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Is Dubai good for Indians to settle?

Dubai has emerged as a popular destination for Indians looking to settle abroad due to its strong economy, career opportunities, tax-free salaries, and proximity to India. As one of the most cosmopolitan cities globally, Dubai also offers a high standard of living, luxury amenities, and cultural diversity that appeals to many Indian expats.

Is Dubai good for Indians to settle?

When considering whether Dubai is a good place for Indians to settle, there are several key factors to evaluate:

Career and Business Opportunities

Dubai offers abundant career prospects across industries like information technology, healthcare, media, hospitality, construction, energy, and more. Leadership roles in multinational companies usually hire those with international exposure and expertise. The city is also a global hub for entrepreneurs and startups. Indians with in-demand skills and experience can negotiate attractive salary and relocation packages when job hunting in Dubai.

Financial Incentives

Salaries for qualified professionals in Dubai are often tax-free. The savings potential allows Indians to accumulate wealth faster while benefitting from Dubai’s high standard of living. Low personal and corporate tax rates also make Dubai an ideal base for global business operations.

Infrastructure and Quality of Life

From luxurious residential developments to iconic tourist attractions, Dubai invests heavily in advanced infrastructure and diversified real estate. It ranks highly in quality of life indices due to top-class healthcare, education hubs, retail destinations, and recreational facilities. These aspects meet the aspirations of high-net-worth individuals and families relocating from India.

Travel Connectivity

Dubai is only a 2-3 hour flight away from most major Indian cities, making it convenient for frequent trips back home to visit family and friends. UAE carriers like Emirates, Etihad, and fly Dubai also offer direct connections to many Indian airports. This proximity and ease of travel is a major perk for Indian citizens accustomed to tight-knit family structures.

Cultural Familiarity

While being an ultra-modern metropolis, Dubai retains the welcoming Arabian hospitality and cosmopolitan outlook that makes Indian expats feel at home. From the abundance of high-quality Indian food outlets to the vibrant celebrations of festivals like Diwali, Dubai offers cultural comfort. The sizable Indian community already based there also facilitates networking and assimilation.

Relaxed Immigration Requirements

Securing long-term UAE residency is relatively easier for certain professionals compared to destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, or Australia. Doctors and engineers, for example, only need a valid Dubai job offer to obtain renewable 3-year visas. Investors can also gain residency rights by purchasing UAE property worth over AED 1 million.

Key Considerations Before Relocation

Despite Dubai’s merits, Indians still face a few hurdles like adapting to Emirati traditions, saving on comparatively lower salaries, high living costs, hot climate, and variable job market stability. Doing thorough research before finalizing the Dubai job offer letter or apartment lease is vital.

Learn Cultural Etiquette

While quite liberal, Dubai still upholds certain cultural customs being an Islamic nation. These include avoiding public displays of affection, wearing modest clothing when visiting government buildings, learning basic Arabic phrases, and showing respect for the royal family. Indians should adjust accordingly.

Evaluate Affordability

Though tax-free, salaries in Dubai are lower than Western counterparts for similar roles. Factor in rental, utilities, transportation, shopping budgets before determining cost implications. Have at least 6 months of backup savings as well.

Some employers provide housing allowances or corporate accommodations especially when recruiting overseas talent. Compare compensations before accepting offers.

Assess Healthcare Plans

Dubai has reputable medical facilities but lack of health insurance can lead to sky-high bills. When comparing employer packages, check if insurance plans adequately cover OPD charges, critical illness treatments etc along with hospitalization. Top-up additional coverage if required.

Consider Implications of Temporary Contracts

Some private sector companies only provide temporary 2-3 year residence permits limiting long-term security. If considering relocating kids or making major investments like property, ensure you fully understand visa renewal complexities or options before committing.

Verify Credential Equivalency

Certain regulated professions require licensing from UAE authorities before practicing locally. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, engineers etc must get credentials officially attested for employment eligibility. Initiate this process before departure from India to allow sufficient processing time.

By addressing these aspects in advance, Indians can better evaluate if Dubai is ideal for their settlement goals. With prudent planning, Dubai can prove to be a gateway to prosperity.

Relocation Checklist for Indians Moving to Dubai

To ensure a hassle-free relocation, Indians should complete this pre-move checklist:

  • Immigration paperwork – visa, passport, Emirates ID, health insurance, employment contract
  • Housing – rent/buy home, setup amenities like internet, gas, electricity etc
  • Transportation – driving license conversion, car shipping/purchase, public transport cards
  • Finance – open UAE bank account, get credit card, transfer assets
  • Family affairs – find school/daycare for kids, vaccinations, legal documents
  • Moving logistics – pack belongings, hire movers, change mailing address
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Following this timeline allows for an organized transition focused on the basics first.

Best Areas for Indians to Live in Dubai

Based on proximity to Indian hubs and affordable housing, these Dubai neighbourhoods are ideal for Indian families and bachelors:

  • Bur Dubai – Vibrant community with numerous Indian grocery stores, temples, entertainment options in older parts of Dubai. 1BHK rent starts around AED 40k.
  • Deira – One of the original Indian expatriate enclaves, the Chor Bazaar and bustling souqs give major Mumbai feels. Studios rent from AED 30k.
  • Karama – Budget accommodation under AED 50k with metro/bus connectivity. Ethnic eateries and Indian bazaar.
  • International City – Caters to new arrivals given competitive rents (AED 20k+). Clustered into country-themed residential plots.
  • Jumeirah Lakes Towers – Modern towers with scenic views, gyms, pools. 1BHK rent from AED 60k but near Metro.
  • Dubai Marina – Trendy waterfront high-rises, walkable plaza, plus Indian fine-dining restaurants. 2BHK average rent from AED 90k-100k.

Factoring commute convenience and community is necessary when evaluating property options.

Cost of Living Breakdown for Family of 4 in Dubai

  • Housing – AED 100k for 2BHK flat in Dubai Marina
  • Schooling – AED 35-75k per child annually depending on curriculum
  • Household Expenses – AED 10k monthly for utilities, groceries, fuel etc
  • Healthcare – AED 10-15k annually for insurance premiums
  • Leisure – AED 20k yearly for family entertainment, travel etc

Total = AED 290k-330k per annum

While salaries for qualified expats in Dubai can sufficiently cover these living costs, being prudent with savings and personal finance planning is still vital for long-term security. Review budgets before committing.

Top Jobs in Demand for Indians in Dubai

Based on workload projections and upcoming infrastructure in Dubai, these sectors continue hiring Indian professionals extensively:

  • Information Technology – Software developers, UI/UX designers, cybersecurity experts, database architects etc.
  • Healthcare – Specialist doctors, nurses, hospital admin roles, medical device engineers.
  • Banking and Finance – Investment banking, asset management, brokerage, and fintech professionals.
  • Education – Teachers across disciplines like English, Math, Science as India’s curriculum gets adopted.
  • Engineering and Construction – Civil, mechanical, electrical engineers plus project managers.
  • Media and Entertainment – On-screen talent, digital content creators, media sales specialists.

Job seekers should acquire in-demand skills before applying and learn about salary benchmarks. Be flexible across industries as well.

Business Opportunities for Indian Entrepreneurs

Thanks to Dubai prioritizing innovation and easing regulations, Indian entrepreneurs have unlocked thriving enterprises across sectors like:

  • F&B – Restaurants, cloud kitchens for Indian cuisine, food production and processing
  • Retail – Fashion, jewelry, electronics, sweet shops, supermarkets for Indian goods
  • Digital Media – Video production, influencer marketing, entertainment streaming channels
  • Professional Services – Accounting, legal consultancy, recruitment supporting Indian companies
  • Tourism – Budget hospitality chains, travel bookings focusing on Indian corporate travelers
  • Logistics – Courier, cargo services between India and UAE

Leveraging cultural knowledge and tapping the extensive Indian diaspora forms a competitive edge. Government accelerators like IN5 also assist with licensing, visas, funding.

Transitioning Kids and Family to Dubai

Uprooting children from familiar social circles can be tough. Help them gradually adapt in Dubai by:

  • Choosing welcoming multicultural schools following preferred curriculum
  • Arranging video calls with friends back home and potential new classmates
  • Connecting with Indian parents groups on social media for advice and community events
  • Encouraging extracurriculars like sports or music to make new friends
  • Exploring popular attractions like Global Village, water parks, desert safaris

Address relocation anxiety openly within the household. Bond over new experiences discovering Emirati culture as an adventure for the entire family.

Things to Do in Dubai for Indian Families

Dubai offers numerous family-friendly recreation zones suitable for children:

  • IMG Worlds of Adventure – Largest indoor theme park with rides, games for all ages
  • Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates – Snow park with winter clothes rentals available
  • Dubai Aquarium at The Dubai Mall – Massive tank with thousands of aquatic species
  • Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk – Stunning views, dining, entertainment stretching 5km offshore
  • Skydive Dubai – Certified tandem jumps over The Palm Islands for daredevil parents
  • Dubai Miracle Garden – Sprawling floral displays with sculptures, concerts, events
  • JBR Beach – Watersports like paddle boating, volleyball along lively Beach Walk

Bonding over family activities helps balanced assimilation in a new country.

Key Takeaways

  • With career growth, tax-free incomes, premium lifestyle and cultural familiarity, Dubai offers beneficial prospects for Indians aiming to settle abroad long-term.
  • However relocating still requires adjusting to local laws and customs while evaluating affordability factors beyond just rents.
  • Advance planning for immigration logistics, accommodation, family transition matters significantly as well.
  • Upon ensuring life goals align beyond salaries alone, Indians with adaptable mindsets can thrive by leveraging Dubai as a strategic base.


While certainly alluring, Indians must assess if Dubai’s offerings match long-term objectives – both financial and socio-cultural along with career progression aims – when deciding to permanently move overseas.

The initial transition entails effort adjusting to new societal customs. However the abundance of Indian diaspora connections thereafter allows assimilating smoothly.

With pragmatic expectations of trade-offs around work-life balance and savings abilities, Dubai can become a lucrative home supporting personal and professional success simultaneously for Indians open to embracing aspects that make this glitzy desert metropolis unique on the global map.

The decision ultimately requires balancing career ambitions with closeness to homeland before taking those first steps away.


Q: What kind of salaries do Indians earn in Dubai?
A: Professionals in fields like IT, healthcare, finance, engineering earn AED 15-30k monthly on average in Dubai. Doctors and C-suite executives at large corporations can make over AED 50-75k per month.

Q: Do Indian students get education loans to study in Dubai?
A: Yes, leading Indian banks provide overseas education loans for UAE approved universities focused on STEM, business and other lucrative streams.

Q: Can Indians easily bring parents to live in Dubai?
A: Subject to financial criteria, income level and availability of adequate healthcare insurance, Indians can sponsor residence visas for parents in Dubai.

Q: What taxes do Indians pay in Dubai?
A: There is no personal income tax for salaries earned in Dubai. End-of-service gratuity, usually one month per year worked, is applicable upon resignation.

Q: Can unmarried couples cohabit easily in Dubai?
A: Unmarried or domestic partners cannot legally cohabit in Dubai. Stringent action prevails under indecency laws.

Q: Do Indian electrical appliances work in Dubai?
A: Yes, Dubai uses 220-240V at 50Hz like India, hence Indian electronics function seamlessly with plug adaptors.

Q: What are the best ways for Indians to find jobs in Dubai?
A: Register on leading job sites, leverage LinkedIn connections, attend career fairs by UAE consulates in India, get referrals from friends/family employed in the UAE.

Q: Which are the top banks for Indians in Dubai?
A: Top banks with India dedicated services are Emirates NBD, Mashreq Bank, Bank of Baroda, DBS Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai, RAK Bank.

Q: Where do most Indians live in Dubai?
A: Prominent residential clusters preferred by Indians include Bur Dubai, International City, JLT, Silicon Oasis, Discovery Gardens, Al Nahda, Jumeirah, Dubai Marina.

Q: Can Indians buy freehold property in Dubai?
A: Yes, Indians can purchase freehold estate in designated areas as per RERA guidelines. As non-GCC citizens, some areas have property price minimums.

Q: Is the education system in Dubai better than India?
A: Yes, Dubai offers prestigious schools following various global curriculums at par with international standards and high success rates.

Q: What documents are required for Indians getting Dubai employment visa?
A: Primary documents include educational qualification certificates, experience letters, current police verification certificate, passport copies, health certificate, passport photos.

Q: Can Indians open a business in Dubai without a local partner?
A: Yes, Indians can have 100% ownership of Dubai mainland companies in most sectors including retail, advertising, tech etc with appropriate trade licenses.

Q: Which Dubai areas have maximum Indian grocery shops and restaurants?
A: Deira, Bur Dubai, Karama and International City have the highest density of Indian supermarkets, eateries and street stalls selling ethnic ingredients and food.

Q: Do Indian driving licenses require conversion tests in Dubai?
A: Yes, after documentation verification India licenses only allow 31 days before requiring computer and road tests for full Dubai license exchange. International permits work longer.

Q: Which religions can Indians freely practice in Dubai?
A: Dubai permits free practice of various faiths. There are numerous Hindu and Sikh temples, Christian churches, Sai Baba centers, Gurudwaras across neighborhoods.

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