Posted July 23rd, 2023

Where British Expats Live in Dubai

Discover the top areas where British expats live in Dubai, the city's allure, cost of living advantages, and essential resources for finding accommodation. Plus, learn how Hubpay simplifies international money transfers for expats in Dubai.
Dubai Inspiration

Dubai has emerged as one of the most attractive destinations for British expats seeking new opportunities and a high quality of life. With an estimated 240,000 Britons currently residing in Dubai, the city-state has become one of the most popular choices for British expatriates. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind Dubai's allure and highlight some of the most popular areas where British expats choose to live.

Dubai offers a host of advantages that make it a compelling destination for British expats. Firstly, the weather in Dubai is consistently warm and sunny, providing a pleasant climate throughout the year. Additionally, the cost of living is relatively affordable compared to cities like London. Fuel is less expensive, and salaries in Dubai are tax-free, offering expats more disposable income to enjoy their lives in the city. Moreover, the cost of purchasing an apartment in Dubai is significantly lower than in London, making it an attractive option for those looking to invest in property.

One of the key factors that make Dubai appealing to British expats is the prevalence of the English language. English is widely spoken, and there are numerous British pubs, restaurants, and cultural establishments that help create a sense of familiarity and comfort for expats. Furthermore, British investors are entitled to the Golden Visa, which provides long-term residency in the UAE. Non-residents can also buy, rent, and inherit property in Dubai with minimal taxes, making it an ideal location for British investors.

Now, let's explore some of the most popular areas where British expats choose to live in Dubai:

Dubai Marina:

Dubai Marina is a highly sought-after residential district situated on a 50 million square feet man-made marina. This waterfront community offers stunning views and is located near Jumeirah Beach, providing easy access to the coastline. British expats in Dubai Marina can find a range of amenities, including British restaurants, pubs, and tea shops. The area also boasts top-class schools with a UK curriculum, such as the Dubai British School in Emirate Hills.

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR):

JBR is a vibrant community located in the heart of Dubai Marina, adjacent to the Persian Gulf. It is a popular hub for tourism and entertainment, offering access to English eateries, water sports, and high-end shopping malls. The area is home to GEMS Wellington International School, which follows the National Curriculum (UK). There is also a British Orchard Nursery for younger children, adhering to the British EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) curriculum.

Downtown Dubai:

Downtown Dubai is known for its iconic landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the Dubai Fountain. It serves as the financial centre of Dubai and offers a wide range of amenities. British expats living in Downtown Dubai can immerse themselves in cultural heritage and enjoy chic cafes, nightlife, and the renowned Dubai Opera. The area also features the popular Double Decker pub, which is particularly favoured by the British community.

Palm Jumeirah:

Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island known for its luxurious lifestyle and breath-taking views of the Persian Gulf and Dubai's skyline. This iconic landmark offers a relaxed vibe, waterfront living, sports amenities, and high levels of security. Expats residing in Palm Jumeirah can enjoy upscale apartment towers, fine dining restaurants, and vibrant beach clubs. The area transforms into a lively nightlife scene at night, with live DJs performing at various venues.

Umm Suqeim:

Umm Suqeim is a coastal residential area along the Jumeirah Beach coastline. It is a popular choice for British expats, offering access to one of the best public beaches in Dubai. The area features recreational activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, skate parks, and volleyball courts. Umm Suqeim also provides access to hospitals, schools, and public transport. The Umm branch of King's School, which follows the British curriculum, has consistently been ranked as "Outstanding" by KHDA.

Jumeirah Park:

Jumeirah Park is an ideal suburb for family-oriented expats seeking a tranquil environment. The community features green spaces, public parks, and the Dubai British School, known for its excellent education standards. Jumeirah Park offers a family-friendly atmosphere and a range of amenities for children. For younger children, the Toddler Town British Nursery follows the British Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Arabian Ranches:

Arabian Ranches is an upscale gated villa community that offers a high-quality family lifestyle. It provides a peaceful environment away from the city's hustle and bustle, with lush greenery and public parks. The community is well-suited for families with young children, as it offers nurseries following the British curriculum. Additionally, the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club is accessible for those interested in equestrian activities. Arabian Ranches also provides a range of amenities for retirees looking for a serene and comfortable lifestyle.

Where to begin your property search from moving from the UK to the UAE

When looking for places to live in Dubai, there are several resources and platforms that British expats can utilize to find their ideal accommodation. Here are some popular options:

Property Portals: Online property portals such as Property Finder ( and Dubizzle ( are widely used in Dubai. These platforms allow users to search for apartments, villas, and other types of properties based on their preferences, budget, and desired location. Users can filter their search results by factors such as number of bedrooms, price range, and amenities.

Real Estate Agencies: Engaging with reputable real estate agencies in Dubai can provide valuable assistance in finding suitable housing options. Agencies like Better Homes ( and Chestertons ( have a wide range of listings and experienced agents who can guide expats through the process of renting or buying a property.

Expat Communities: Joining online expat communities and forums can be beneficial when seeking recommendations and advice from fellow British expats in Dubai. Websites like ExpatWoman ( and InterNations ( provide platforms where expats can connect, share experiences, and seek housing recommendations.

Social Media Groups: Facebook groups dedicated to expats living in Dubai often have discussions and postings related to available rental properties. Joining groups such as "Dubai Expats" or "Dubai Property Rentals" can provide access to a network of individuals who are looking to rent out or sublet their properties.

Key Takeaways

  • Dubai offers several advantages for British expats, including warm weather, affordable cost of living, and tax-free salaries.
  • The prevalence of the English language and the presence of British establishments create a sense of familiarity for expats.
  • Dubai provides opportunities for British investors through the Golden Visa and favourable property ownership regulations.
  • Popular areas for British expats in Dubai include Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah Park, and Arabian Ranches.
  • Online property portals, real estate agencies, expat communities, and social media groups are valuable resources for finding accommodation in Dubai.
  • Hubpay is a mobile application that offers easy and fast international money transfers, bill payments, and airtime recharge services for expats in Dubai.

In conclusion, Dubai offers a diverse range of neighbourhoods and communities that cater to the needs and preferences of British expats. From the vibrant and luxurious Downtown Dubai to the tranquil suburbs of Jumeirah Park and Arabian Ranches, each area has its unique character and attractions. The cost of living in Dubai is generally more affordable than in London, and the tax-free salary structure provides expats with greater financial flexibility. With its safety, sunshine, and employment opportunities, Dubai continues to attract British expats seeking a new and exciting chapter in their lives.

Transferring money back home is now easy and fast thanks to mobile applications like Hubpay. Hubpayoffers cost-effective and easy international money transfers with multiple additional services such as bill payments and airtime recharge. You can join for free on Apple store and Google Play Store.