Moving from India to Dubai

As Dubai offers tax-free salaries, a low crime rate and a booming economy, it’s easy to see why so many Indians are choosing to relocate to the United Arab Emirates (the UAE) and make Dubai their new home. Although Dubai is only a three and half hours flight from New Delhi, every international relocation requires a high level of organisation to ensure a smooth and hassle-free move.

Allied has helped Indian individuals, families and businesses successfully relocate to the UAE so we know how to ensure that your move to Dubai is as seamless and hassle-free as possible! To help you begin preparing for your move to Dubai, we have put together this handy guide which has everything you need to know before you move. As well as providing you with some local insight into what life will be like in Dubai.



If you want to live in the UAE, you need to acquire a residency visa to live, work and study in Dubai. These visas are split in different categories such as retired foreigners, creative specialists, outstanding students and working in the private sector. Although all these visas have their own specific requirements and eligibility criteria, they all require you to undertake a medical X-Ray (to screen for tuberculosis) and blood tests (to screen for HIV/AIDS). If you have a company sponsoring your relocation, they should handle the residency visa for you. Residency visas tend to be valid for one, two or three years. There is a 30 day grace period after your visa has expired, but it is best to apply for renewal prior to expiration.


When moving to Dubai, it’s best to secure work prior to relocating. However, there is a visa which enables you to visit the UAE for 60, 90 or 120 days to scout out job opportunities in Dubai. While many people know Dubai and the UAE for its oil and gas industries, it only makes up a small portion of the UAE’s GDP. The majority of the UAE’s economy is made up of the financial services, tourism and trade industries, with the most in-demand skills from foreigners in finance, cybersecurity, marketing, administration, language and teaching. To find out more about the job opportunities in Dubai, search on job sites like LinkedIn, Gulftalent and Bayt.


Housing in Dubai can vary greatly, with multi-million compounds boasting every luxury to basic single bedroom apartments in the outer suburbs. There are three major types of housing; apartments, condominiums and villas. Apartments can have multiple bedrooms, although they are often on the smaller side and considered more affordable. Condominiums are similar to apartments, however they tend to be larger, more luxurious and expensive. Villas are free-standing homes which have multiple rooms, amenities and a garden, they are the most expensive housing available and it can be a competitive market. On average, you should expect to pay over AED$5,040 a month (INR$112,310) for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre. 


If you are wanting to relocate to Dubai with your cat or dog, you will need to follow the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change And Environment (MOCCAE) import rules. To relocate your pet, you need to first obtain import permission by being issued an import permit which involves filling out the required form and paying the fees (AED$200). Following this permission, you will need to apply for your pet to be released and have proof of immunisations, Antibody Titration Test for rabies, and a health certificate. You will also have to fill out the required e-form and pay the fees, AED$500 for a dog and AED$250 for a cat. It’s best to use a pet relocation service who can advise on the required process and ensure a safe and smooth journey for your pet. 


The healthcare system is one of the major reasons why so many Indians are keen to relocate to Dubai. With highly developed healthcare infrastructure available, the overall standard and access of healthcare is considered significantly better than in India. To access the free or low cost healthcare, you need to apply for a healthcare card. You will also need to have medical insurance, which your employer is required to provide.


Now that you have an idea about what to know before you make the move to Dubai, what will life be like once you arrive? 


The culture of the UAE tends to reflect traditional Arab and Islamic values, however due to the economic boom and lower tax rates, it has become more of a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities. Although once heavily restricted, expats no longer require a special alcohol licence to purchase or consume alcohol. Keep in mind that there is a zero tolerance for public drunkenness and drunk driving. You should also only consume alcohol at home or in a licensed nightclub, bar or restaurant as consuming alcohol in public areas (including the beach) is illegal.

Dubai is considered to be more conservative than India. Women should be aware that while there is no expectation to wear a traditional hijab, wearing tight, revealing and short clothing is considered disrespectful. It is best to wear more conservative and modest clothing which covers the shoulders and knees.

Due to the significant Muslim population in Dubai, both Muslims and non-Muslims are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public from Sunrise to Sunset during the month of Ramadan.


The official language of the UAE and Dubai is Arabic, however English is considered to be more widely spoken. Due to the large South Asian population (with more than 38% being Indian), you may also hear Hindi, Urdu and Farsi spoken in Dubai.


In Dubai, you’ll experience a tropical desert climate. This means that unlike in India, you won’t experience heavy rainfall or monsoons. The winters are also incredibly mild with the lowest temperatures reaching 24℃ in the cooler months.


Dubai does offer reliable and efficient public transportation with bus, tram and metro infrastructure covering most of the existing city and ‘new Dubai’ developments. To pay for public transportation, you use a ‘nol’ card which you can top-up regularly. There are various types of ‘nol’ cards, including red for occasional users and gold for those wanting premium seats. As fuel is considerably cheap, driving in Dubai is popular. However, there is considerable traffic and parking can be tough to find at times. There is a wide variety of taxis and ride-sharing services, as well as ‘ladies only’ taxis with female drivers.


On average, the cost of living in the UAE is 4.6 times more expensive than in India. The UAE uses the United Arab Emirates Dollar (AED), which (at the time of writing) is equal to INR$22. Everything from groceries to entertainment to clothing will be more expensive in Dubai than in India. Fortunately, the average salary is also considerably higher in Dubai at INR$353,517 compared to India’s average of INR$48,710.


If you are ready to make the move from India to Dubai, discuss your relocation with Allied! As we have a network of movers across the globe, we are able to assist you every single step of the way! You won’t even need to worry about using another moving company once you arrive as our Allied UAE team will be ready to handle your move and ensure a smooth transition. You can learn more about our moving from India services and how we can best cater for your move by visiting our international moving page.