September 20, 2023

The Best Areas to Live in the UAE

Exploring location for residency and working in the UAE. The Pros, Cons, Work Benefits, and Visa Opportunities

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country renowned for its luxury, economic prosperity, and stunning landscapes. With a diverse expatriate community, it offers a wide range of options for those looking to live and work in this dynamic nation. Here we will explore some of the best areas to live in the UAE, highlighting their unique characteristics, work benefits, and visa opportunities.

Living in Dubai

Prism 7 Real Estate are here to help with any residential or commercial real estate requirements in the UAE and our offices are based here in Dubai, so naturally it's the first on our list! Possibly one of the best known cities in the UAE, it's often referred to as the "City of Gold" Dubai is the most populous city in the UAE and a renowned global hub for business and tourism. Here are the pros and cons of living in Dubai:


  • Economic Opportunities: Dubai boasts a thriving job market, especially in industries like finance, tourism, and real estate.
  • World-Class Infrastructure: The city offers top-notch healthcare, education, and transportation systems.
  • Cultural Diversity: Dubai's diverse expatriate population means you can experience a rich blend of cultures and cuisines. More than likely some of your own if you are joining us from another country!
  • Tax Benefits: Dubai has free zones such as Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) that offer tax advantages and setup benefits for businesses.


  • Cost of Living: While salaries can be high, the cost of living in Dubai can be equally steep, particularly in terms of housing. That is why if you are unsure on UAE real estate you should consult with experts like us here at Prism 7 Real Estate.
  • Weather: The scorching summers can be challenging for some, but many adapt to it. Although the climate in the UAE as a whole can be a pro compared to a lot of countries in terms of it's consistency, you can almost always be confident it won't rain! (music to the ears of our UK emigrants!)

Work Benefits:

Dubai's thriving economy means there are numerous job opportunities across various sectors. The city also provides a supportive environment for entrepreneurs through its various free zones.

Visa Opportunities:

Dubai offers several types of visas, including tourist, employment, and investor visas, making it relatively accessible for foreigners.

Is Abu Dhabi for me?

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, is known for its blend of modernity and tradition. Here are the pros and cons of living in Abu Dhabi:


  • Stability: Abu Dhabi offers a stable political environment and a strong economy.
  • Quality of Life: The city boasts excellent healthcare, education, and recreational facilities.
  • Cultural Attractions: Explore the rich Emirati culture and visit landmarks like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
  • Tax Benefits: Abu Dhabi also has free zones like Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) that offer tax incentives for businesses.


  • Cost of Living: While slightly more affordable than Dubai, Abu Dhabi still has a high cost of living, especially for expatriates.
  • Strict Regulations: Abu Dhabi may have more conservative social and legal regulations compared to Dubai.

Work Benefits:

Abu Dhabi is known for its well-paying jobs, particularly in sectors like oil and gas, construction, and finance. It's also home to the federal government and various international organizations.

Visa Opportunities:

Abu Dhabi provides various visa options, including employment visas and investor visas, making it a viable choice for expatriates.

Budget Friendly Sharjah

Sharjah, located just north of Dubai, is known for its rich cultural heritage and affordable living. If you are a UK resident, you should think of Sharjah as like living on the outskirts of London, just close enough to be able to reap the benefits of the big city, but without the price tag. Here are the pros and cons of living in Sharjah:


  • Affordability: Sharjah offers more affordable housing options compared to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
  • Cultural Heritage: The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a hub for art and culture.
  • Family-Friendly: Sharjah is known for its family-oriented atmosphere with many parks, museums, and cultural events.


  • Commute: Some residents commute to Dubai for work, which can be time-consuming.
  • Entertainment Options: While there are cultural attractions, Sharjah may have fewer entertainment options compared to Dubai.

Work Benefits:

Sharjah is an emerging economic center with growing opportunities in various sectors, including education, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Visa Opportunities:

Sharjah offers a range of visas, including employment visas, investor visas, and long-term renewable visas for retirees, making it an attractive choice for different categories of expatriates.


The UAE offers an array of options for expatriates, each with its unique set of advantages and challenges. This brief article doesn't even scratch the surface of the many offer fantastic areas in the UAE. Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah are just a few of the excellent places to consider for living and working in this thriving nation. Depending on your preferences, career goals, and lifestyle, you can find the perfect spot to call home in the UAE, all while benefiting from its strong economy, tax advantages, and diverse cultural experiences. Be sure to explore your options and consider your priorities before making the move to this exciting and prosperous part of the world.

If you have any questions about these or other areas, our team are here to advice on the lifestyles on offer in the UAE. Whether you are looking for a place to call home, or looking for work opportunities, we can help you.

How Can We Help?

Speak to our team today to find out more about what we do and how we can help

Prism 7 Real Estate provide commercial and residential property consultancy services to those seeking advice in the UAE
Part of the Prism 7 Group (UK & UAE)
© Dankee DMCC trading as Prism 7 Real Estate 2023. Part of the Prism 7 Group
Reg Address: Office 3003, HDS Business Centre, Cluster M, JLT, Dubai, UAE
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