There’s no place quite like home…except for Dubai. Repeatedly crowned as the fastest growing city in the world, Dubai is a surreal metropolitan heaven. From the world’s tallest building, the biggest indoor ski park, to the grandest manmade island, it isn’t shy about its intention to the world’s best at everything. However, Dubai goes beyond just being high profile, luxurious and extravagant. It also has the world’s most advanced social policies, most fascinating cultural diversity, and the most brilliant quality of life. Located at a junction between Europe, Asia and Africa, its one-of-a-kind geographic location also makes it truly the centre of the world. What more needs to be said? All in all, Dubai is definitely one of the most liveable cities in the world.
Sure, the US is great, but you need to know about Dubai. We have prepared 15 ways why the US isn’t good enough to match this vibrant bustling paradise. Should you consider moving to Dubai? Perhaps.
15. The Coolest City In The World
There’s little doubt in the fact that Dubai is the coolest city the world…literally. Despite its modern infrastructure, people often forget that it is built in the middle of a scalding hot desert. Its particular location also makes it the target of heatwaves and sandstorms. For these reasons, local temperature can reach as high as 110 degrees, which is more than capable of cooking you alive. This means that the whole city has to be cooled in some way, and Dubai does it elegantly through advanced artificial cooling systems. Humble air-conditioners are supported by a vertical system which pumps water upwards through buildings to achieve a cooling effect. The highest floors must be reached, and in Dubai this means higher than 100 stories. Dubai engineers gets this air-conditioning absolutely on point. It is not a single degree higher or lower. Ever dreamed of living in constant air-conditioning as a kid? Well, now you truly can.
14. Never-ending Innovation
Whilst Dubai is a very new state, its commitment to advanced technology is second to none. Due to its harsh environmental condition, it is forced to use the very best technology to survive. As such, innovation is embedded in everything that’s a part of this city. Can’t implement a sewerage system? Okay, we will use a fleet of advanced trucks. No more child camel jockeys? No problem, we will use child sized robot jockeys. Dubai even homes the world’s biggest artificial islands, the World Islands, and it is building a climate controlled giant “city within a city” that will solely rely on renewable energy. With the World Expo coming up in 2020, this InfoTech hub will see even greater advancement in the next three years. The US has Microsoft, Apple, Tesla and the rest of the Silicon Valley, but it will never beat a city which relies on innovation for the means of survival.
13. Strategic Gateway To The World
Historically speaking, the Big Apple may have been the centre of the world but it has now found its match. Not only is Dubai a booming international business hub, its strategic geographic location also makes it the global centre connecting the Europe, Asia and Africa. This proximity facilitates trade and commerce, but also makes Dubai a highly attractive vacation location. The ambitious city has certainly leveraged upon this and heavily invested in their airlines. Led by the Emirates and the Etihad, some of the best airlines in the world are very prominent in Dubai. The quality of service and convenience they provide to travellers is simply outstanding. Some even comment that jumping onto an airplane to and from Dubai is almost as easy as hailing a cab. Dubai is the perfect place to be, whether it’s for business or for a holiday getaway.
12. Amazing Quality Of Life
Despite being placed in the middle of a desert; Dubai is clearly miles ahead when it comes to quality of life. In 2014, the city was ranked the world’s best city to live and work in. Although triumphing as a booming super city, Dubai has still managed to retain its costal vibe, owning some of the most unique beaches in the world. It’s too easy to just lay back and relax on the glowing sands. As the luxury capital of the world, Dubai is also a mega shopping centre with almost every single shop you can name. Luxury and designer brands are especially prominent here, and you can truly shop until you drop. A food scene has developed recently and you can likewise indulge in any cuisine. Irrespective of when you visit, the city always feels like a gigantic festival. And more than 300 days of sunshine a year? Now that’s a deal you seriously cannot refuse.
11. Fastest Growing City
Hands down, Dubai is the fastest growing city in the world. Although being the definitive luxurious Metropolis today, Dubai started as a small town in the middle of a dessert wasteland 50 years ago. Since the 1960s however, it took off and soared like nothing the world has ever seen. Every single day saw the completion of skyscrapers, resorts and infrastructure. Dubai’s metro system, featuring 42 stations and with a length of 75 kilometres, was completed in just 18 months. Surely, its ambition doesn’t stop here and the city is still rapidly expanding after the GFC. Dubai is currently building the largest theme park in the world and also a futuristic climate controlled “city” within itself. It is expanding so fast that it became impossible for the city to have an address system. Your address can only be a description. How is all this even possible? Well, you would need lots and lots of cranes. Specifically, 20% of all cranes existing on the planet.
10. Extraordinary Citizenship Benefits
The benefits offered to UAE citizens are truly unparalleled anywhere else in the world. As a citizen of the UAE living in Dubai, you would have your education, healthcare and even rent paid by the government. Even your water and electricity would be heavily subsidized, making them virtually free. Additionally, the government provides you with interest-free home loans. Citizens are also given absolute preference and special treatment in both the public sector and multinationals. Heck, there’s also a fund supporting citizens with their weddings! Most bizarre of all, citizens even receive favouritism in eye of local law. For example, if you partner with a expat in your business venture, you would receive at least 51% of the shares and be paid a “administration fee” annually for lending them your name. If you are a citizen, Dubai makes it very clear that you are superior to everyone else in everything. The humble US Green Card just can’t compete with such unreal citizenship benefits.
9. Inspirational, Visionary Leadership
Dubai wouldn’t be at where it is today without the visionary leadership of the Al Maktoum family, who single-handedly transformed it to an urban super city. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum is especially respected by residents of Dubai, who see him as the city’s savior. He was the first to realize that Dubai cannot solely rely on its oil. His line of “my grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel,” is the most famous quote in Dubai. He painted a grand picture and he delivered through implementing major changes in trade, infrastructure and public policy. It is under his leadership that Dubai became the Western world’s gateway to the Middle East. Furthermore, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum continued his father’s mission, and ensured that Dubai met, and then exceeded, international standards. Now, what can we say about recent US leadership?
8. Biggest and Best at Everything
Dubai completely gives new meaning to the phrase “you go hard or you go home,” by committing to be the absolute best in absolutely everything. Countless world records have been broken by the city, and this goes beyond just the highest building and the largest artificial islands. It has the world’s best and tallest hotel, the Burj Al-Arab which uses almost 1,800 squares metres of 24-carat gold to decorate its interior. That’s enough gold to cover the Mona Lisa over 46,000 times. In addition, it also homes the largest indoor mall, the largest aquarium, and the largest indoor ski park. A ski park in the middle of the dessert, yes, that’s Dubai for you. These aren’t enough? Also throw in the largest golf course, the largest artificial fountain, the largest theme park…the list just goes on and on. It even has ATMs dispensing gold bars…You think the US is loud and over-the-top? You really have seen nothing until you have visited Dubai.
7. Perfect Metropolitan Planning
If you think American cities have great city planning, you have obviously never been to Dubai. To survive its harsh geographic location, Dubai is built upon elaborate, ingenious urban planning. It has the longest Metro system in the world and and some of the cheapest bus and taxi fares. The convenience and effectiveness of these systems really sets it apart from that of the US. Dubai is likewise ahead of the game in other public facilities. You can find some of the world’s largest and yet cleanest parks and public bathrooms. Policymakers have also ensured that despite its rapid economic expansion, the city still has enough open space. This makes Dubai very different to say, the global city of New York, which can often feel overcrowded. Here, you can switch your mind off and find refuge in a relaxing coffee shop. It just manages to strike the golden balance in urban planning.
6. More Than Just Oil
Dubai’s economy is much more than just oil. Like its neighbours in the Gulf, its economy took off from oil trade. However, it has since heavily developed other highly profitable sectors, with a particular focus on real estate, airlines and logistics. In fact, petrol and natural gas currently makes up less than 5% of the city’s total GDP. Dubai is especially strong in the real estate game, and its property market now forms the backbone of the entire UAE economy. The absence of a freehold rule makes investments in this vibrant market especially attractive. Although Dubai’s property market was heavily affected by the GFC, it had recovered at a much faster pace than that of the US. Of course, as mentioned above, Dubai also has some of the best airlines in the world, and its access to countless ports makes trade seamless and highly competitive.
5. Fascinating Cultural Diversity
When you move to Dubai, every single element of your life would receive global exposure. With over 80% of its population being migrants from another country, the city state is the definitive global village. Only 17% of Dubai’s population are local Emirati, and it now homes over 185 different nationalities. Indian, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are its largest ethnic groups, comprising over 50% of its population. English is widely spoken here and you definitely won’t experience any language barriers. In more recent times, migrants who are interested in moving to countries such as Europe or Australia also began using migrating to Dubai as a stepping stone. Whilst it is still regulated by strict Muslim law, so long as you follow its rules, Dubai would gladly accept you with wide opened arms.
4. Income and Corporate Tax Exemption
Nothing encourages commerce in Dubai more than its tax exemption provisions. Amongst other great things, this is what the city is known for. If you work permanently here, you would be able to earn a tax-free salary. Under the umbrella of the UAE’s Agreements on the Avoidance of Double Taxation with 94 countries, you also won’t be subject to the income tax levied by more than one government. Whilst corporate taxes do exist, they are only levied on specific industries such as oil and local divisions of international companies. Likewise, dividends issued by local companies are also tax-free. Accordingly, these policies made Dubai the second best city for expats to start their own business worldwide, as reported by the HSBC in 2015. Although the city has its own indirect taxes such as that for utility and alcohol, these are nothing in comparison to your income and corporate tax.
3. Safety and Security
Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world for you to live in. At a broader level, the UAE ranked second in the World Economic Forum’s 2017 list of the safest countries in the world. In that same list, the United States didn’t even make top 10. A separate report by Aon Hewitt also names Dubai the 19th safest city in the world. The security of Dubai has been best illustrated through the local Road and Transport Authority’s report that a handbag with over 40 kilograms of gold and $20,000 cash was lost and then returned to its owner. The city’s police force is absolutely dedicated to crime. Top-speed Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s and even Aston Martins are used as police cars, so there’s no way for criminals to get away. They even rolled out a robot police officer earlier this year and are currently planning to replace 25% of their staff with robots by 2030.
2. Experience the Middle East
Dubai is the place to be for anyone who would like to experience the Middle East. The Arab city serves as a safe haven in a region which has been historically troubled with war and volatility. Whilst opening itself to the world and exploring cultural diversity, Dubai has not given up on its Emirati roots. Through organising official tours, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding makes Emirati culture easily accessible to both expats and tourists. Whether you visit the grand Jumeirah Mosque, rejoice in the Ramadan celebrations or simply drop by a traditional spice store, Dubai would never fail to amaze you. After immersing yourself in what the marvelous city has to offer, you would realize that Emirati civilization is unlike anything you have read in the media.
1. Reliable Creditors
If you are from the US, you know very well about bad debt. The GFC and recent events have demonstrated to the world the devastating potentials of bad creditors. Especially when it comes to home loans, widespread overleveraging can completely destroy an economy. Whilst the US has tightened its policy post-GFC, there remains much more which can be done. On the other hand, you won’t have to ever worry about creditors in Dubai. Standalone bankruptcy laws do not exist in this city. If your creditors default on their payments, they would be expelled from Dubai or even sentenced to jail. Many reports suggest that bankrupts face iron-fisted prosecution and the wrath of the strict Muslim state. Walk away with a peace of mind, but just make sure you aren’t the one borrowing money…
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