Living conditions in general are very good in Dubai and expatriates find life most enjoyable in this part of the Gulf. Here are a few useful websites with information on living here. For the most up-to-date and complete information we kindly refer you to Outpost Iraq Dubai's Inside Guide.
Shelter Offshore - Living in Dubai
Dubai Expat Forum for Expats Living in Dubai
My Move Dubai
Dubai Eye (a local radio station with lots of useful information)
Expat families can live in any area of Dubai in an apartment, a villa within a compound/gated community or a private stand-alone villa. Most accommodation has access to a swimming pool, either a private one in the garden or as part of communal facilities (which may also include a gym, squash and tennis courts) within the compound or apartment block. Pets (dogs) are not always permitted by landlords, so make sure you find out before signing your contract if you wish to have or bring pets.
Staff arriving in Dubai will be temporarily accommodated in fully furnished serviced apartments, until such time as they are able to secure permanent accommodation, with a maximum stay of one month.
Team Relocations will help with your house search.
Home Contents Insurance
Although the building which accommodates you and your family will be insured by the owner of the property, your personal effects are no longer covered once they have been delivered. Arranging Contents Insurance is the responsibility of the employee and is easily obtained. Most of the international insurance companies operate in Dubai. It is also advisable, especially if you have children, to take out a third party liability insurance.
There are a number of providers in UAE. Please see our Inside Guide for your options.
An annual maintenance agreement may or may not be included in a housing contract, although in most cases a certain level of maintenance services should be provided by the landlord. It is best to look for housing in good shape so maintenance will not be a major issue or ensure any significant maintenance work is carried out before you move in (e.g. painting). Check whether the property is covered prior to agreeing to a housing contract.
Most landlords have a contact with a maintenance provider to resolve problems that occur. Find out whether you will have to liaise directly with your landlord if something goes wrong (not always the easiest option, especially if they live abroad) or a property maintenance company. Ask who you should call in case of an emergency maintenance issue such as a leak.
The maintenance of a villa garden and/or swimming pool is generally the responsibility of the occupant.
The electricity supply is 220/240 volts, 50Hz – US appliances may need a transformer. Wall sockets are UK 3-pin style. However, electrical goods will be sold to you with either European 2-pin or UK 3-pin attachments. Adaptors are readily available from all supermarkets and hardware stores, but you are strongly advised to change the plug on the appliance to suit the socket. For lighting both bayonet and screw light fittings are used. Bulbs for both types are readily available.
White goods are not always supplied with your accommodation, however, there is a good second hand market and plenty of electrical stores to purchase new items. Gas cookers are supplied using bottled gas. For safety reasons, gas connections (in most cases made of rubber hoses) should be checked regularly for leaks and gas bottles kept outside the house or apartment, rather than in the kitchen.