Living in Dubai: Indian Expat Najeeba's Thoughts on Living in the UAE

Najeeba, who comes from India, has been a long-time Dubai resident. Here she describes some aspects of living in Dubai, and gives useful information on subjects like the cost and standard of living there.

Najeeba Saidalavi E

-Where were you born?

I was born in Kerala, India, and so I am a Malayalee.

-In which country and city are you living now?

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

-Are you living alone or with your family?

I live here with my husband.

-How long have you been living in Dubai?

I have been living here for almost 13 years, 10 years with my parents when I was a kid, and now two years with my husband after my  marriage.

-What is your age?

I am 26 years old.

-When did you come up with the idea of living in Dubai?

Actually, at first it was my parent's decision when I was mere one and a half years old. After marriage, my husband got a good job here and so we got relocated. 

-Was it hard to get a visa or a working permit?

It was as easy as ABC. Dubai is one of the best places where getting visas and work permits is so easy.

-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?

I don't have a medical insurance right now, but next year when I renew my visa, I'll have to take one. I don't know if its difficult to get one here.

-How do you make your living in Dubai? Do you have any type of income generated?

I didn't get a nice job here, although I've been trying to get one for so long. I think getting jobs for freshers who are just out of college is very difficult in UAE. It is easer if you have some experience. 

-Do you speak Arabic and do you think it's important to speak the local language? What do you think about observing or following local traditions and culture?

I don't think there is a need to learn the local language, Arabic, here. Every Arab here speak English. When we are living as expats, we are in their country staying as guests. So we do need to respect their customs, beliefs and everything.

-Do you miss home and family sometimes? Describe your favorite recreational activities there or those that are available.

Yeah, sometimes I do miss them. My favourite pastime is blogging.

-Do you have other plans for the future?

Not really.

-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?

We live in a rented house, with around AED 60K per annum. It is a one bedroom hall apartment, and I think AED 60K is much less compared to the standard rent in Dubai.

-What is the cost of living in Dubai?

Dubai is a place with a high cost of living, with the skyrocketing rents and prices of commodities.

-What do you think about the locals?

I haven't got much means of communication with the locals, and it's hard to find them in residential areas like Deira. So I don't know much about them.

-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Dubai?

You can live in a multi-cultural environment here, and get good exposure to the different communities of the world. You can also get a good standard of living compared to India where I come from. Living in Dubai is really good except for the cost of living.

-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Dubai?

Dubai is a beautiful city, which has got a lot of culture in it, and it is a place where you can live the way you want. It is the second place that expats prefer to live. 

-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Dubai?

I have my blog:  

I would also like to include the following sites about UAE: