Living in Dubai


I am a single father of 2 children aged 13 and 11 and the process of finalizing an offer to relocate with my children from Johannesburg to Dubai.

The offer is initially 25,000.00 AED monthly, with the following benefits:-

A vehicle including  fuel, servicing and tolls.
A mobile and connectivity including all costs.
Medical  cover for myself and children.

The company will cover initial outlay of rent but this is ultimately for my cost.
Schooling is for my cost.

Is this a good or workable offer?

There appears to be so much conflicting information on this subject.

Kind Regards,

Hi Hugh

We are a family of 5 with children from 6 to 19 - the eldest is about to leave for uni back in the UK. In our experience, housing and schooling are major costs.

You could view the various levels of housing costs at (for villas and apartments) or  Housing can be paid for annually or quarterly, half yearly  with post-dated cheques. Not having funds to cover cheques is a criminal offence and a very slippery slope. They are costs to suit everyone's pocket but life is often more than just cost. Area and facilities play a huge part in decision making with prices increasing according to more desirable choices. Areas that might be considered more suitable to Westerners are higher. Apartments are a low cost option but do be aware of extra service costs. Rent increases are managed by the government based on market forces but capped using a tenant bias methodology to mitigate sudden high increases.

For information on schools go to Western English speaking schools attract the highest costs as do the higher rated schools. Our 2 youngest costs about AED 55k each per year; AED 110k per year total or AED 9.17k per month total.

Other Significant Costs
There are other costs such as maids and school transport that as a single parent you might find necessary. If you chose to employ a maid directly you will have to get her visa, which is about AED 5K to 6k per year plus AED 2k security deposit, annual flights home, health insurance and cost of an extra room in your home. You might be prohibited as a single male parent. We have found water, electricity, internet, and phone costs to be higher than we were used to in Europe (Switzerland and Germany).

You did not mention
* car insurance
* immigration costs associated with your children - you, not your employer, will be considered their sponsor
* Annual flights home (check statutory laws as I think these might be mandatory)

AED 25k is tight. Do feel free to send a private message if you wish.


There is also another post regarding South Africa's tax on overseas income called "Migration from South Africa to Dubai. Is it worth it?" (see Charny's comment)

You'll need to see advice from KPMG and EY on the internet. The key things are 1)  timing that determines whether you pay income tax on the remaining of the tax year, and 2) removing yourself as an SA tax resident, which I understand can carry a tax cost of unrealised capital gains on existing assets.

Apparently, as long as you remain a South African tax resident you are obliged to pay tax  regardless of location.

Hi Tony,

Thank you for your replies, and with the additional information and links. I really appreciate this and your time.

I have more research to do, however I tend to agree with you that this does appear tight financially.

Essentially, this is a new venture for me with an established company and the opportunity to open my children to a global experience and hopefully education.

I will follow-up on the links you've provided, and will take you up on your offer to private message if still standing.

Kind Regards,

New topic