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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are thinking of moving to Dubai in the coming year or so. Research stage.

Someone said to me that although you don't pay taxes there, there are alot of other charges that aren't classed as taxes but they find a way to make you pay.

So my question is: what other things should I be taking into account each month/extra things to pay for over there?

- rent
- schools for kids
- cars to run
- water/phone/internet
- health insurance
- food

I'm sure I will miss a load of things but we were talking about this at the weekend. Are there any unseen charges that are unique to Dubai? We are trying to piece together an idea of how life would be out there financially speaking, is it worth our while going out there or even looking at it?????

thanks:)
 

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Hi, I recently accepted a teaching post and have asked the same question to a few people including the head teacher. There are no hidden costs as far as I'm aware, and standard of living and how much you'll be able to save etc all depends on the salary you'll have and package if any. Eg, Teachers salaries are not that great but after adding up the cost of the entire package, apartment, bills paid for etc, its not that bad.

Basically, the costs are:

Rent and bills ( bills are electric, water, Internet/tv package),
transport costs,
food,

The only unexpectedly high cost I've come across so far is the certificate attestation, which surprisingly is going to be over £400 for 2 certificates, in most contracts it's stated that we have to meet these costs ourselves.

I think here in the UK, we are so used to paying so much tax that it's hard to believe that there's no hidden costs when moving to Dubai.
 

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People do say that there are hidden taxes, but there aren't really. As with most places, some things are more expensive, others less. Generally, your salary as quoted by your employer should be a monthly amount and will be the amount of money you take home. There is no income tax. Your accommodation should be provided or an allowance paid on top of your salary. To take your queries one by one:

Rent: this should be covered by your employer. Rent varies very much according to the size and location of your apartment or villa, from 25000 AED a year for an old studio apt to 200000+ for a villa in a swanky area.

Schools: Again, it varies. Kindergarten will be the cheapest year and fees increase on a year by year basis through the school. Some examples: a smaller international school in Al Qusais might charge 18000 AED a year in KG up to 35000 AED a year in 6th form. A 'middle ranking' school might go from 30000 (KG) to 60000 (Y13). The offshoot of a famous British public school might start at 42000 (KG) to 85000 (Y13). The more expensive schools are not necessarily better than the less expensive. Your choice would depend mostly on your location and availability of places.

Cars: Rental cars start at around 1700AED a month for a 1.3 Mitsubishi Lancer. To buy a car is relatively cheap (our 18 month old low mileage Jeep Cherokee cost the equivalent of £13000 GBP). Car insurance is usually 4-5% of the value of the car per year, but it really pays to shop around. There is no road tax. There is a 4AED toll (automatically collected) when travelling on the Sheikh Zayed Road. Petrol is about 38p a litre. One thing that might be more than you expect is servicing costs, primarily because, due to the heat and sand, cars need servicing far more frequently (generally major service every 10,000 KM, minor service every 5,000 km).

Water/phone/internet: We pay about 200AED a month for electricity and water. Internet+TV+landline packages can be had for around 300AED a month. Many expats have pay as you go mobiles. An iphone on a monthly package might cost 800AED up front and then 250AED a month.
Health insurance: must be provided by your employer by law.
Food: about the same, maybe slightly cheaper than the UK from supermarkets.

Things that are more expensive than Europe include drinking in bars and, often, restaurants, though there are many places that will offer all you can eat/drink food and booze buffets from 160AED (4 hours) and upwards.

To get an idea of rental costs and car purchase costs and so on, have a look at the dubizzle website.
 

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People do say that there are hidden taxes, but there aren't really.
Random speeding fines

Random parking fines

Fee for changing an incorrect visa form

New visa incorrect and needs changing back

Dewa bills that as much relevance to actual water used as a jellyfish with a hair brush.

"Fees" disappearing from your bank account

And so on.
 

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Random speeding fines

Random parking fines

Fee for changing an incorrect visa form

New visa incorrect and needs changing back

Dewa bills that as much relevance to actual water used as a jellyfish with a hair brush.

"Fees" disappearing from your bank account

And so on.
Yeah, fair enough (though I personally have never had any of these thus far in 2.5 years - am I tempting fate here?)

Like any emerging bureaucracy there are all sorts of 'fines' and 'fees' that crop up.

Actually, I just thought of another: the Emirates ID card (which everybody must have) costs up to 500AED all in.

Still cheaper than income and road tax though...
 

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E-gate card... or wait an hour and 45 min to go through passport control.

That was my time yesterday. I give up. Am going to get one.
 

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Another couple that (surprisingly) no-one has mentioned yet:

1. 'Housing fee' - added to your DEWA bill; calculated as 5% of your (inflated) annual rent

2. Salik (road toll) - adds up quickly, especially if you use SZR a lot!

And to add to Mr Rossi's point re random speeding/parking fines: when you pay them (online), an additional 10% 'knowledge fee' (?!) is added to the total.

teuchter
 

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With internet/tv/phone packages, its 300/350 a month (ive been told) plus the cost of calls you make, is there an international calling package I can buy with it? If not how much are calls to the UK? Thanks
 

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Skype ;) Do a search and see how skype can be used in the uae.
 

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We have school-aged children and were sort of shocked at the out-of-pocket costs of extracurricular activities and field trips, especially after footing a big tuition bill. We also pay school transport fees, over 8000AED per term for two students.

The salik charges are pretty remarkable, too, when you add them up. Will depend on location, of course.

Oil changes on our car cost 4x what we paid in US.

If you do get that villa in a swanky area, expect to pay a gardener to keep it. Or, you can invest in the gardening tools and do it yourself. ;) Either way, this is another expense to anticipate. And remember that a green garden means higher water consumption.
 
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