Why Dubai is recognised as the most family-friendly emirate in the UAE


Dubai belongs to one of the safest and most family-friendly cities in the world. It has a top-class social infrastructure which includes international schools and kindergartens, prestigious university institutions and world-class hospitals. Dubai also has all sorts of activities for children of all ages, from leisure and educational centers such as KidZania to the famous Oceanarium at The Dubai Mall, water parks, a ski resort and virtual reality attractions.

Over 90% of Dubai’s population is expatriate, and foreigners choose the emirate because it offers the best possible environment for living, working and managing a business. Moreover, young professionals are moving here as a family increasingly often, as it is much easier to combine a career in the UAE with family life.

In addition, the community-style living environment in the emirate has now also become more family-oriented. More and more developers are creating private, integrated communities where everything is available for a comfortable living with children, including kindergartens, schools, parks, and sports and play areas, which are all situated within the community area. Below, we go into more detail about why it’s worth choosing Dubai for a family move.

Dubai leads the world in terms of safety and quality of life

Over the past 5 years, the UAE has consistently ranked among the leaders in the international quality of life rankings. For example, the HSBC Expat Explorer 2021 ranked the UAE as the 4th best country for expats to live in. Over 71% of respondents consider the MENAT region (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) to be stable and prosperous. In addition, in the Global Finance 2021 report, which rankied countries in terms of security, the UAE was ranked 2nd out of 134.

Dubai, which is home to more than 250 nationalities, is particularly popular with expats. Numbeo ranks it as one of the top 10 safest cities on the planet along with Abu Dhabi, and in the Resonance Consultancy’s ranking of the world’s best cities, Dubai was ranked 5th.

In addition to a high quality of life, the best possible conditions for business, investment and work, a loyal tax system and access to advanced technology, the emirate attracts expats from all over the world with its advanced infrastructure for children, as well as legislation designed especially to support families.

For example, the Dubai Government of Human Resources Management Law No. 27 of 2006 grants maternity leave to all women in Dubai. For those working in the public sector, the duration of paid leave is 90 days and then their working day is shortened by 2 hours for 1 year after they return to work. Employees of private companies are entitled to take a 45-day leave (with full pay if they have been working for the organisation for at least a year, and half pay if they have been working there for less than a year). They may then take two breaks within a year and a half after the birth to take care of the baby.

Note: According to a survey of UAE residents which was conducted by the employment website bayt.com, over 60% of respondents stated that their employers help them achieve a work-life balance.

Another advantage of Dubai for foreigners planning to move to the emirate with their families is its flexible visa policy. Expats who have been granted a residence visa may sponsor their relatives as well. In particular, a parent’s residence visa applies to unmarried daughters, sons until the age of 18, or if the son is studying at a local or foreign university until he reaches the age of 21.

Educational institutions in Dubai

Dubai offers locals and foreigners a world-class education system. From the age of 6 months you can place your child in a nursery, up to the age of 6 they can enroll in a kindergarten, and from the age of 6 children start attending primary school.

Secondary education in the emirate is compulsory for all children, including expat children, but all private schools incur a tuition fee. You can enroll your child in either a public or a private school in Dubai of your choice. The Emirate has over 200 public schools offering a variety of study programmes, including British, American and International Baccalaureate. You can read about the peculiarities for admission to one of the many schools in Dubai in this article.

The quality of secondary education in the emirate is very high, as according to the UAE Ministry of Education, 95% of female and 80% of male graduates from local schools successfully enter higher education institutions around the world. Dubai itself also has a wide range of universities with the Dubai International Academic City Free Zone alone having around 30 higher education institutions available.

Family communities in Dubai

More integrated family communities are being built in Dubai, which aims to foster a more inclusive, well-rounded environment. These types of communities have everything residents need within its premises, including kindergartens, schools, parks, promenades and play areas. One striking example of a new project which emulates a family-friendly living is Peninsula by the developer, Select Group. Nearly 3,300,000 sq. ft has been allocated for its construction within the Business Bay area. In addition to the residential tower, this area will feature a promenade with a variety of shops and restaurants, parks, walking and jogging paths, tennis and basketball courts, a skate park, a world-class fitness center, beauty salons and other infrastructure elements.

This ambitious project aims to create a business and family-friendly environment with strong social interaction that will unite people of different nationalities and cultures. These types of communities in Dubai will grow steadily.

If you are considering moving your family to the emirate, Metropolitan Premium Properties is here to support you. We can help you find a home to buy or rent in one of the family-friendly neighbourhoods or communities in the city, arrange all the paperwork, arrange a mortgage if needed, and guide you through every stage of the transaction.

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