From Opportunity to Lifestyle: Why Abu Dhabi and Dubai are Top Destinations for Global Workers

June 12, 2024

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have evolved into thriving hubs for career opportunities with their unique blend of vibrant corporate landscapes and cosmopolitan lifestyles. The two most famous cities of the Gulf region have set another benchmark by securing positions among the world’s five best cities to work in. Let's delve deep and discover the Emirates' global recognition and the factors that make them the leading destination for career-driven expats.

About the Ground-Breaking Achievement

According to a recent report by Boston Consulting Group, a management consulting firm, Dubai is the third-best place to work in the world, while Abu Dhabi is fourth. This significant accomplishment by the two Emirates highlights the UAE government's ongoing efforts to cultivate an environment that draws professionals and businesses from around the globe. Here is the list of the top best cities to work in:

  • London
  • Amsterdam
  • Dubai
  • Abu Dhabi
  • New York
  • Berlin
  • Singapore
  • Barcelona
  • Tokyo
  • Sydney

BCG’s Dream Destinations and Mobility Trends report is the first in a series to analyze the work preferences of global talent in 2024. The comprehensive survey, conducted between October and December, gathered the work choices of about 150,000 people from 188 countries. Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s global recognition as the world’s premier work hubs further solidifies the UAE's commitment to innovation, diversity, and economic expansion.

Advantages of Working in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for Professionals

Want to find out why Dubai is a top destination for global workers or what the benefits of living and working in Abu Dhabi as an expat are? Here are the major reasons why professionals from all around the globe prefer these Emirates.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi: The Economic Powerhouses 

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the economic hubs in the region, driving substantial financial growth and attracting global investments. Both cities have established themselves as major players in industries such as finance, tourism, and trade, contributing significantly to their robust economies. Dubai has particularly gained massive interest from international investors, thanks to its flourishing property sales market. Moreover, professionals can also find various rental properties in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to live in. This financial strength provides a stable environment for businesses and professionals alike.

Diverse Employment Sectors

Abu Dhabi and Dubai's job market for international professionals is incredibly diverse, offering opportunities across a wide range of sectors including technology, finance, healthcare, hospitality, and construction. The cities' strategic locations and favorable business climates (including the Golden Visa program) have attracted multinational corporations and startups, ensuring a wealth of career options for professionals from various backgrounds.

Working in a Multi-Cultural Environment

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are renowned for their multiculturalism, hosting expatriates from around the world. This diversity fosters an inclusive work environment where different perspectives and ideas are valued. Professionals working in these cities benefit from exposure to a multitude of cultures and practices, accelerating both their personal and professional growth.

 Dubai and Abu Dhabi: Best Cities to Work In | Provident Estate

Work-Life Balance in the UAE

Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer an exceptional quality of life, balancing modern urban living with cultural richness. The cities boast world-class healthcare, education, and recreational facilities. Moreover, the work culture in the UAE emphasizes a healthy work-life balance, ensuring professionals have ample time to enjoy the myriad of leisure activities and attractions available.

Modern Facilities and World-Class Infrastructure

Dubai and Abu Dhabi's infrastructure is among the best in the world, featuring state-of-the-art facilities and excellent connectivity. The cities offer efficient public transportation systems, advanced telecommunications, and top-tier healthcare and education institutions. This world-class infrastructure supports both professional and personal growth, making daily life convenient and efficient.

Lifestyle Perks for Professionals

Living in Dubai and Abu Dhabi comes with numerous lifestyle perks. From luxury shopping malls and fine dining restaurants to pristine beaches and exciting desert adventures, the cities offer a unique blend of cosmopolitan and traditional experiences. The vibrant social scene and numerous cultural events ensure there is always something to do, enhancing the overall living experience.

Competitive Salaries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Professionals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi enjoy highly competitive salaries that often surpass those offered in other major global cities. This attractive earning potential, combined with the lack of income tax, allows expatriates to save and invest significantly, making these cities highly appealing for career-driven individuals.

Enjoy a Tax-Free Income

One of the most attractive features of working in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is the tax-free income. Without the burden of income tax, professionals can maximize their earnings, allowing for greater financial freedom and the ability to achieve long-term financial goals more quickly. This advantage significantly enhances the overall appeal of relocating to the UAE.

The Continuing Growth of the UAE

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are continuously evolving, with ambitious plans for future growth and development. The UAE's commitment to diversifying its economy and investing in innovative projects positions both cities as forward-thinking hubs for business and employment. Professionals moving to Dubai and Abu Dhabi can look forward to being part of dynamic and progressive environments that promise ongoing opportunities for career advancement and personal growth.


Yes, it is possible to live in Dubai and commute to Abu Dhabi. Many professionals choose to do this for various reasons, including personal preferences, family considerations, or job opportunities. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are approximately 140 kilometers apart and the commute typically takes about 1.5 to 2 hours each way by car.

Although most commuters prefer driving due to the flexibility it offers, the Emirates Express bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is still more cost-effective. However, the journey takes 2 to 2.5 hours. Moreover, there are plans for a high-speed rail link, Etihad Rail between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which will significantly reduce travel time.

The top business districts in Dubai include Downtown Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and Dubai Media City. These areas are known for their modern infrastructure, high-rise office buildings, and vibrant business communities. In Abu Dhabi, the main business districts are Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and Khalifa City. These districts feature state-of-the-art facilities, international corporations, and strategic locations, making them prime destinations for business activities and investments in the UAE.

Employment opportunities in Dubai for expatriates are abundant and diverse, spanning various sectors such as real estate, finance, hospitality, construction, technology, and healthcare. With its dynamic economy, tax-free income, and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

As per UAE labor laws, individuals employed full-time have the option to initiate their business endeavors while still employed, provided they acquire a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their current employer. Nonetheless, it is at the employer's discretion to approve or decline the NOC application submitted by their employee.

For more information, get in touch with us at Provident