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Life in Dubai as a Singaporean Expat – Insights

Singaporean expats moving to Dubai will find that the emirate offers a unique blend of culture and a plethora of job opportunities in different fields from finance to tech and hospitality. The vibrant city offers expats a wonderful lifestyle to start the new chapter of their life.

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Are you a Singaporean expat considering a move to Dubai? In this comprehensive guide, we will provide valuable insights into what it is like to live in Dubai as a Singaporean expat and what insurance plans you can get to better protect yourself.

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What’s it Like Living in Dubai?

Dubai Burj Al Arab - Jumeirah Street

Dubai, a vibrant and dynamic city, attracts expats with its travel accessibility, low crime rate, absence of income tax, top-quality healthcare, world-class education, plethora of employment opportunities, and a diverse expat community. 

However, it is important to consider certain factors such as the high cost of living, extreme summer heat, and adherence to strict local laws and customs.

Working in Dubai: Jobs and Salaries

Singaporean expats will be pleased to know that the city’s booming economy offers a plethora of job opportunities in various industries. Some of the key sectors where expats can find employment include engineering, software development, data science, digital marketing, and healthcare.

When searching for job opportunities in Dubai, it is recommended to utilize online job portals, networking events, and recruitment agencies that specialize in placing expats. These resources can help you find the right job that aligns with your skills and qualifications.

It is worth noting that Dubai’s workforce is diverse and international, offering an enriching cultural experience and the opportunity to collaborate with professionals from around the world. This multicultural environment fosters innovation and creativity, making it an exciting place to work.

Education in Dubai

Dubai offers a top-tier education system, making it an ideal choice for expat families seeking quality education. The city boasts a wide range of international and private schools that provide excellent academic programs and a nurturing environment for students.

International schools in Dubai cater to a diverse student population, welcoming both expats and UAE citizens. These schools follow various international curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), British, American, and Indian systems.

Public schools, on the other hand, primarily cater to Emirati students but also welcome expat students. These schools follow the UAE national curriculum and offer Arabic language and Islamic studies as compulsory subjects.

For higher education, Dubai offers a range of options, including universities and colleges that provide undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

How to Move to Dubai

Dubai Waterfront Buildings

To move to Dubai, you need to go through a few important steps. The first step is to apply for an entry visa. This can be done either through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs Dubai or at the local UAE embassy. 

Once you have obtained the entry visa and arrived in Dubai, the next step is to apply for a residence visa. The residence visa allows you to live and work in Dubai for a specific period of time. The length and purpose of your stay will determine the type of residence visa you need to apply for.

A Dubai residence visa offers several benefits. It provides access to quality healthcare services, ensuring that you and your family have access to the medical care you need. It also allows you to bring your family members to Dubai, so you can all enjoy the experience together.

Pros and Cons of Living in Dubai

Living in Dubai as a Singaporean expat offers numerous advantages and some challenges to consider. Dubai provides excellent travel accessibility, thanks to its modern infrastructure and well-connected transportation system. Dubai also boasts a low crime rate, ensuring a safe and secure environment.

Benefits of Living in Dubai

One of the major benefits of living in Dubai is the tax advantages it offers. As an expat, you can enjoy a tax-free salary, allowing you to save money. Additionally, Dubai provides access to high-quality healthcare facilities, ensuring that you and your family receive the best medical care.

The education system in Dubai is world-class, with a wide range of international schools offering excellent academic programs. This ensures that your children have access to top-quality education.

Dubai has a thriving job market with ample employment opportunities for expats. The city’s robust economy and diverse industries make it an attractive destination for professionals seeking career growth and development.

Disadvantages of Living in Dubai 

It’s essential to consider the cons of living in Dubai as well. The high cost of living is one aspect that expats need to take into account. From housing to daily expenses, Dubai can be expensive, and budgeting is crucial to maintaining a comfortable lifestyle.

Another challenge is the extreme summer heat that Dubai experiences. The hot temperatures can be challenging to adapt to, especially for those accustomed to more moderate climates.

Lastly, it’s important to be aware of the strict local laws and customs in Dubai. The city follows Islamic traditions, and residents need to respect and abide by the local regulations. It is important for Singaporean expats to be familiar with local Dubai laws to ensure a smooth day-to-day life in the emirate.

Housing and Rental Costs in Dubai

Dubai Creek Daytime Boat Scene

When it comes to housing in Dubai, rental costs can vary greatly depending on the location and type of apartment you choose. Whether you’re looking for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center or a spacious three-bedroom apartment, Dubai has a range of options to suit your needs.

Some of the best places to live as a Singaporean expat in Dubai include Jumeirah Lakes Tower (JLT), Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), and Downtown Dubai. These areas offer a variety of housing options, from modern high-rise apartments to charming townhouses.

The Range of Average Rent in Dubai:

Apartment Type Annual Rent in AED (SGD)
Studio Apartment 30,000 – 50,000 (10,862 – 18,104)
2-bedroom 80,000 – 100,000 (28,966 – 36,208)
Villas (4-bedroom) 200,000 – 265,000 (72,416 – 95,651)


What is life like in Dubai as a Singaporean expat?

Living in Dubai as a Singaporean expat offers a unique and vibrant experience. While there are pros and cons to consider, expats can enjoy a high quality of life with travel accessibility, career opportunities, tax benefits, and access to quality education and healthcare.

What is it like living in Dubai?

Dubai is a vibrant and dynamic city. It offers travel accessibility, a low crime rate, no income tax, quality healthcare, world-class education, and employment opportunities but it’s important to be aware of the high cost of living, the summer heat, and the strict local laws and customs.

What job opportunities are available in Dubai?

Dubai’s booming economy provides a wide range of job opportunities for expats, especially in fields such as engineering, software development, data science, digital marketing, healthcare, education, sales, HR, accounting, and management. 

How does tax work in Dubai?

Dubai offers a unique proposition with its no-income-tax policy, allowing expats to earn a tax-free salary. However, expat residents are still required to pay rental tax and VAT (sales tax) on goods and services. The UAE also has taxation treaties with several countries to avoid double taxation.

How do I move to Dubai as an expat?

To move to Dubai, expats must apply for an entry visa through the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs Dubai or the local UAE embassy. Once the entry visa is obtained, a residence visa must be applied for based on the length and purpose of stay.

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In summary, living in Dubai as a Singaporean expat offers a unique and vibrant experience. The city-state provides expats with numerous advantages, including travel accessibility, career opportunities, tax benefits, and access to quality education and healthcare.

However, it’s crucial to consider the potential drawbacks, such as the high cost of living and the extreme summer heat.

As a Singaporean expat moving to a foreign city, it is important to secure comprehensive health insurance plans amongst other plans like property and casualty insurance plans to give yourself an added layer of protection during your stay.

If you are looking to secure an insurance plan, Pacific Prime Dubai can help you. As a global insurance broker with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Pacific Prime’s team of experts can help you sort through countless plans from different insurers to help you find the best insurance plans.

Contact us today for a free plan comparison and an obligation-free quote!

Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Vista is a content creator at Pacific Prime. With over 8 years of writing experience for online platforms on various topics such as luxury lifestyle and digital entertainment. He enjoys diving into complex and otherwise confusing topics, and creating easy-to-understand content for the readers to help them navigate through the topic - something that’s perfectly aligned with Pacific Prime’s motto of ‘simplifying insurance’.

Born and raised in the cultural melting pot that is Hong Kong, and having studied at an international school, Vista has developed a multicultural perspective that he uses in his writing and strives to connect to people of different backgrounds.

In his free time, Vista enjoys immersing himself in different worlds, from video games to light novels and movies. His hobbies help him expand his writing style by putting himself in the point-of-view of different people and characters.
Vista Nip