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Pyypl Team
May 7
5 mins

Just Moved to the UAE? Here's How to Get your Finances in Order

Financial Adjustment Tips for New UAE Residents

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When you move abroad, your finances are going to be different than they were at home. The cost of living, exchange rates between currencies, and your income level all change—and so does the way you manage your money. That’s why it's important to understand what these changes mean for you before you arrive in your new country. The last thing anyone wants is a rude awakening when the bills start rolling in! Here's what you need to know about managing your finances when moving to the UAE:

Consider your monthly costs before moving

In general, living expenses in the UAE are relatively high compared to other countries; however, they can vary dramatically depending on where in the country you choose to live and which amenities matter most to you. Consult our quick guide below for more details:

  • If you're moving from a big city and are used to having everything at your fingertips (and an endless supply of coffee), then Dubai is probably the best option. But keep in mind that Dubai is split up into old Dubai and the new, modern Dubai with areas like Marina, JLT or Business Bay etc, so you’ll have to pick an area that suits your needs.
  • On the other hand, if you’re looking for a laid-back place and all that matters is having access to sand dunes without having them shipped in from Morocco (for example), then Abu Dhabi might just do the trick.

Get to grips with the cost of living in the UAE

Once you've got a handle on your finances, the next step is to take a look at the cost of living in the UAE. You may have heard that living in Dubai is expensive, but just how expensive? Depending on where you're from and what kind of lifestyle you're used to, it can be hard to get an idea of what your paycheck will go toward each month.

There are plenty of ways that people manage their money here: some keep their expenses low and save as much as possible; others tend to spend freely and rack up debt; others still manage to do both at once. The trick is finding a balance between saving money for emergencies while also enjoying yourself every now and then—and most importantly not going into debt.

Assess your savings and emergency fund

To get a sense of how much money you'll need to move, start by assessing your savings and emergency fund. If you have $10,000 saved and another $5,000 in a checking account, that means you have $15,000 available to send home or spend on getting settled in the UAE.

Your next step is to determine how long it will take for your savings to cover what you need. Say your budget includes sending home $3K per month for twelve months (to cover rent or mortgage payments), as well as covering living expenses like groceries and utilities—we're estimating this will cost about $1K per month (basic expenses plus some luxuries). Then add 15% onto those amounts ($450) for unexpected costs such as medical care or new furniture (this number will vary depending on where in the world you live). The total amount? About $2.45K per month or an annual total of $28K USD.

Have a plan for sending money back home to family

If you plan to send money from the UAE back to family or friends, you'll want to know about all of the options available. While there are a number of different ways to do this, here are some of the most common:

  • Send money directly to a bank account in another country (such as your parents'). This is good if you have an existing relationship with the recipient and don't mind paying fees.
  • Send money using an exchange house. This option might be convenient if it's hard for people in other countries to open bank accounts or receive credit cards—but can get expensive since they charge both sender and receiver fees.
  • Use the Pyypl app to send money instantly from your smartphone. We will convert the local currency into your destination’s currency before sending it abroad. What’s more, you can sign up with Pyypl without a bank account or salary certificate, making is super convenient to set up your finances as soon as you move.

Start budgeting

When you're moving to a new country, it's important to start tracking your spending. Pyypl can help you do this by giving you a complete view of your purchases via friendly reports that you can generate anytime. Those are great for learning how to save money and will help you save for a holiday or a new car—anything really.

Budgeting involves figuring out how much money comes in every month, what all your expenses are, and then working out how much you have left over at the end of each month. That might sound simple enough but there are countless factors the influence how much cash comes through your door (like whether your employer pays via direct deposit) so making sure that everything adds up correctly is vital for surviving abroad successfully.

You also need to think about how long it will take for some of those expenses—like rent or utilities—to come through after moving away from home. Usually, these bills aren't due until later on in each month, which means that during those early days without income coming through, there may be no money available. And while waiting around shouldn't stress you too much because these payments aren't usually huge amounts, they still represent potential shortfalls that could throw off budget calculations completely. Consider getting a credit card in the UAE to keep your cash flow going.


Moving abroad is an exciting time, but it can be stressful too. You’ll have to get used to a new culture and learn new customs. You may have to deal with a language barrier or distance from family and friends. On top of all this, you need to make sure that your finances are in order before you leave home so that they don’t cause any problems when you arrive at your destination. But taking care of your finances doesn’t have to be difficult—if anything, it can help make your move easier. We hope these tips will help you make sense out of your finances when you arrive in the UAE.

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