Moving to Dubai, salary, tax implications and survival

Hi, I need some help figuring out if I can survive in Dubai on a salary while not taking a major hit to my standard of living. I was offered a position in Dubai for a yearly salary of 100,100 AEDs. I am Canadian. I speak five languages. The position in question is a retail position and I will be working more hours then I am here in the same position. Of course there is no income tax in Dubai but I am told I still have to pay taxes in Canada as a citizen whilst living outside the country. Now here's my dilemma, they are basically offering me the same salary (if converted to USD) that I am making here (+200 USD more per year) but the cost of living in Dubai, I hear, is much higher. I don't want to live with a roommate and certainly don't want a crummy apartment with no room 50km away from my job. It's not that I am above that, but I am currently in a situation where I can basically walk to work in 10 minutes and I am very comfortable.

They are paying for my flight, they are also paying for my stay there for 2 months while I find an apartment. They said they would help facilitate the process and will assign someone to help me around the city during that time. They said the 100100 dirhams is a package which basically includes my base salary plus housing, transportation and a flight back home per year...but whats weird is total salary (including housing, transportation and flight back home) equates exactly what I make here, meaning they didn't put it OVER my salary...if that makes sense? What do you guys think? Am I getting the short end of the stick? I'm basically making 8432 dirhams per month. Is it possible to live under these circumstances? While I be living paycheque by paycheque? I am moving alone and know no one there.

Just as a side-note, I'm 20 years old and I mainly am interested by the experience and less by the money, but I am thinking of living in Dubai long-term and don't want to ruin my life. I am currently studying here in Business school and most likely will have to put that on hold. I'm not asking for people to take the decision for me, I just need a realistic representation of what I'm getting into. Thank you for all answers!

Dubai | 👁 1059 | Posted February 12, 2018 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: February 12, 2018 | Author:


epic_win_biatch 4 years ago

you are a wise man. Good luck in your future.

lastshinobi 4 years ago

That's exactly what I'm going to do. Thank you so much. I've tried to negotiate but they wouldn't budge, hence I refused to live under lamentable working conditions for less and away from friends and family.

lastshinobi 4 years ago

I want to thank you all for the valuable input you've provided. I have refused the offer, seeing as it is a downgrade in standard of living and is in no way worth moving to a strange land away from family and friends to live like a peasant. In light of this situation, I've learned valuable things about Dubai and I am looking forward to finishing my studies in 2 years time to bug you again with my questions about moving with a degree in hand. Thank you all.

karamazzz 4 years ago

Frankly, the coffee doesn't seem good for many reasons. One you will be making the same amount you would in Canada. You would still have to pay taxes And would spend a lot more on your living expenses. Second you would have out your education on hold. That itself doesn't sound very good. even if you come to Dubai and build experience, you will need to look for another job in say 2 years. At that point of time not having a degree would hinder your opportunities of getting a higher pay. If you think of continuing your education in Dubai, it is quite expensive. And with the money you make it will be very difficult to pursue a degree here. Third, your accommodation depends on where you work. A studio flat would cost you between 40k to 90k depend on where you live. If your work place is far from a metro station, you might need to invest in a vehicle, another added expense. my advice would be comolete your education by which time you woyld have sufficient (assuming you studying and working side by side). Then apply. Being a Canadian you woyld get a much better pay and the degree would give greater flexibility when changing your job.

spaceman3000 4 years ago

100k a year? Stay where you are, it's not worth it.

kotovsk 4 years ago

I work in retail at a higher level. You will probably have a hard time unless you are particularly gifted at sales. If that's the case then depending on your bonus structure you can make a lot of extra money. However the hours are long and mall timings can be awful. If you are working in mixed nationalities be prepared to have a difficult time from those staff who perceive you to be an over-entitled westerner just slumming it. You would be better to get more experience then blag a better position in a few years time. Dubai is a great place to be young and free.

thekrushr 4 years ago

No. Definitely not. If you don't want to share housing, you will be looking at 50k per year minimum for a studio apartment. And depending on where you live and work, you may also need a car which will cost 2k per month minimum. Add to that food, DEWA, internet and entertainment and you're going to struggle. What part of town would you be working in?

DubaiExpatThrowaway 4 years ago

I would heavily suggest you check dubizzle to get an idea of what type of accommodation you can get for your budget. And also what % the CA gov want to skim from you!

lastshinobi 4 years ago

Essentially, is 100100 AEDs per year enough to live comfortably in Dubai?

lastshinobi 4 years ago

I'm still in the negotiating phase of the process, but I want to base my negotiations with a certain level of situational awareness and realistic expectations. The opportunity presented itself and I thought I'd either continue my studies alongside my work or put my studies on hold for a year or two.

east-india-company 4 years ago

If you're making exactly the same amount of money back home as they are offering you in Dubai, why would you come here? It's best to finish your studies where you already here, and then look for a better opportunity here.

ournightattheroxbury 4 years ago

As a fellow canadian don't do it. You can have a better experience here 5-10 years down the line with a bit more experience under your belt in canada.

lastshinobi 4 years ago

Thank you for your answer! The 100k includes the transportation and housing (31,200) and my base salary is 68,800. Thank you for the list of universities. Do you have any information regarding the cost of education as well? Here it's pretty low.

DubaiExpatThrowaway 4 years ago

Hi, I am currently in a similar situation to you were I have the offer pretty much but am waiting on some finer details as to the ins and outs. If they are saying it includes housing and transportation you need to be clear that the 100k is essentially what you get after housing and transportation is taken into account. If that is the case you need to find out what the allowances are. will give you an idea of what you can get price wise. Separately you can look at transferring your studies. I've been looking into this and the list of Universities and Colleges can be found here (

lastshinobi 4 years ago

Could you please elaborate?

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