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Living in Dubai as an American 2023

11 Jul, 2023
Living in Dubai as an American 2023

Ever wondered what Living in Dubai as an American is like? Well, we made this guide for you!

Living in Dubai as an American in 2023: What you should know?

Is the allure of the sun and luxury living, have you fantasizing about living in Dubai? Dubai is a popular place to live, especially for expats.

But what does it take to live and work in Dubai? That depends on you. Your job skills, salary expectations, and visa requirements all play a role. But don't worry! We’ll teach you everything you need to know about working and Living in Dubai as an American.

  • Finding a Job in Dubai as an American
  • Visa for Living in Dubai as an American
  • Accommodation Options
  • Company-provided accommodations
  • Renting
  • Buying
  • Average Salary and Tax Requirements in Dubai
  • Education Opportunities
  • Laws and Safety

Finding a Job in Dubai as an American

Looking for work would be the first step you need If you’re Living in Dubai as an American. Also, know that the job market is extremely competitive. So, having the necessary qualifications doesn't guarantee you a good job.

Employers in Dubai prefer candidates with international experience and knowledge. Though Arabic is not required, knowing other languages is a big plus.

Visa for Living in Dubai as an American

Americans will need a visa to enter the UAE. First, register with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).

If you've found work and signed a contract, your residency visa will take time. Your employer would have to apply for your working visa first.  You must then apply for you and your family’s residency visa.

After that, GDRFA will issue locally employed expats with residence visas after verifying that there are no valid legal bans against you or your employer.

Read More: Invest in real estate with Dubai property investor visa

Accommodation Options

Living in Dubai as an American 2023

When it comes to housing, there are many options. Whether you want to rent or buy, the city's ever-growing real estate market has something for everyone.

Company-provided accommodations

Some companies in Dubai provide housing as part of the employment package. These houses are usually shared accommodations with other employees from the same company. Depending on your job post, you’re provided accommodation or a villa. This can be an excellent option for those new to Dubai and want a hassle-free solution.

Most company-provided accommodations are near corporate districts like the Business Bay and Sheikh Zayed Road.


The vast majority of newcomers to Dubai choose apartment rentals. The most popular areas to rent are near the corporate districts. Usually, one-bedroom apartments cost around 8K AED per month. While a two-bedroom apartment typically costs around  13K  AED per month.

There are different kinds of rental accommodations in Dubai for expats.

  1. Serviced apartments: these apartments are fully furnished apartments with hotel-style amenities. They are an excellent choice for those looking for more privacy than a hotel room. You can rent them for both short and long term. And with 24/7 security, it’s one of the best choices, especially if you rather not buy your own home in Dubai.
  2. Shared accommodations: It’s common among expats to share an apartment or villa with other people in Dubai. This option allows you to split the cost of rent and utilities. But keep in mind that Dubai has strict laws on ‘cohabitation.’ The government requires you to register upon deciding to share accommodation with someone you are not related to. Also, there are laws for tenants and landlords regarding sharing accommodations. So, remember that sub-leasing is strictly monitored and is only legal under the landlord’s permission.
  3. Long-term rentals: If you plan to stay in Dubai for an extended period, then renting a villa is a popular option. So, if you plan on living alone, that would be a better option. Long-term rentals give you more space, privacy, and flexibility. But it also requires more paperwork. You need to sign a lease agreement and put down a security deposit.


If you want to buy property in Dubai, then buying is definitely an option worth considering.

There are also many “freehold” areas in Dubai, where foreigners can buy the property and own it outright. These freehold communities include Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, and Emirates Hills.

Of course, like anywhere else, price varies depending on location, size, and amenities. For example, a  one-bedroom villa is between 650-850k AED for a. While a two-bedroom villa would be around 900k-1.2 million and a three-bedroom villa at 1 million-1.5 million AED for. Immerse yourself in the lap of luxury and revel in a lavish lifestyle with the finest villa communities in Dubai, designed to exceed your expectations.

Consider different factors like location, transportation, amenities, and security when choosing a place to settle in. It's also a good idea to plan accommodations ahead of time— this ensures availability to avoid problems with your stay in Dubai.

Read More: Best Residential Communities in Dubai

Average Salary and Tax Requirements in Dubai

Living in Dubai as an American, you'll need to understand how salary and taxes work in the Emirate.

The average salary of most people in Dubai is between 18,000 and 45,000 AED per month. This equates to $4,900 to $12,100 per month. In comparison to other parts of the world, Dubai’s average salary is relatively higher.

Another good news is that those working in Dubai don’t have to pay income taxes or social security contributions. You’ll mainly only deal with Value Added Tax (VAT) on most goods and services. Corporations and banks are nonetheless levied with corporate tax. However, some employers provide benefits like medical insurance and housing allowances, which your home country might tax. So if anything else, it’s better to know how the tax laws will affect you as an American.

Education Opportunities

If you’re moving to Dubai with your family, you also need to consider schools.

Dubai has a large international population, many schools catering to different language needs, making Living in Dubai easier for an American.

Most private schools in Dubai provide an English-language curriculum based on the British National Curriculum. Some schools also use the American Curriculum, Indian, IB, and A Levels.

On top of that, Dubai has many higher education institutions open to international students looking to further their education. UAE University and The American University of Dubai are just few.

Whatever curriculum you are looking for, Dubai has plenty of options. So you can be confident that your family’s education will be well cared for.

Also Read: Best Area to Live in Dubai with Family

Laws and Safety

When Living in Dubai as an American, it’s critical to understand Dubai's customs as a Muslim city, and it’s important to adhere to them as much as possible— this includes respecting religious beliefs, holidays, and festivals.

The UAE has a very strict moral code and laws prohibiting many things you may need to be more familiar with. A few examples are public displays of affection and public drinking of alcohol.

Most importantly, the UAE does not tolerate any form of political criticism of the government. You are responsible for being aware of and following local laws and regulations as an expat. As they say When in Rome, do what the Romans do.

Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world. So, always remember that the sense of security all Dubai residents enjoy is due to the strict laws enforced. Dubai uses highly sophisticated security technology to help keep peace. When an emergency occurs, the police are also famous for their quick response time— usually under three minutes!

So, safety shouldn’t be a worry for you while living in Dubai.

Also Read: Best Place to Live in Abu Dhabi


Living in Dubai as an American can be wonderful and exciting. But it’s important to be aware of the cultural differences of living in a foreign country. You should also make sure you’re comfortable with the constraints of living under Dubai's rules.

Understanding the job market, visas, housing costs, and local laws and customs will help you settle into your new home and enjoy the Dubai lifestyle. With the right attitude and a little research, you'll be on your way to experiencing everything Dubai has to offer.

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