Essential Financial Planning for Moving to the UAE

Relocating can be nerve-wracking and hence needs detailed planning and research. Apart from the huge burden of packing the whole house, you have got to deal with the closure of existing bank accounts, finding a new place, and planning to live your new life.  The cost to settle in the UAE is relatively high compared to other countries due to its luxurious lifestyle.

Cost of Living

The UAE has a relatively simple and cost-efficient visa process, but there are few requirements to meet, and potential setbacks to avoid. To settle here, you should find your perfect balance between saving and spending. It is recommended to have three months’ worth of savings to cover your cost of living before your move.


Either you do a job working for another entity and make money, or invest in something that will increase value over time. You need to plan according to the dynamics of the UAE, which will help you generate more money and achieve your goals. Getting help from a financial advisor could be a good beginning.

Banking and Currency Exchange

Get an account opened to manage your finances and make payments. You should have a plan for remittances so you can send money back home by using exchange houses or your account. Choose from an Emirati bank or an international one like Barclays or HSBC.

If you are moving from another country, you will need to change your currency to Dirhams. To get the best rates and avoid scams, use reputable currency exchange services.


The UAE has a favorable taxation system, with no individual tax and low VAT rates. High salaries with tax-free incentives mean you have more disposable income after relocation. But you need to figure out the double taxation agreement between the judiciary of the UAE and your home country and act accordingly.

Housing and Accommodation

It is a difficult decision to make whether to rent or buy your accommodation. Renting a house is a more flexible move but buying a property is a smart investment. The rent for a basic one-bedroom apartment ranges from $1200 to $1500 in the UAE. The Emirati government has restricted buying property for foreigners in some areas, however, it is possible to acquire real estate in freehold zones.


The utilities for an average apartment cost $200 per month which includes electricity, water, cooling, and heating. These are major living expenses in the UAE, so you need to plan your budget smartly to optimize your savings.


You can’t avoid getting monthly groceries. What you can do is assess your income as compared to your expenses and make a budget for your monthly groceries accordingly.


The government of the UAE excessively subsidizes healthcare; they have passed laws concerning health insurance policies for foreigners. In some areas, employers bear medical insurance premiums. So, research whether additional policy is needed concerning what your organization offers.


Moving with kids to the UAE? Take some time to look up the educational institution. There is a variety of schools for foreigners. Private school fees are higher compared to local schools, so decide as per your budget.


The UAE has a commodious public transport system with an affordable ticket price of 3 dirhams or $1 approximately. You can either use this or, if you can afford it, buy your own car.

Insurance Policies 

Get a fully comprehensive insurance plan that covers all aspects of your relocation to the UAE. Think of a policy that is suitable for you along with managing your financial affairs. You can even hire a financial advisor that guides you over insurance and protection policies.

Managing everyday finances, creating a budget, and tracking your spending patterns are essential factors to consider if you are planning to move. By taking into account the above-mentioned financial planning checklist, you can prepare yourself to embrace the Emirati lifestyle transition with a rewarding experience.

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