As you sit in a dark dull office, typing the next fiscal quarterly report for whatever, don’t you ever dream of jetting off to some exotic land? Settling down in a place of palm trees, glistening sun, endless strips of beach and all those other tantalising clichés?
You know you’re actually one step away from a flight if you plan to travel to an expats paradise like Dubai. An Emirate of manmade wonders (just look at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, and the Palm Jumeirah, a vast island sculpted into the shape of a palm tree), Dubai has established itself as a playground for wealthy expats.
So, why else should you pack your bags, hop on a plane and settle down in this land of sunlight and profits?
Property is booming
Although there have been some gloomy statements on the Dubai property market as of late, make no mistake – finding an apartment for rent in Dubai will lead you to some of the finest properties on the market.
Thanks to the construction sector’s seemingly endless investment in the property market (between 15 and 25 per cent of the world’s construction cranes are in Dubai), you can find almost endless variations of apartments, from bustling towers in the city centre to secluded beach houses overlooking the ocean.
It’s ideal for personal savings
While the price of living in Dubai is high, one of the major draws for expats is the Emirate’s taxation policy – it offers zero income tax on incomes made there. However, if you’re a tax resident elsewhere but still live in Dubai, you could have to pay a hefty price, so make sure you know the rules before you go.
Experience every culture
Thanks to the huge influx of expats, Dubai features a revolving door of new and exciting cultures. In 2010, only about 16.6 per cent of the people living in the region were Emiratis.
This could mean that certain groups tend to form cliques, and in most cases that’s true, but it also provides you with the opportunity to meet entire swathes of new people, immersing yourself in a culture alien to your own.
However, this doesn’t make the Emirate a free-for-all. Muslim rule is still primary here, and must be respected. Living with an unmarried partner is unthinkable, women must cover up in public spaces, alcohol can only be consumed in designated areas and men and women will be segregated in certain spaces.
The Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah aren’t the only places to set your sights on in Dubai – in such a tourist hotspot, there’s a world of opulence on offer.
The Dubai Fountain, for instance, is the world’s largest choreographed water fountain, providing rhythmic streams to cool and entertain. Meanwhile, The World presents a rough shape of our planet in the form of neatly sculpted archipelagos.
They’re just two examples of opulence in Dubai – and two more reasons to give it a try.