the work week.
When considering a move to the United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai, it is essential to account for the higher cost of living compared to India. The cost of living in the UAE is approximately 4.6 times higher than in India, which may require adjusting your budget accordingly.
In Dubai specifically, the cost of living is even higher, with prices around 100% above the UAE average. This higher cost is partly due to the luxurious and affluent lifestyle that Dubai often attracts.
Rental prices have seen a significant increase in recent years, especially in areas popular among expatriates. The average cost of a home in Dubai is approximately £478,128 (or $670,000). However, it’s worth noting that property prices in Dubai experienced a 6.6% decrease in 2020, which can be encouraging for potential buyers.
It’s important to carefully consider and plan for the higher cost of living when making financial decisions and setting a budget for your life in Dubai.
Accessing healthcare in Dubai can be challenging for foreigners, so it is highly recommended to have a comprehensive health insurance plan in place. This insurance coverage can help cover any ongoing or unexpected medical expenses that may arise during your time in the city.
If you are planning to work in Dubai or have already secured a job, it is advisable to negotiate medical insurance as part of your employment package. Many employers in Dubai offer medical insurance benefits to their employees, and they may even cover the costs on your behalf.
Having medical insurance provided by your employer can give you peace of mind and ensure that you have access to quality healthcare services when needed. It is essential to discuss and clarify the details of the medical insurance coverage with your employer to fully understand the extent of the benefits and any limitations.
Investing in a high-quality health insurance plan or having employer-provided coverage can help you navigate the healthcare system in Dubai and ensure that you receive the necessary medical care without financial burden.
Dubai’s low crime rate can be attributed to its strict laws and zero-tolerance policy. The city imposes stringent requirements and regulations to maintain safety and order. Here are some examples of these requirements:
- Possession of poppy seeds is illegal: It is important to note that poppy seeds are considered a controlled substance in Dubai, and their possession is prohibited. Engaging in such activities can lead to legal consequences.
- Respect for privacy: Photographing another person without their consent is considered rude and an invasion of privacy. It is important to always seek permission before taking someone’s photograph.
- No eating or drinking on public transportation: It is against the law to consume food or drinks while using public transportation in Dubai. This rule helps maintain cleanliness and ensures a pleasant commuting experience for all passengers.
- Prohibition of public profanity: Using profanity in public is illegal in Dubai. The city promotes a respectful and harmonious environment, and any use of offensive language can result in criminal charges and penalties.
Dubai’s strict enforcement of these laws is aimed at maintaining the city’s safety, order, and cultural norms. It is important for residents and visitors to be aware of and abide by these regulations to avoid any legal issues and ensure a peaceful experience in the city.
In Dubai, there are several convenient and affordable options for public transportation. The most popular mode of transportation is the Metro, which offers a clean, efficient, and economical way to travel within the city. The fare for a single trip on the Metro is only 3.5 AED, which is approximately 63 INR, making it a cost-effective choice for residents and visitors.
Taxis are another commonly used means of transportation in Dubai. They are reasonably priced, with a starting fare of 12 AED (216 INR). To make the process even more convenient, Dubai has its own taxi-hailing app, similar to Uber, which allows passengers to book rides without the need to hail taxis on the street.
In addition to the Metro and taxis, Dubai also offers a range of other public transportation options, including buses, water taxis, trams, and ferries. These provide additional flexibility and accessibility for getting around the city.
With a well-developed public transportation system and affordable fares, navigating Dubai is made convenient and accessible for residents and tourists alike.
Even if you are drinking in your home or at a friend’s house, you still need an alcohol license to consume, store, or transport alcohol in Dubai. This is the case regardless of where the alcohol is consumed. To get a license, you will be required to provide copies of your passport, a visa, a picture of your passport, and an Emirates ID.
If you are discovered drinking in public when you have a license to do so in Dubai, you might face a substantial fine or perhaps time in prison, depending on the severity of the situation. This freedom is also available for those moving to Dubai from Pakistan.
When living abroad in Dubai, all deliveries, including mail and packages, are typically sent to your workplace address rather than your residential address. This is because your employer, who serves as your sponsor, is the most reliable and secure point of contact.
Moreover, to open a bank account in Dubai, you will need authorization from your company. It is important to familiarize yourself with a comprehensive guide on how to get a job in Dubai, including understanding the requirements and procedures involved.
The United Arab Emirates, including cities like Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, has been recognized for its safety, with all three cities ranked among the top ten safest in the world in 2020. Stricter penalties, long prison terms, publicized convictions, and undercover police operations contribute to Dubai’s reputation as one of the safest places to live.
In such a secure environment, it is not uncommon to come across situations where expensive vehicles are left unattended with keys in the ignition or unattended laptops in public spaces for extended periods of time.
Dubai is widely regarded as one of the most welcoming cities in the Middle East for women. In addition to its reputation for safety, Dubai offers various services exclusively for women, such as ladies-only cabs and metro carriages. Furthermore, certain beaches have designated days specifically for women, providing them with their own space and options. While this is not a government mandate, it reflects the city’s commitment to creating inclusive and comfortable environments for all residents.
While English is widely spoken and understood in Dubai, learning Arabic can be beneficial if you plan to navigate the city and engage with the local culture. While not essential, many residents of Dubai, over time, acquire at least basic knowledge of Arabic during their stay. This can enhance your experience, help you connect with locals, and deepen your understanding of the region.
Brunches in Dubai are renowned for their grandeur and extravagance. These social gatherings, usually held on weekends, offer an abundance of delicious food and beverages in a lively and celebratory atmosphere. It’s a chance to indulge in a wide variety of cuisines, from international delicacies to local specialties, all served in generous portions. Brunches in Dubai are not just about the food; they also feature live entertainment, music, and an overall festive ambiance. It’s an experience that combines culinary delights with entertainment, creating lasting memories for those who partake in it.
Dubai offers a high level of freedom when it comes to dress code, and individuals are not required to wear traditional garments like the Kandura or abaya. There are no restrictions on what you can wear, and you are free to dress in a manner that aligns with your personal style and comfort.
While there is no obligation to cover your head with a scarf, it is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting more traditional or religious areas such as Old Dubai or the souks of Deira. It is recommended to have your shoulders covered in these locations as a sign of cultural sensitivity.
Overall, Dubai embraces diversity, and residents and visitors are encouraged to express themselves through their attire while being mindful of local customs and traditions in certain contexts.
During the holy month of Ramadan, which is an important time in the Islamic calendar, Dubai observes certain guidelines and customs that residents and visitors are expected to follow. These guidelines aim to show respect for the religious practices of the Muslim community.
One of the key practices during Ramadan is fasting from sunrise to sunset, during which eating and drinking in public is not permitted. It is important for individuals who are not observing Ramadan to be mindful of this and refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public places during daylight hours. Violating these guidelines may result in disciplinary action by the authorities.
It is worth noting that many restaurants and cafes in Dubai observe Ramadan by adjusting their operating hours or closing during fasting hours. However, non-Muslims and individuals who are not fasting can usually find dining options in designated areas or within hotel premises.
Respecting and understanding the cultural and religious practices of the local community is an important aspect of living or visiting Dubai, particularly during significant occasions such as Ramadan.
According to the World Bank’s recent evaluations, the United Arab Emirates ranks 16th out of 190 economies in terms of the ease of doing business. This positive ranking can be attributed to the country’s efforts in providing opportunities, skills development, access to capital, and support for prospective business owners.
As you read this post, you know how is life for Indians in Dubai as an ex-pat. They have been accepted fully into the fabric of Indian society, and several chances for developing their skills have been made available in Dubai.
In addition, the life structure in Dubai for Hindi speakers is beyond what you could ever think, with high standards of safety, superb infrastructure, and state-of-the-art facilities and services. Because of our embargo, this was the only means of subsistence for Indians living in Dubai. Reviewing a house for sale in Dubai is required to get a house in this city.
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