Immense skyscrapers. Gigantic malls. Amusement parks everywhere. Dubai is a fake city! Fake as the people that live in Dubai. In fact, sometime we need to import extras from Hollywood to populate the city; or actually, from Bollywood since most of the population is from South-east Asia.
Despite all this, there are people that live well in Dubai and would never think about leaving…and I am one of them!
I will give you 5 reasons why I love living here, and I would never leave the Arab Emirates. These are personal considerations, based on my experience, my lifestyle and job. It’s obvious that living in Dubai as an employee rather than as entrepreneur, as I do, changes the perspective; however, this is true in any other part of the globe.
You can forget you mobile phone on the restaurant table, leave to go move your car, go back to your seat and your cell phone will still be there. Nobody touches anything. Several times I lost my cell or wallet, and I always found them and from my wallet there was not even a dirham missing.
Here is an anecdote. I planned a scuba diving trip activity in Fujairah with a friend. I picked him up early in the morning and we loaded his gear in the car where mine already was. He then realized I had yet to see the new apartment in which he had just moved and invited me up to visit it. We left the car on, with A/C , as it was July and we could not risk ruining our scuba diving gear because of the heat. We were gone for 5-10 minutes to visit the apartment; we got back to the car…and it was still there, still on, A/C going and diving gear where we left it. Nobody touches anything!
You can go out at night and it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman; nobody will touch you.
2. The Fiscal System
Many know that in Dubai there are no taxes; this is technically true. Actually, though, they just have a different way to pay taxes to the state. To start your business, you need to pay to get a license; basically, the equivalent of what you would pay to establish a company. To live in Dubai, you need a visa, for you and your family, and you need to pay it. If you want to hire employees, in addition to their salary, you need to pay also for their resident visa; I can guarantee you that managing a company in Dubai is not cheap.
But at the end of the year, whether you have invoiced zero, ten, hundreds or thousands, you will not pay taxes because you have already paid all dues at the beginning of the year. The following year, you will not have the visas expense, but you will have to renew your license at a reduced cost compared to the initial request.
I like this system, as it makes everything so much simpler. You won’t need an accountant, a business consultant, or other professional help. Actually, I would like to say hi to all accountants and consultants out there…in Dubai, we still don’t need you.
Once again, these are just personal considerations, but since I love scuba diving, open-air sport, desert runs, and more, I’d rather suffer for the heat in the Summer months and have the rest of the year with temperatures that go from mild to warm, than facing European winters. If it’s true that you cannot go for a walk with 50 degrees outside, the same can be said when there are minus five degrees in Europe.
I found my way in Dubai. I was able to do here what I would have probably never been able to do in Italy; from publishing a book, to collaborations with various newspapers, to my own business, and all the other things I did and the great collaborations; all starting from zero. But already in 2014, when I first arrived, I have felt that crisp air of opportunity. In Dubai you can build a professional network of contacts, and you can promote your business idea; if it’s not a valid one then it will be the market to tell you. If you are able, you can make it, even if like me when I first arrived, you don’t know anyone.
Dubai is a true melting pot with over hundred different nationalities living together, and I love being in such an environment. At the same time, I love interacting and integrating in the local culture; I love dressing like the Emirati, speaking with them, visiting their homes, and from this point of you, I found more than friends, almost a second family. Many say they have been in Dubai and were unable to blend in; that can be true. I also know people, however, that have been in Dubai over 10 years and don’t speak a word of Arabic and say that it’s impossible to make friends in Dubai. It would be like transferring from Naples to Milan and continuing to speak a strict slang while complaining for pizza or coffee or other things that are not like at home, just to say then that Milan has such a close mentality; you can’t make friends in Milan.
6. Dubai is a city that…
actually, I said I was going to give 5 reasons…but actually, there are many other reasons for me to love living in Dubai. Maybe they’ll be the object of another video. An another video will also be on the reasons not to live in Dubai!