Dubai, also referred to as the “City of Gold,” is an international center that boasts stunning beaches and a plethora of attractions. So why not move your family to Dubai?

Night view of dubai downtown with burj khalifa

How to Budget Your Family Move to Dubai

It is also renowned for its luxury lifestyle, vibrant economy, fantastic work opportunities, and high-end property in Dubai’s premium communities, making it popular among individuals from all over the world who seek to relocate and start a new life in this bustling city. However, moving to the emirate can be a costly affair, and it is essential to plan your budget accordingly to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Contrary to popular belief, cheap apartments in Dubai are also available, and fees you’ll pay to apply for necessary documents won’t cost that much. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when planning your budget to relocate.

Get Your Belongings to the UAE

Shipping your belongings is the first expense you will encounter when moving to the emirate. The cost will depend on the country you are coming from and the items you choose to take with you. Most people prefer to take personal items such as clothes, jewelry, books, documents, and laptops on the flight with them. The larger objects such as bulky items, home gadgets, kitchenware, and artwork can be transported via sea freight separately. Some companies offer packing services included in their quotation, which means that you don’t have to pack anything on your own. However, all items must be insured. The cost of shipping belongings usually ranges from tens to thousands of dirhams.

Get Your Residency Documents

Visas and work permits are crucial requirements. If you are not a GCC national, you will need an employment visa to take up a job in the country. The cost to apply for a visa is AED300 per person, and there is a deposit of approximately AED5,000. The visa itself costs less than AED200 per year, and an additional fee of AED100 can be paid for expedited processing. Medical tests are mandatory for all applicants and typically cost between AED200 to 300. In many cases, the expenses for these documents are covered by the employer.

If you want to know more about immigrating to Dubai, you can find relevant information at

Finding Suitable Apartments in Dubai

Accommodation is one of the most significant expenses you will face. The city offers a plethora of residential options but landlords charge higher amounts due to the high demand. You may end up paying anywhere between AED2,000 (small flats in Dubai) and 25,000 (luxurious options), depending on the location you choose. Remember that you should allocate a percentage of the rental value of the property for the real estate agent’s fee. Furthermore, a deposit of a percentage of the annual rent is required for unfurnished accommodation, which may increase up to 10% for furnished rental properties.

Apart from renting, apartments for sale in Dubai present another option that you might want to consider. It is important to remember that the emirate’s real estate market is quite dynamic, and the price of a property for sale in Dubai fluctuates frequently. It is also crucial to note that buying a unit is a profitable investment, and you must have a long-term plan and financial stability to consider it seriously. Off-plan projects in Dubai present a terrific investment opportunity and are a great option to acquire a housing unit cheaper than the market price, as properties for sale off-plan in Dubai are usually available at lower prices and with an installment payment plan. Some of the popular areas include:

  • Dubai Marina, 
  • Downtown Dubai, 
  • Jumeirah Lake Towers, 
  • Palm Jumeirah.

If you decide to buy a unit, you should also be prepared to pay additional fees, such as:

  • the Land Department registration fee, 
  • property valuation fee, 
  • real estate agent commission, 
  • maintenance charges. 

These charges can add up to quite an amount, so factoring them into your budget is essential. It is crucial to work with a trustworthy real estate agency in Dubai that will assist you with legal and financial aspects throughout the buying process. To do this, professional specialists consult their clients on real estate in Dubai and provide a thought-out plan with all the necessary actions listed. Reach out to brokers via the official website.

Internet and Communication

In the UAE, telecommunication and cable services are typically provided by Etisalat and the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (Du). Calls from one landline to another are free, and mobile bills are comparatively low. However, you should factor in the installation fee when you first move to Dubai, which costs around AED180 as a one-time non-refundable charge. You can opt for a three-service package priced between AED259 and 539 per month. Du’s charges are higher, with an initial payment of 200 dirhams and an adjustable deposit of 200 dirhams. Additionally, there is a deposit of AED150 for every decoder you need. Du’s package for all three services ranges from AED199 to 1,199 per month.

Transportation Fares When You Move to Dubai

Transportation costs are quite high, depending on how you choose to travel. Taxis are abundant and convenient, but fares can add up quickly. A taxi ride starts at AED12.50, and an extra charge of 1.96 is added per kilometer.

If you prefer to use public transportation, the Metro is a fast and affordable option. Metro fares start at AED2 and go up to 7.5, depending on the distance you are traveling. There is also a comprehensive bus network, with fares starting at 3 dirhams. Travel cards are available working with both the metro and bus systems, offering discounts on fares and making it easier to manage your transportation costs.


Another significant expense to keep in mind is healthcare. Although the public healthcare system is relatively affordable, many ex-pats choose private healthcare due to the higher quality of care and shorter waiting times. Having enough health insurance coverage is crucial to handle the expensive costs of private healthcare. Health insurance costs vary widely depending on your age, medical history, and coverage needs. Expect to pay anywhere from AED3,000 to 10,000 per year.

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