Dark Secrets Of Dubai- You Should Know Before Moving

dark secrets of dubai

Dubai, often described as a futuristic wonderland, is a city of opulence and ambition. Its remarkable skyline, bustling shopping malls, and extravagant attractions have lured people from all over the world for years. But, behind the glitz and glamour, there’s a hidden narrative of why some are starting to reconsider their Dubai dream.

From strict rules and cultural differences to the high cost of living and job insecurity, the darker aspects of this sparkling city are starting to overshadow its allure for certain residents. Additionally, as the city continually evolves, the pressure to keep up with the rapidly changing landscape can be overwhelming for many.

Dubai’s rigorous laws and customs can sometimes clash with the expectations and values of expatriates, making it a challenging place to live for some. The high expenses, including the cost of housing and schooling, can strain budgets, and job security isn’t always guaranteed.

All of these factors are creating a complex tapestry of experiences for people in Dubai, leading some to ponder whether the glimmer of this desert gem is worth the sacrifices. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this exodus and uncover the not-so-shiny reality that’s causing some to leave the City of Gold.

Dubai can be a fantastic place to live and work, but it’s essential to recognize that it’s not all about lavish lifestyles. There are daily responsibilities, bills to pay, and a competitive job market that newcomers may not have anticipated.

“Managing your expectations and having a balanced perspective can significantly contribute to a more positive experience in Dubai. Let’s explore more aspects of this fascinating city.”

#1. Continuous Traffic On Road


Dubai has seen rapid population growth over the years due to its economic opportunities.  While this influx has brought diversity and vitality to the city, it has also added to the congestion on the roads.

“With more people calling Dubai their home, the number of vehicles on the road has skyrocketed, leading to an increase in traffic bottlenecks.” Dubai is continually expanding its infrastructure, including its metro system and road networks. However, with the ongoing construction projects, temporary road closures and diversions can add to the traffic woes.

“Now, imagine this scenario: you’ve got exciting travel plans to explore Dubai’s stunning landmarks or embark on a weekend getaway.

However, there’s one formidable obstacle that could thwart your adventure – the heavy traffic problem in Dubai.” Despite careful planning, traffic in Dubai can be unpredictable. Even short distances can turn into lengthy journeys during peak hours, causing frustration and disappointment.

#2. Scarcity Of ATM Machines

ATM Machines

“Now, shifting gears a bit, let’s talk about something that might catch you by surprise when you’re in Dubai – the scarcity of ATM machines. Unlike in many other large countries, finding an ATM on your way in Dubai can be quite the challenge.”

One of the first things you might notice is that ATM machines aren’t as ubiquitous on Dubai’s streets as you might expect. In many countries, you can easily find an ATM on street corners or in convenience stores, but in Dubai, they are primarily located in banks and shopping malls.

To make matters more challenging, even when you find an ATM, you might encounter long queues, especially during peak times. This can further delay your access to cash.

“Sometimes, even when you find an ATM, patience is required, as long queues can be a common sight.”

#3. Transportation

Dubai metro

For those who don’t own cars, these transportation challenges can have a significant impact on daily life. Commuting to work, running errands, or visiting friends can become more time-consuming and expensive.

Dubai’s metro system is a convenient way to travel between major attractions and districts. However, it’s essential to know that there are currently only two metro lines. While they cover popular destinations like the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, they may not serve your needs for travel within specific neighborhoods or areas.

“Dubai’s metro is excellent for getting to famous spots, but it may not be the most convenient option for exploring less touristy neighborhoods.” The bus system in Dubai is extensive, but it may not reach every corner of the city. Depending on your destination, you might find yourself with limited bus options, which can be challenging if you’re trying to reach a specific location.

If you can’t rely on the metro or buses, the next option is often a taxi. While taxis are readily available and comfortable, they come at a price. The base fare starts at 5 AED, but the minimum fare you’ll pay is 12 AED, which can add up, especially for longer journeys.

“People in Dubai who don’t have cars often find themselves grappling with the limitations of public transportation and the costs associated with frequent taxi rides.”

#4. Drinking Water

drinking water

“While Dubai is known for many things, one aspect that might not make it to the postcards is the water situation. Drinking tap water here is not recommended, as it can be unsafe and potentially affect your health. Let’s dive into the unique water challenges that residents and tourists face in this desert city.”

Dubai’s tap water is not potable due to high salinity and mineral content. Drinking it can lead to health issues, including stomach discomfort. As a result, residents and tourists alike need to find alternative sources for safe drinking water.

“Unlike some places where tap water is safe to drink, in Dubai, it’s best to avoid it altogether.”

To meet their daily water needs, people living in Dubai often buy bottled water from grocery stores on a weekly basis. This adds up to household expenses and can affect your pocket.  A standard 20-liter water dispenser can cost around 8 AED, but the price can vary depending on the brand and quality.

#5.  High Cost Of Housing


“When it comes to living in Dubai, one of the most significant financial challenges residents face is the high cost of housing. Whether you’re flying solo or relocating with your family, finding a place to call home can be quite the endeavor. Let’s explore the dynamics of housing costs in this bustling city.”

For individuals who come to Dubai alone, cost-saving options include shared accommodations, where you can rent a bed space for around 400-500 AED per month. In this setup, you’ll be sharing a room with multiple roommates, which can have its unique set of challenges, as we’ll discuss in a separate video.

“Shared accommodations are a common choice for solo expats looking to save on rent, but they come with their own quirks and adjustments.”

If you’re moving to Dubai with your family, your housing options are typically limited to studio apartments or larger 1, 2, or 3-bedroom apartments, depending on your family’s needs. The cost of a studio apartment can range from 2500 to 5000 AED per month, depending on the location.

“For families, finding suitable housing in Dubai can be a financial challenge, with costs that vary significantly based on location and size.”

Beyond studio apartments, the rental prices for larger apartments can skyrocket, making it essential to budget carefully. The cost of housing is a significant chunk of monthly expenses for many residents.

To save on housing costs, some people opt to live in neighboring emirates like Sharjah or Ajman, where rent tends to be relatively lower. However, this choice comes with its own set of challenges, such as a potentially longer commute and job market limitations.

#6. High School Fees


Another financial challenge that residents with families often face in Dubai is the high cost of educating their children. While Dubai offers a wide range of educational options, the expenses associated with quality schooling can be significant. Let’s explore the dynamics of high school fees in this bustling city and how they can impact lives.”

Dubai is home to many prestigious international schools, known for their world-class education. However, enrolling your child in one of these institutions can be quite costly. Annual tuition fees in such schools can range from 20,000 AED to 100,000 AED or more, depending on the grade level and curriculum.

“International schools are known for their excellent education, but they come with a hefty price tag.”

On top of tuition fees, parents often have to budget for other expenses such as uniforms, textbooks, extracurricular activities, and transportation, which can further strain the family budget.

“While Dubai offers outstanding educational opportunities, high school fees can indeed affect lives in various ways. It’s essential to plan and make informed choices based on your family’s unique circumstances. Stay tuned as we continue to uncover more facets of life in this dynamic city.”

#7. Not So Environment Friendly


“While Dubai’s urban skyline is awe-inspiring, there’s a noticeable scarcity of greenery compared to many other countries. The city’s landscape is dominated by concrete and glass, and finding lush green environments can be a bit of a challenge. This scarcity of green spaces can impact residents, particularly children, who thrive in green environments. Let’s explore this aspect of life in Dubai.”

Dubai’s desert climate and rapid urban development have resulted in limited natural greenery. Trees and parks are often sparse, which means there are fewer natural spaces for residents to connect with nature.

Green environments play a crucial role in a child’s development. They provide a space for play, relaxation, and exploration, fostering physical and mental well-being. The limited green spaces in Dubai can be a concern for parents who want their children to grow up in a nature-rich environment.

#8.  No Household Help


“While Dubai offers a luxurious lifestyle in many aspects, there’s one area where it differs significantly from some other countries – finding domestic help. In Dubai, it’s challenging to hire house help like you might in other places. Many residents find themselves responsible for their household chores, and this reality can impact their daily lives. Let’s delve into the world of managing without house help in Dubai.”

The availability of domestic help in Dubai is limited, and hiring household staff, such as maids or nannies, can be a complex and costly process. Stringent visa regulations and sponsorships can make it challenging for families to bring in help from their home countries.

Balancing work, household chores, and family time can be a juggling act. Dubai’s fast-paced lifestyle means that families have to be exceptionally efficient in managing their time and priorities. The absence of domestic help can affect the overall quality of life. It may limit the time families have for leisure activities, hobbies, or simply spending quality time together.

#9. No Rainy Season

no rainy season

“One of the defining features of Dubai’s climate is the absence of a rainy season. Unlike many other regions where the year is marked by distinct seasons, Dubai’s weather offers a different experience altogether. Let’s explore what it means to live in a city that rarely sees rain.”

The annual rainfall in Dubai is quite low, averaging only around 100mm per year. This is significantly less than what many other parts of the world receive in a single month during their rainy season. The intense heat during the summer months can be physically challenging for residents. Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can lead to heat-related illnesses and discomfort. The absence of rain also means less natural cooling.

Dubai’s arid climate and lack of rain can limit the growth of greenery, making the city’s landscape appear monotonous to some. For those who enjoy lush, green environments, the scarcity of natural vegetation can be a drawback.

#10. Dark Secrets Of Hotels


“Selecting the right hotel for your stay in Dubai is an important decision, and it’s crucial to be careful before making a reservation. While Dubai offers a wide range of accommodations, there are some considerations to keep in mind, especially if you’re traveling with family and children.”

It’s worth noting that some hotels, including those with four or even five-star ratings, may have nightclubs within their compounds. While these venues can offer a vibrant nightlife experience for some travelers, they may not be suitable for families or those seeking a quieter stay.

“Some hotels in Dubai feature nightclubs on their premises, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially if you’re traveling with family and kids.” When booking a hotel in Dubai, it’s essential to be aware of potential hidden fees. Some hotels may charge additional fees for services such as Wi-Fi, parking, or access to facilities like the gym or spa. These costs can add up and affect your overall budget.

While Dubai offers a diverse range of accommodations to suit every traveler’s preferences, being cautious and informed before booking can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for you and your family. Dont forget to ask about the tourist fee.

#11. Restriction On WhatsApp


“While WhatsApp is a widely used messaging app worldwide, it’s important to note that there are specific restrictions on its use in Dubai. One of the limitations is related to video calls, and if you want to connect with your loved ones via video, you’ll need to explore alternative apps due to these restrictions.”

In Dubai, you can still use WhatsApp for sending text messages and sharing images and files. It remains a popular platform for staying in touch with family and friends. However, there are restrictions when it comes to making video calls on WhatsApp. Video calls through WhatsApp are blocked in Dubai due to regulatory limitations.

To have video calls with your loved ones while in Dubai, you’ll need to explore alternative messaging apps that are compliant with local regulations. Apps like GoChat, IMO, and BOTIM are commonly used for this purpose.

“WhatsApp’s limitations for video calls in Dubai can be infuriating, and the alternatives are far from ideal. It’s one of the unfortunate realities you’ll have to face while trying to stay connected with your loved ones.

#12. Bugs


Yes you heard it right UAE is home to cockroaches, due to its extreme hot weather no matter where you live Dubai, sharjah, abu dhabi, or any emirates. You will find these small cockroaches with you in your home everywhere. Whether its your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or even in your balcony.

I like to share my first expoerience when I saw those bugs , I was on holiday with my family and was staying in one of the 4 star hotel in Dubai main area. My daughter suddenly screams mommy look here are yuckie bugs, then we were like its not a big deal.

But when we shift to an apartment in Dubai, we realise that its everywhere and then after an year we shift to sharjah and we faces the same situation. And we are staying in one of the best location and apartment of Sharjah. Though,would like to tell you that my building management do the pest control every year in every apartment. But honestly sometimes I feel like why am I spending my hard earned money here.

To sum it up, Dubai is a fantastic place with impressive buildings and a glamorous way of life. However, for some people who move there, it’s not as perfect as it seems. They find it hard to fit in because of the different rules and customs. Plus, living there can be expensive, and they worry about keeping their jobs.

So, while Dubai is a breathtaking city, it has its difficulties too. Some folks love it, but others find it tough. In the end, whether you stay or leave depends on your personal situation and what you’re willing to put up with in exchange for the glitz and glamor of this city.