Relocating from China to Dubai: Complete Guide for Expats

Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Vadim

Relocating from China to Dubai is an exciting opportunity. Dubai’s dynamic lifestyle, luxurious amenities, and tax-free income make it a popular destination for expatriates. This guide provides all the necessary information to ensure your transition is smooth and successful.


Moving from the bustling cities of China to the modern skyline of Dubai involves significant changes. Both regions offer unique lifestyles and opportunities. This guide will help you navigate these changes and prepare for your new life in Dubai.

Why Move to Dubai?

Dubai offers many benefits that attract people from around the world. Key reasons include:

  1. Tax-Free Income: No personal income tax allows for higher savings.
  2. Lifestyle: Experience world-class amenities, luxury shopping, and beautiful beaches.
  3. Career Opportunities: A booming hub for industries like finance, real estate, and technology.
  4. Climate: Enjoy sunny weather throughout the year, unlike China’s more varied climate.

Key Steps to Relocate from China to Dubai

Visa Requirements

  • 5-Year Green Visa: For highly skilled workers, freelancers, investors, and business partners. Requirements include a bachelor’s degree and a minimum salary of AED 15,000 per month.
  • 10-Year Golden Visa: For long-term residents such as investors, entrepreneurs, executives, and students who meet certain investment or employment criteria, such as investing AED 2 million in real estate or having exceptional talent.
  • Other Visa Options: Work, study, and retirement visas are also available.
  • Application Process: Apply through the UAE embassy in China or via a sponsor in Dubai. Be prepared to provide documents like your passport, educational certificates, and proof of income/employment. The process typically takes 3-4 working days, though an express 24-hour service is available for an additional fee.

Health Requirements

  • You will need to take a blood test, as a positive result for HIV or Hepatitis will lead to your UAE residence application being rejected.
  • Ensure you bring any necessary prescription medications and documentation.

Dependent Visas

  • To bring family members, such as a spouse or children, you must meet minimum income requirements to sponsor their dependent visas.
  • Sponsoring parents requires earning at least AED 20,000 per month.

Cost of Living


  • Rental Prices: Rental prices range from AED 25,000 for a studio to AED 80,000 for a 2-bedroom in popular areas.
  • Utility Costs: Electricity, water, and gas average around AED 600-800 per month for a family.
  • Overall Comparison: The cost of living in Dubai is significantly higher than in China, especially for housing, utilities, and schooling. However, the tax-free income in Dubai provides more disposable income compared to China.

Groceries and Transportation

  • Groceries: Prices are 20-30% higher in Dubai compared to China.
  • Transportation: A monthly metro pass costs around AED 200. Transportation costs can vary but are generally higher than in China.

Cultural and Lifestyle Differences


  • Social Norms: Dubai has different cultural and social norms compared to China, with restrictions around alcohol consumption, dress code, and public behavior. Alcohol consumption is legal for non-Muslims, while it is prohibited in China.
  • Language: While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken, especially in business and tourism sectors.


  • Weather: Dubai has an extremely hot, dry climate compared to China’s more varied weather, with average summer temperatures over 40°C.
  • Adaptation: Adjustments in clothing, activities, and lifestyle are needed to adapt to the harsh desert environment. Staying hydrated and avoiding direct sun exposure are important.

Job Market and Work Culture

Employment Opportunities

  • Job Market: Dubai offers diverse job opportunities across various sectors like finance, tourism, retail, and construction. However, competition is high, and securing a job can be challenging.
  • Salaries: Salaries in Dubai are generally higher than in China, but the higher cost of living must be considered.

Work Culture

  • Pace of Work: The work culture in Dubai tends to be more fast-paced, with longer working hours compared to China. Work-life balance may be more challenging.
  • Professional Opportunities: Chinese professionals with in-demand skills like engineering, IT, healthcare, and hospitality may find more opportunities in Dubai.

Relocation Logistics

Moving Costs

  • Shipping: Shipping household goods from China to Dubai can be complex and costly, with prices varying based on volume and shipping method. Plan ahead to avoid last-minute expenses.
  • Finding Accommodation: Work with local real estate agents to navigate the rental or purchase process. Be prepared to pay a higher security deposit, typically 5-10% of the annual rent.

Setting Up Utilities

  • Registering Utilities: Electricity, water, and internet must be set up under your name. Utility costs like electricity, water, and gas average around AED 600-800 per month for a family.
  • Banking: Open a local bank account and obtain a UAE mobile number.

Relocating Pets

  • Relocating pets involves specific documentation, vaccinations, and quarantine procedures. Costs depend on the animal and airline.

Health and Safety

Health Concerns

  • Climate-Related: Health concerns include heat-related illnesses, air quality issues, and the spread of infectious diseases. Taking precautions is advised.
  • Healthcare: Secure health insurance and understand local healthcare facilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Thorough Planning: Essential for a smooth transition. Research visa options, cost of living, and cultural differences.
  • Understand Costs: Budget for higher living expenses, especially for housing and schooling.
  • Cultural Adaptation: Respect local customs and integrate into the community.
  • Employment: Network and research the job market in your industry.
  • Healthcare: Ensure adequate health insurance and understand the healthcare system.
  • Legalities: Stay updated on visa requirements and other legal matters.

Moving from China to Dubai is a significant step that requires careful planning and adaptation. With its vibrant lifestyle, career opportunities, and sunny weather, Dubai can be a rewarding place to call home. Embrace the change, and enjoy the journey!

Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about relocating to or within the UAE, here are some essential articles that cover various aspects of the topic. These resources will help you navigate the complexities and make informed decisions.

  1. A Comprehensive Guide to Tawtheeq: Lease Contract Registration in Abu Dhabi
  2. Closing a Bank Account in the UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide
  3. How to Apply for a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) in the UAE
  4. How to Relocate from Egypt to Dubai in 2024
  5. How to Relocate from Germany to Dubai in 2024
  6. How to Relocate from India to Dubai in 2024
  7. How to Relocate from the US to Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide (2024)
  8. Leaving Dubai for Good? 8 Essential Tasks to Complete Before You Go
  9. Moving from Pakistan to Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide
  10. Notarising Your Chinese Academic Degree for UAE: A Step-by-Step Guide
  11. Relocating from China to Dubai: Complete Guide for Expats
  12. Relocating from China to the UAE: Your Top 5 Questions Answered
  13. Relocating from London to Dubai: Your Ultimate Guide
  14. Relocating from Manchester to Dubai: Complete Guide for Expats
  15. Relocating from the UK to Dubai: A Comprehensive Guide for British Expats
  16. Relocating in the UAE? Here is a Detailed Guide on How to Find the Best Movers
  17. Tax Residency in the UAE
  18. Traveling with Pets: A Comprehensive Guide to Relocating Your Furry Friends Out of the UAE
  19. UAE Overstay Fines: A Simplified 6-Step Online Payment Guide
  20. Ultimate Guide to Pet Travel in UAE: Airline Rules and Tips [2024]