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The Essential Guide to Life in Dubai as a Belgian Expat

Moving to Dubai is full of mystery and uncertainty, with various opportunities for you and your family. As you embark on this exciting new chapter in your life, it’s essential to know what to expect and how to navigate the unique challenges and experiences that come with living in Dubai.

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In this essential guide, we’ll delve into the cultural differences and adjustments you may encounter, the education and language requirements for expat children, as well as tips for maintaining connections with loved ones back home. 

We’ll also explore the vast career and personal opportunities that Dubai presents, along with insights on socializing, dining, and enriching your expat experience. With that said, let’s immerse ourselves in the world of Belgian expat life in Dubai and explore what awaits you.

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Cultural Differences and Adjustments

City Skyline with Majestic Cruise Ship

To ensure a smooth transition, Belgian expats must embrace and understand the local culture of Dubai. This can include cultural differences like the timing of daily prayers and the presence of mosques to the unique customs and values of Emiratis.

The expatriate community offers a support system where you can find like-minded individuals, forge new friendships, and gain valuable insights into navigating life in Dubai. Within others from diverse nationalities and backgrounds, you can find many share similar experiences and challenges. 

Education and Language

Dubai Expat Children have the advantage of attending international schools of various educational systems, including the International Baccalaureate (IB) system. These schools provide a high-quality education and a multicultural environment, enabling students to thrive academically and culturally.

While English is widely spoken in Dubai, learning Arabic in school is also important as it helps children develop language skills and cultural understanding, allowing them to connect with the local community and embrace the rich heritage of the region.

Many Belgian expats continue to speak French at home, which allows families to maintain their cultural identity. Bilingualism or multilingualism is highly valued in Dubai and provides advantages in both personal and professional contexts.

Career Opportunities for Belgian Expats in Dubai

When it comes to career opportunities, Dubai boasts a diverse range of industries, including finance, real estate, hospitality, tourism, and technology. This diversity creates a competitive yet promising environment for expats looking to advance their careers. 

Whether you’re starting a new career or seeking advancement, Dubai provides the resources, support, and opportunities for a rewarding expat life. The city is home to multinational corporations, giving expats the chance to work alongside talented professionals from around the world.

Dubai’s business-friendly policies and tax incentives attract foreign investments, leading to an expanding economy and a steady demand for skilled expat professionals. Belonging to a city that constantly evolves and innovates, you’ll find career prospects catered to your expertise and ambitions.

Personal Opportunities for Belgian Expats in Dubai

Outdoor Dining At Dubai Mall

Belgian expats in Dubai have access to a myriad of educational institutions, cultural centers, and recreational facilities that enrich their lives. This environment encourages lifelong learning, creativity, and personal fulfillment, fostering personal growth in various facets.

Beyond career and personal growth, Dubai’s expat life offers a unique chance to immerse yourself in a multicultural community. Dubai is home to a diverse expatriate population, making it easy to connect with like-minded individuals from around the globe. 

You’ll have the opportunity to network, collaborate, and build relationships with professionals and experts in your field, creating a valuable network of contacts that can open doors to new opportunities both locally and internationally.

Socializing in Dubai

Dubai owns a diverse expat community, where you’ll find opportunities to forge lasting connections in this vibrant city. While it’s natural to socialize with fellow expats, don’t miss out on the chance to build local connections and immerse yourself in the rich Emirati culture.

Embrace the Expat Community

The expat community in Dubai is a close-knit one, offering a supportive network of individuals who share similar experiences and challenges of living abroad. By actively participating in expat events, clubs, and social gatherings, you can connect with like-minded individuals from various backgrounds. 

Explore Community Events and Cultural Activities

Dubai hosts a plethora of community events and cultural activities throughout the year. Attending these events not only offers a chance to experience the vibrant multicultural fabric of the city but also allows you to interact with locals. 

Whether it’s a food festival, art exhibition, or traditional Emirati celebration, these gatherings provide a platform for connecting with residents and forging relationships rooted in shared interests.

Join Social Clubs and Interest Groups

Joining social clubs and interest groups catered to your hobbies and passions can be a great way to meet people with similar interests, both expats and locals alike. From sports clubs to book clubs, and fitness groups to language exchange clubs, there are a multitude of options available in Dubai. 

Be Open to Cultural Exchange

While Dubai’s expat community offers a sense of home away from home, valuing the local culture and embracing opportunities for cultural exchange is crucial. Engaging in conversations with Emiratis and learning about their traditions and heritage can deepen your understanding of the local community. 

Making friends and forming local connections is an integral part of expat life in Dubai. Through active participation in events, clubs, and groups within the expat community, you can build a fulfilling social life that combines the best of both expat and local experiences.

Food and Dining in Dubai

One & Only Royal Mirage Palace Beach, Dubai

Dubai is renowned for its diverse and thriving dining scene, offering a plethora of options for international cuisine, including delightful Belgian restaurants. While living abroad as a Belgian expat, you may occasionally yearn for the comforting flavors of your home country. 

Fortunately, Dubai provides ample opportunities for you to indulge in a wide variety of dishes from around the world, ensuring that you never run out of delectable dining experiences.

Tips for Moving Abroad with a Family

To ensure a smooth transition and make the most of your relocation experience, it is crucial to plan and prepare in advance. Here are some helpful tips to consider when moving abroad with your family:

  1. Research schools: Finding the right school for your children is essential. Look for international schools that offer a curriculum compatible with your child’s needs. Consider factors such as language of instruction, extracurricular activities, and proximity to your chosen accommodation.
  2. Accommodation: Take the time to research and find suitable accommodation that caters to the needs of your family. Consider factors such as safety, proximity to schools, access to amenities, and the overall neighborhood environment.
  3. Get guidance from relocation services: Relocation services can provide valuable assistance in navigating the process of moving abroad. They can help with visa requirements, finding accommodation, settling into your new neighborhood, and even providing local orientation and support. 
  4. Connect with other expats: Building connections with other expats who have already made the move to Dubai can be invaluable. They can share insights, and experiences, and guide various aspects of daily life. Joining expat groups and attending social events can help you establish a network of support.
  5. Maintain a positive outlook: Moving abroad with a family can be challenging at times, but maintaining a positive mindset is crucial. Embrace the adventure, be open to new experiences, and focus on the opportunities that await you in Dubai. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Dubai Buildings By Water

What are some cultural differences and adjustments to be aware of as a Belgian expat in Dubai?

It is important to embrace and understand the local culture, including prayer times, unique customs, and values of Emiratis. 

How can I maintain connections with my family and friends back in Belgium while living in Dubai?

Despite being far away, modern technology allows for constant communication through messaging apps and video calls. Many expats also make efforts to visit Belgium once a year, especially during the summer. It is possible to maintain strong connections with loved ones back home.

Can I socialize and make friends both within the expat community and with locals in Dubai?

While it is common for expats to socialize mainly with fellow expats, there are also opportunities to make local connections. Through schools, community events, and cultural activities, expats can build meaningful friendships with both expats and locals.

How can living in Dubai as a Belgian expat be an enriching experience?

Being immersed in an international environment allows for personal growth, cultural exchange, and gaining a global perspective. Expats learn to be open-minded, tolerant, and respectful of different nationalities and beliefs.

What tips can you provide for moving abroad with a family?

Researching schools, finding suitable accommodation, and getting guidance from relocation services can help ensure a smooth transition. It is also beneficial to connect with other expats who have already moved to Dubai to gain insights into daily life and have a positive outlook on the experience.

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From making lasting international connections to satisfying your taste buds through a plethora of international cuisines, living in Dubai as a Belgian expat allows you to broaden your horizons, gain a global perspective, and develop a strong sense of adaptability. 

With the right preparation, an open mind, and a willingness to embrace this exciting chapter in your life, your journey as a Belgian expat in Dubai promises to be filled with adventure, self-discovery, and endless possibilities.

It is also recommended to have international health insurance secured to protect yourself from medical needs and emergencies. You then can rest assured that you have access to the right healthcare service without financial worries.

Whether you need informative or budgetary advice on mandatory health insurance for a Dubai visa, Pacific Prime’s experienced team can offer the knowledge and support you need, working with you throughout your journey to Dubai.

To find a budget-friendly plan that satisfies your requirements, it is best to work with Pacific Prime Dubai. As an experienced insurance broker, we have a team of experts to provide you with impartial advice and compare insurance plans across top insurers around the globe to help you.

Contact us today to get started!

Eric is an experienced content writer specializing in writing creative copies of marketing materials including social media posts, advertisements, landing pages, and video scripts.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Eric was exposed to a new world of insurance. Having learned about insurance products extensively, he has taken joy and satisfaction in helping individuals and businesses manage risks and protect themselves against financial loss through the power of words.

Although born and raised in Hong Kong, he spent a quarter of his life living and studying in the UK. He believes his multicultural experience is a great asset in understanding the needs and wants of expats and globe-trotters.

Eric’s strengths lie in his strong research, analytical, and communication skills, obtained through his BA in Linguistics from the University of York and MSc in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from the University of Bristol.

Outside of work, he enjoys some me-time gaming and reading on his own, occasionally going absolutely mental on a night out with friends.
Eric Chung