Many people are considering moving to Dubai for their retirement, looking at the high quality of life and the warm welcome offered by the locals. The city is a great place for recreation and for spending time with loved ones. Since 2008, however, the city has been going through a period of drastic change and development.
Dubai is now a global city, which continues to grow in size and influence. It currently has a population of around 730,000 people, with around 400,000 of these being expats from other countries. Dubai is a city of astonishingly high economic and social diversity, with the city boasting some of the best schools, hospitals, and restaurants in the world. It consistently ranks among the top 10 richest cities in the world. On top of this, it has recently been placed on the shortlist for the 2024 Olympics. With all this going on, it is perhaps no surprise that many people are looking into investing in Dubai.
The Attractiveness Of Dubai As An Investment Destination
To begin with, let’s examine why Dubai is such an attractive place to invest. Firstly, the cost of living is low, with a range of international currencies being widely accepted and real estate prices remaining stable or even declining in some cases.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, is the relative peace and stability afforded by living in Dubai. The Middle Eastern country sits on one of the world’s largest proven oil reserves and has been relatively unscathed by the recent financial crisis. As a result, a lot of money is currently flooding into Dubai as investors look for safe havens during uncertain times.
The last point to make is that Dubai is a city that welcomes foreign investment. The municipal government actively promotes business deals with multinationals and has granted multiple corporate tax breaks to encourage international companies to set up shop in, or operate from, the city.
Key Facts About Dubai
When contemplating an investment in Dubai, one needs to know some basic facts about the city and the country:
To put it simply, Dubai is located in the Middle East, bordering both the Indian and the Persian Gulf. The country can be found on the Arabic Peninsula, with the tallest structure in the city being the Burj Khalifa, currently holding the title of the world’s tallest building. The region’s climate is typically hot and humid, with winter temperatures rarely dipping below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and summer temperatures reaching up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Traveling to Dubai from the United States is quite a chore, as there are no direct flights available from larger cities. The cityscape is quite different from that of Los Angeles or New York, with skyscrapers dominating the landscape and the sandy desert floor taking up most of the space. Dubai is quite a unique place.
Like most other Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Dubai has been quite well-endowed by its oil reserves. The economy of Dubai is heavily dependent on petroleum and natural gas exports, but in addition to this it also benefits hugely from the sheer volume of visitors the city attracts each year. Dubai is a place where money does not seem to grow on trees, with the cost of living remaining low even during the busiest periods. Inflation is almost non-existent and the property industry seems to be experiencing a sales downturn. Still, with so much oil money around, the city has been able to maintain an extraordinary level of infrastructure and development.
The political landscape in Dubai is extremely stable; the last violent incident of any significance was in 2002, when a British businessman was stabbed to death during a domestic dispute. Since then, the country has been spared from any large-scale upheaval. The state of Dubai is led by a hereditary leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the current Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The emirate is classified as an ‘alpha market economy,’ which means it is considered to be a high-income economy. This gives it the authority to charge an exit tax of three percent on capital gains. International companies and investors must register with the the government in order to do business in Dubai, ensuring that all deals are transparent and legal.
Just as with any major metropolitan city, Dubai is home to a variety of fantastic restaurants, bars, and clubs, as well as first-class boutiques and jewelry stores. In addition to this, the city is also the final resting place of the souls of many wealthy Middle Eastern businessmen and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai. The country’s culture is a blend of Middle Eastern and Western influences, with tourists regularly flocking to the country to take a peek at this unusual culture.
Dubai is a place where people are happy to welcome foreigners, with many residents often expressing a desire to learn more about other countries and cultures. There is an extraordinary range of international cuisine on offer, with restaurants serving everything from Ethiopian to Indian to Indonesian food. For those who want to venture out for some retail therapy, the city has a large variety of luxury goods stores, as well as famous designer brands such as Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.
The climate in Dubai is extremely pleasant, with the city regularly enjoying one of the most pleasant climates for which the world’s biggest metropolises are famous. Traveling to Dubai from the United States is not taxing, with the city being regularly graced with blistering hot summers and sunny autumns. The best time for a visit is between April and October, with the temperature staying in the range of 75–80 degrees Fahrenheit and not dipping below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity levels rise during the day and peak at night, so be sure to bring some extra clothing items along with you on your visit.
The U.S. Consulate General in Dubai is located at the Business Bay, near the Dubai International Airport. The nearest U.S. Embassy is in Saudi Arabia, with consulates also located in Bahrain and Kuwait. This is significantly cheaper and quicker than flying to an Embassy in neighboring countries, while also being more convenient for the travelers. The staff at the Consulate General level are available to provide general information on U.S. life, culture, and business opportunities in Dubai.
U.S. citizens in need of emergency consular assistance can contact the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai via the International Emergency Call Center at +971-416-848-8111 or at +971-4-656-8111. Consular services are also available in person at the nearby U.S. Embassy, for those who want to avoid contacting the center due to privacy concerns.