Cost of Moving to the UAE: Pros and Cons

Are you considering a move from the US to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)? This modern and vibrant country offers an average cost of living that’s 32% lower than in the US, though it’s worth noting that Dubai is 10.9% higher.

With a significantly lower violent crime rate (90% lower) but an overall crime rate that’s 4.55% higher, and almost zero income taxes, the UAE presents an interesting relocation option. Let’s delve into the details to uncover more about life in the UAE.

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UAE Overview

Flight Information and Visa Costs

A flight from the US to the UAE typically costs around $700 and takes about 15 hours.

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Once in the country, there are various visa options, depending on your needs and intentions.

Choices include Work, Tourist, Multi-entry, One Year Residence, Freelance, 5 year, and 3-month visas. Each comes with specific requirements and benefits, so thorough research or professional consultation might be necessary to select the best fit.

Housing Information (Rent & Ownership)

The UAE’s housing market caters to a wide range of budgets and preferences. If you’re planning to rent, typical monthly costs range from $1,208.97 to $2,071.36. Property ownership is also a possibility, with the average cost of a house around $760,000.

Whether in the bustling city of Dubai or in other emirates, options abound to suit different lifestyles and financial considerations.

Tax Information

The UAE stands out for its almost non-existent personal income taxes—a significant departure from many Western countries. However, it’s worth noting that the country recently introduced a 9% corporate tax on profits over $102,000.

If you were to make $100,000 in the UAE, you’d pay roughly 22% less in taxes compared to the US. This unique tax structure could be appealing to professionals and entrepreneurs alike.

Pros and Cons of Moving to the UAE


  • Zero personal income taxes.
  • Lower average cost of living compared to the US.
  • Significantly lower violent crime rate.
  • English is widely spoken.


  • Overall crime is slightly higher.
  • Average cost of living in Dubai is higher.
  • Desert climate may not be suitable for all.
  • Long pathway to citizenship (30 years), and dual citizenship isn’t allowed.


The UAE, with its unique blend of tradition and modernity, offers a compelling destination for those seeking a change. The lack of personal income taxes, lower cost of living, and lower violent crime rates are attractive features. However, the higher overall crime rate, the cost of living in Dubai, the desert environment, and the complexities around citizenship might be considerations for some.

Whether drawn to the UAE for career opportunities, lifestyle, or the allure of living in a place that’s at the forefront of innovation and luxury, understanding these factors will help guide a decision that aligns with individual goals and preferences.


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