Dubai in the Top 5 of affordable housing for expatriates

News|29 November 2023|9 Minutes

Dubai among the most affordable cities

Dubai’s exceptional ranking: Dubai has established itself as one of the most affordable destinations for expatriate housing, a notable achievement that places it alongside popular European cities. This ranking, established by Colife, reflects not only housing prices but also the city’s overall attractiveness to expatriates.

Comparison with other world metropolises: Compared with renowned metropolises such as London and New York, Dubai offers a significant advantage in terms of cost of living, particularly for housing. This difference is all the more remarkable given Dubai’s status as an international business center and its rapid growth as an economic hub.

Dubai’s expatriate benefits: Dubai stands out not only for its affordable rents but also for its high-quality living environment. The city offers a full range of services, a modern infrastructure and a rich and diverse culture, attracting an international workforce. What’s more, expatriates benefit from tax advantages, with little or no personal income tax.

Quality Infrastructure and Services: Dubai’s high standard of living is supported by a state-of-the-art infrastructure, including efficient transportation systems, world-class healthcare facilities, and a variety of entertainment and leisure options. Expatriates can easily find accommodation equipped with modern amenities, often with additional services such as 24-hour security and access to leisure facilities.

Dynamic expatriate community: With a population made up mainly of expatriates, Dubai offers a unique cosmopolitan environment. This facilitates the integration of new arrivals, with already established social and professional networks. What’s more, most services and information are available in English, reducing the language barrier.

Ranking criteria

Diversity of factors assessed: Colife’s ranking of Dubai as one of the most affordable cities for expatriates is based on a variety of key factors. These criteria go beyond housing costs to encompass several aspects that define a city’s attractiveness to expatriates.

Real estate market and cost of living: One of the main criteria is the evolution of the real estate market, including rental and purchase prices. This criterion takes into account not only absolute prices but also relative value in relation to average incomes. The overall cost of living, including daily expenses such as food, transport and leisure, is also assessed.

Business environment and job opportunities: The commercial attractiveness of a city is another essential criterion. This includes the ease of doing business, the presence of international companies, employment opportunities, and the entrepreneurial environment. Indices such as the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business index provide quantitative data in this respect.

Quality of Life and Work-Life Balance: Quality of life is a crucial criterion, taking into account elements such as safety, health, education and leisure. The Forbes Advisor Global Work-Life Balance Index, for example, measures how well a city facilitates a healthy balance between work obligations and personal life.

Innovation and the startup ecosystem: Innovation and the dynamics of the startup ecosystem are also taken into account. Reports such as StartupBlink’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index assess a city’s ability to support and develop startups, an increasingly important aspect for expatriates working in technology and innovation sectors.

Cultural and linguistic adaptability: Finally, cultural and linguistic adaptability is considered particularly important for expatriates. This includes the ease with which newcomers can integrate into society, the availability of services in several languages, and the presence of a vibrant expatriate community.

The Colife Approach and Ilnara Muzafiarova

Ilnara Muzafiarova, CEO of Colife, highlights their focus on high-income individuals seeking a balance between work and quality of life. Colife offers stylish and practical apartments in Dubai, providing an ideal living environment for expatriates.

Dubai: A Top Destination for Expatriates

Economic opportunities: Dubai stands out as a global economic hub, offering a dynamic business environment and considerable economic opportunities. The presence of numerous multinationals and the growth of key sectors such as finance, tourism, real estate and technology create fertile ground for professionals looking to advance their careers. The city is also renowned for its policy of encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation.

Quality of life: Dubai’s quality of life is a major attraction for expatriates. The city offers world-class infrastructure, with top-notch healthcare and education systems, as well as a variety of leisure and entertainment options. What’s more, the city’s safety and cleanliness are often cited as strong points by residents.

Tax and financial benefits A significant aspect of Dubai for expatriates is its advantageous tax regime. The city does not impose taxes on personal income, which can represent substantial savings, especially for high-income professionals. This tax policy is complemented by investment and business incentives.

Cultural diversity and social integration: Dubai is a cultural melting pot, with a population made up mainly of expatriates from all over the world. This diversity offers a rich cultural experience and facilitates the social integration of new arrivals. What’s more, the English language is widely used, simplifying communication and day-to-day business for English-speaking expatriates.

Lifestyle: In terms of accommodation, Dubai offers a wide range of options, from modern city-center apartments to luxurious villas. Expatriates can choose a home that suits their lifestyle and budget. Areas such as Dubai Marina, Business Bay and Jumeirah Lake Towers are particularly popular with the expatriate community.

Global connectivity and access: Dubai’s geographical position between East and West makes it an ideal connection point for international travel. Dubai airport is one of the busiest in the world, offering easy access to many global destinations, an asset for expatriates who travel frequently.

Other Attractive Cities

Lisbon, Portugal

  • Affordable cost of living: Lisbon is renowned for its low cost of living, especially when it comes to housing, food and leisure activities.
  • Welcoming climate and culture: The city’s pleasant climate, rich cultural history and friendly people make it a comfortable place to live for expatriates.

Berlin, Germany

  • Creative and Innovative Center: Berlin is known for its creative environment, attracting professionals in technology, the arts and the creative industries.
  • Quality of life and green spaces: The city offers an excellent quality of life, with numerous parks, museums and cultural spaces.
  • Thriving startup community: The presence of a vibrant startup scene and networking events offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Oslo, Norway

  • High social security and quality of life: Oslo is renowned for its high quality of life, robust social security system and excellent work-life balance.
  • Natural environment and sustainability: The city is surrounded by beautiful nature, offering a peaceful, sustainable living environment.
  • Active international community: With a diverse population and an active cultural scene, Oslo is a welcoming place for expatriates.

Barcelona, Spain

  • Urban life and beaches: Barcelona’s unique combination of dynamic urban life and access to Mediterranean beaches makes it particularly attractive.
  • Cost of living and rich culture: The city offers a relatively low cost of living and a rich cultural and artistic tradition.