Skip to content

Moving to the United Arab Emirates: Living and working in the UAE

Less than 1 minute Minutes of reading

Tips and advice on moving to the UAE as an expat

Moving to the United Arab Emirates - UAE Flag

The United Arab Emirates is one of the richest countries in the world. Modern and with high living standards, it is a Middle Eastern federation made up of seven emirates - the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah y Umm al-Qaywayn- which, while forming a sovereign country, retain considerable political, judicial and economic autonomy.

Geographical location and climate of the UAE

Moving to the United Arab Emirates is a considerable distance from Spain. The flight, from Madrid, takes approximately seven hours. But a stay in this country can be a great experience, as it is a curious destination in which the standard of living is very high and offers many opportunities.

Located along the Persian Gulf, the UAE is a country on the Arabian Peninsula, with weather desert, hot and dry. Winters are mild and summers are hot and sunny. In July and August, temperatures exceed 40ºC, while in January - the coldest month - the maximum temperature is usually 24ºC.

Moving to the United Arab Emirates - Dubai

Working in the United Arab Emirates

Economic data

According to data provided by the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid, economic relations between the UAE and Spain are excellent with a bilateral investment flow of more than 9,000 million dollars and the presence of more than 170 Spanish companies established in the country. The GDP per capita The Emirates' total revenue was $43,537.69 in 2021, up 11.2% from the previous year, and is expected to grow by 2.79% in 2022.

The main sources of revenue for the UAE are the oil and the natural gaswhich account for approximately 20 % of its GDP. However, they have been able to develop new sources of wealth, being the least oil-dependent country in the region, and have become an ideal destination for expatriates due to their constant demand for skilled workerswhich already represent 85% of the population.

As the United Arab Emirates (UAE) celebrated its golden jubilee in 2021, its government announced a set of bold strategic projects to drive the next phase of the country's growth, both domestically and internationally, under the name of "Projects of the 50". Under the Plan, economic, social, technological and development initiatives are planned to accelerate the country's growth, strengthen its position as a global investment hub and attract businesses and entrepreneurs. A key priority for the Emirates is to work with global economic partners to boost investment ties and generate new opportunities for ambitious companies, including in Spain, where the Emirates has close, long-term relationships.

Through these measures, the Emirates will improve its position as a global destination for foreign investment130 billion euros over the next 9 years. Trade relations between Spain and the UAE over the last decade have grown steadily, reaching more than €1.5 billion by 2020.

The UAE also has duty free zones. The "Free Zone"They enjoy absolute freedom in the repatriation of capital, among many other advantages.

Working in UAE

Sectors such as oil, construction, IT, and aeronautics offer a wide range of services. great employment opportunities for engineers. Especially in Dubai, which has an important technology centre: the Dubai Silicon Oasis.

The sectors of tourism, finance, marketing and culture also have large job vacancies. And if you have an administrative background and are thinking of working in the paradise of luxury and glamour, you're in luck. According to a survey by the job portal, bayt.com16% of employers demand administrative professionals. But do keep up to date with the English. It is one of the country's official languages, which makes it a prerequisite for working in this destination. Of course, the ArabicThe language is also of great importance, especially in terms of introducing you to the culture.

As for the work visaThe UAE is governed by the Kafalawhich requires the sponsorship The employer will take care of the arrangements and determine how long you will be able to work. In addition, your passport has to be valid for more than six months, you will need a medical certificate and, furthermore, if you are a woman and single, you will not be able to enter this country. pregnant.

For a more detailed information on issues related to working in the Emirates, you can consult this page of the Embassy of Spain in Abu Dhabi.

Moving to the United Arab Emirates - Mixing Cultures

Uses and customs

It is true that living in the UAE may involve a certain cultural clash. However, cities such as Dubai do not impose major restrictions on Western residents. The clothing European style is socially accepted as long as no excesses are committed: very short skirts, short trousers, short skirts, short trousers, short trousers, short skirts, short trousers, short trousers, short trousers, short trousers. shorts or very accentuated necklines are forbidden. It should not be forgotten that, after all, this is a fairly conservative society, where discretion and respect are key.

As for the alcoholThe consumption of alcohol is only permitted in licensed clubs and in private homes, subject to a licence. And beware! during the summer months during the Ramadan eating, drinking and smoking in public is prohibited.

The official currency is the DirhamHowever, many places accept US dollars and certain credit cards.

The UAE is a country with no political parties and no democratically elected institutions. It is a federal monarchy where each emirate is ruled by an emir with specific powers, with the central government consisting of the supreme council, made up of the seven emirs. Its legal system is based on the 1971 Constitution.

The Emirati cuisine is very similar to that of the Gulf countries (gastronomic jaliyi). Meat (mainly sheep), fish and rice are the staple foods. Dates are widely used in the culinary culture, and there is even bread made from dates. Turmeric, cinnamon and saffron are the spices par excellence, and camel's milk is used in some Bedouin dishes. In short, exoticism and an explosion of flavours characterise Emirati food.


  • Dubai is one of the safest cities on planet Earth. Police officers drive cars premium as Camaro SS, Lamborghini y Ford Mustang GT among other luxury brands.
  • Muslim women use the abaya black (usually a black tunic) while the men wear a kandoura (white tunic).
  • The fine for running over a camel is 100,000 dirhams (25,000 euros).
  • The following are strictly prohibited displays of affection in public.
  • The football is the most popular sport in the UAE.
  • Although Dubai is generally considered the economic centre of the country and attracts the most tourism, Abu Dhabi is actually the richest emirate because it has the largest concentration of oil and gas deposits.

Moving to the United Arab Emirates - Dubai Night View


Requirements for travel to the UAE as a tourist in 2022

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months.
  • Financial means to cover the cost of travel.
  • Proof of accommodation in the country for the days of the trip.
  • Travel medical expenses insurance (Covid-19 coverage).
  • Return flight ticket to the country of origin.

Things not to miss in the UAE

  • Dubai is one of the most modern cities in the world. Huge buildings and towers form a spectacular silhouette on the skyline. Luxurious hotels and huge shopping malls contrast with the outlying areas of the city, where traditional markets and more modern buildings can be found.
  • The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and, at 828 metres high, it impresses visitors.
  • Great hotel infrastructure, beaches and high temperatures are the perfect cocktail to attract tourism to this part of the world. Jumeirah Beach is Dubai's most famous beach.
  • The desert of Rub al-Khali is one of the largest in the world and very interesting excursions are organised (at sunrise, with show and dinner, etc.).
  • The Blue Souk of Sharjaha traditional market with more than 600 shops.
  • The fortress Al Jahililocated in the middle of the desert with a traditional and peculiar air at the same time.
  • The FerrariWorldThe theme park is dedicated to the car brand, a symbol of luxury par excellence.
  • The Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, with thousands of works brought from European museums and art objects from the Middle East.
  • The mosque Sheikh ZayedThe church is one of the largest and most impressive on the planet, with crystal chandeliers and a capacity for 40,000 worshippers.
  • The Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest artificial islands in the world. Shaped like a palm tree, it is home to luxury hotels and flats with direct access to the beach.

Moving to the USA - Abu Dhabi Mosque

All this and much more in a curious country that was born almost from nothing in a desert land and has become, thanks to oil, one of the richest and most modern countries today.

Further advice

If you decide to move to the United Arab Emirates, don't forget that Gil Stauffer has been moving lives from continent to continent for over 115 years. If you're taking the final step, ask for a quote for your international removals as soon as possible with the best professionals!

For the time being, we leave you with these tips to make a international removalsan article for find out more about the prices of international removalsas well as our recommendations for happiness abroad.

Moving to the United Arab Emirates can be quite an adventure. We hope this article will help you and that your stay there will be unforgettable.

Moving to Dubai - Desert Dunes

These are tips offered by GIL STAUFFER, your removal company since 1905.

Removals company founded in 1905. Currently the largest removal company in Spain, with branches and warehouses throughout the country.

en_GBEnglish (UK)
.footer { z-index: 50;