There are many reasons for living in UAE as an American. In general, the expats living in UAE are professionals that benefit from its growing economy. This means there are many pros to living and working in the UAE. Though not all aspects of life will be the same or better than in the states. Differences in culture and lifestyle can also lead to some cons overseas. Even still, expats living in Dubai or Abu Dhabi currently outnumber the amount of domestic nationals there.
Check out our article on the pros and cons for differences living in the UAE compared to the USA below!
Disclaimer for Living in UAE: Pros and Cons
It is best to start by addressing that there are differences in living all throughout UAE. Living in Dubai, will be different than living in Abu Dhabi, or Sharjah. For this reason, the differences between UAE and USA are broad and may not apply to every area in the country.
Pros of Living in UAE vs USA
UAE is Tax Free with High Earning Potential
Usually the biggest draw for expats is the great opportunity and tax free status. Many times when an expat is offered a job here, they are paid more than they would receive in the USA. The tax free status also increases the amount of money that is yours to spend. Unfortunately you’ll still need to pay some US taxes though.
Very Expat Friendly
Many expats call UAE the Middle East for beginners. While there are some cultural differences, Americans can get by without having to change too much of their lifestyle. Even with only English, many expats have told us that they got through their stay here just fine. Import goods are everywhere, so product choice is also just as vast as in the US if not more. The UAE is also the fairest to women as they have the same constitutional rights as men. This is why the country also has the highest female expat population compared to its neighbor.
Always Something to Do
Living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offers expats a world of shopping and attractions everywhere you go. Some examples are the largest malls in the world, indoor skiing resorts, suspended aquariums, underwater hotels, and that’s just scratching the surface. Many leave the country saying that there are still things on their to do list.
Cons of Living in UAE vs USA
High Cost of Living
The cost of living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is high compared to the US and the rest of the world. This issue is enhanced by the excessive spending here. Since many of its goods are imports, you do pay a premium for this choice with more expensive goods. An example of costs that expats tell us all the time is you must pay rent for the year upfront. Even though the cost of living is higher, expats say their increased wages affords them a higher quality of life.
Intense Weather Conditions
Very few people can walk the streets in UAE when the summer days begin. Regular temperatures average greater than 100F and on some of the hottest days it can reach 130F. Unless you are used to living in Arizona heat, this is unbearable for most. Luckily, all buildings are air conditioned and there are a ton of indoor activities. A plus is during the winters the temperature hovers around 60-80F which is quite nice for many.
Some Non-Western Rules
UAE is more tolerant of Western culture than its other neighbors in the Middle East. This doesn’t mean that everything is the same as the US. One rule many expats say is that there is a night scene, but drinking is only allowed in certain areas. In this case just having alcohol in your system is a punishable offence in public. Another is it is illegal to live together or share a hotel room with the opposite sex before marriage. There are a lot of nuanced non-western rules like these to look into before you start living here.
Start Living in UAE Using Schumacher
With the pros and cons of living in UAE, there are solid reasons to move here. Even though there are some differences compared to the US, nowhere is perfect. The UAE has had a large influx in Americans living there for good reason.
If you are moving or thinking about moving, we at Schumacher Cargo Logistics can help you out. With over 40 years of experience, SCL is a premier moving company. From cars to full households, we can ship your goods door to door from the US to anywhere in the country. There are definitely more differences between the UAE and the US, but we’ll let you experience the rest there.
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