I have finally moved out of the collapsing United States and moved to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In this article, I will explain the 10 reasons I moved to Dubai, and I will also respond to many of the objections and questions I’ve gotten from people about moving here.
I’d been thinking about doing this since around 2003, and I’ve been actively planning to move out of the U.S. for about the last eight years. Finally, it’s done. As of February 8, 2021, I am no longer an American resident. I’m still an American citizen (for the time being), but I’m now a resident of the United Arab Emirates; specifically, the city of Dubai.
This is important: This article is not one in which I’m trying to convince you to do something. I’m not trying to give you some kind of technique. This is just an explanation of why Dubai was the best place for me to live and work. If you hate Dubai, if you would never live here, that’s fine. The vast majority of you reading, frankly, should not move to Dubai. In most of your cases, it probably isn’t a good fit. I’m really just trying to convince you to move out of the collapsing West.
In my position, at my age, with my income, and where I am in life, Dubai made the most sense for me. Here’s why I did it.
1. Near Zero Taxes
This should surprise no one if you know my content. Dubai is almost a tax-free society.
In Dubai, there is no income tax—none. There are no payroll taxes here either because there’s no welfare state here. There are also no property taxes here unless you buy commercial real estate.
There are also no corporate taxes in Dubai. And by that, I don’t mean Dubai has reduced corporate taxes—I mean there are none.
There is a 5% sales tax here, but that’s new in the last few years, and as I’ve said before, I don’t mind paying sales taxes. I think sales tax is a valid way to tax citizens and fund the government. I’m not opposed to paying taxes in general; I’m opposed to certain types of taxes, like income and property taxes. So I have no problem paying a 5% sales tax.
And yes, I will still have to pay some taxes in the United States. The American tax system is the most evil, demonic, and Draconian in the entire world. It’s the only country in the world (other than Liberia, so who cares) where you can move out of the country, never go back, and they still charge you taxes. Why do you think I’m leaving?
2. Dubai is perhaps the best international travel hub in the world
I’m an international businessman and investor. I travel a lot. The problem for me as an American living in the U.S. is that anytime I want to go anywhere, I have to be on a plane for 14-15 hours. It’s brutal.
Being an American in the U.S. sucks for international travel because you’re so far from everything. Dubai is a little different. If you look at a world map and draw a circle around Dubai that represents a maximum eight-hour flight distance from the city, that circle encompasses just about all of Europe, Russia, Central Asia, almost all of Africa, and the Middle East. So in Dubai, I am literally an eight-hour one-way flight or less from just about every important city on Earth outside of the Americas. I can be in London in eight hours; I can be in Hong Kong in seven to eight hours. It’s exciting to me because I’m used to 15- to 16-hour flights every time I go anywhere. It’s going to make my travel schedule a lot easier.
Reason 2a: Dubai has one of the fastest airports in the entire world. On Instagram, I talk about how when I fly into Dubai, I’m out of the airport within five to seven minutes. You know how long it takes me to get out of a typical U.S. airport when I travel? If I’m really lucky, it might only take 45 minutes. I can sit there in the passport line for easily a half hour, and that doesn’t take into account customs, baggage handling, and so on.
By the way, Europe and South America are just as bad. Most airports in the world suck; the Dubai airport is amazing. You walk right through and you’re done. I was shocked the first time I came here.
Reason 2b: The airline you’ll be using if you fly into Dubai is called Emirates. Emirates is usually rated the #1 airline in the world. Western commercial airlines are awful. Emirates is a joy. I’ve never had any problems or snafus with them. On my most recent trip to Dubai, I had to travel with eight large Home Depot boxes full of my stuff, and I was expecting all kinds of problems. All eight got there perfectly, and if I had used an American or European airline to do this, it would have been a nightmare. They may not have even let me do it.
3. Dubai is very welcoming to foreigners
Only about 9% of the people in the city of Dubai are actually from Dubai. The other 91% are foreigners from other countries. Unlike many other countries I looked at to move to, Dubai was very welcoming. There was very little paperwork compared to other countries. And in some countries like Australia and New Zealand, I could tell they didn’t want me to come there as an actual resident. They did everything they could to make everything as difficult as they could. Dubai was the opposite of that. They were very welcoming and friendly. They wanted me to come here.
4. High-tech infrastructure
Dubai is a high-tech first-world city that has a better infrastructure than most of the United States. Here’s an example. In the U.S., I lived in an upper-class neighborhood, and I had the best top-of-the-line internet connection available to me. The connection I have here in Dubai (in this little Airbnb I’m staying at temporarily) is 40% faster than what I had in the U.S., and I’m reasonably confident it’s cheaper, too.
I like to have a very efficient, high-tech infrastructure. It’s important to me. Living in the Third World is one thing; the Second World is a nice place to visit. But at my age (I’m almost 50), I want to be able to come home to a very good, stable infrastructure.
5. The UAE is a small country
As I’ve talked about before, we’re entering an era where the big countries of the world (the U.S., Brazil, Russia, China, etc.) are becoming clusterfucks. They’re massively mismanaged, and they’re collapsing in many cases, but the smaller countries are far more maneuverable and better managed. The taxes are usually far lower since they don’t have the bloat and overhead of the larger countries, and it was important to me that I was moving to a smaller country (in terms of population; I don’t care about the square mileage of the place). That’s one of the reasons it works so well.
It doesn’t make any sense for me to move from a big, giant collapsing country to another big, giant collapsing country or an authoritarian country like China or Russia.
6. Dubai is sunny year-round
As you may know, I have lived my entire life in the Pacific Northwest between Seattle and Portland. I’ve lived there my entire life, and in that region of the world, it’s cloudy pretty much year-round. Two years ago, we didn’t even get a summer. It was cloudy and shitty most of the summer of 2019. It seems like the summers in the Pacific Northwest are getting worse.
It sucks to be covered in rain and clouds year-round. Here’s how this works: When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you live in the shitty cold and you go visit the sun. And when you do, you eat it up, and then you go back to your shitty, cloudy, rainy area. I want the opposite lifestyle. I want to live in the sun and then visit the cold when I feel like getting rained on. I don’t mind the rain, but I want to go visit it, not live in it.
In Dubai, it is sunny all the time, and if it gets too hot, I’m location independent. I can hop on a plane and go anywhere I want. It’s awesome.
7. Dubai is the safest city in the world in most categories
Depending on the crime category, Dubai always comes in at least the second, third, or fourth-safest, if not the first. I don’t care too much about that because I don’t do anything stupid, but it’s important to me that Pink Firefly can walk around the city and not be harassed.
Dubai is a little like Tokyo in that you can, for instance, leave your wallet out and no one will touch it, or someone will return it to you. There have been instances in the UAE where I’ve had to leave boxes on the sidewalk as I was bringing them into a hotel, and believe me, no one messed with them. There is virtually no crime here.
Now, there’s always crime in every city and every country, but you can look this up yourself. Dubai is literally one of the safest cities in the world. When you pair that with extremely low taxes, it’s a really good combination.
8. People here are interesting and not angry about politics.
When you talk to people here, they’re all from somewhere else. I’m an introvert, so this isn’t a huge deal to me, but I have to admit that it’s refreshing to live in a city and they’re not bitching and moaning about politics. It’s so nice to have people who are happy (or at least polite), and it’s a great time here because everyone has all kinds of interesting stories since they’re all from somewhere else. I’ve had lots of great, interesting conversations with people here—much more so than most other countries I go to.
Yes, in any large city, there will be assholes. This is a general overview.
9. Hot chicks
God damn. This is getting better than when I first started visiting Dubai a few years ago. Dubai has become a haven of sorts for all the super-hot Instagram influencers. There are a lot of reasons for this, but there are really hot women here.
Now, the one downside is that it’s more of an SMV-based culture here, similar to dating in Miami or L.A., so that might be a little difficult. If your objective is to come to a country and bang as many women as you can for as cheap as you can, Dubai is not the place for you.
10. Everyone speaks English
English is one of the official languages of the UAE, so you don’t have to learn another language to live here. I don’t really care about that; I was perfectly willing to live in a country that didn’t speak English, but my wife was very concerned about this. At one point, when we were looking at Argentina as a place to live, her main concern was that she didn’t speak Spanish. She was really worried about that, so it does help that she doesn’t experience a language barrier here.
To be fair, there are many people here who have very thick accents and speak very quickly, and you often have to ask them to repeat themselves or clarify. In fact, more people speak English here than in Hong Kong. I don’t really speak any language other than English, so it’s easy to get by here if you’re monolingual like me, and it’s a bonus for my wife.
Those are the reasons I personally chose Dubai. Many of those reasons may or may not apply to you; again, I’m not trying to convince you of anything.
Now, I’m going to address some of the objections I see whenever the subject of Dubai comes up on the internet.
Objection #1 — Human rights violations!
“Oh my God, I read an article once that said this guy was minding his own business and they threw him in jail for no reason, and he was stuck in jail for a year because there are no human rights in Dubai! Caleb, I read an article!!”
Let me explain something to you guys who read a scary article. First, the 2% Rule! Read the articles I have at this blog about that. The 2% Rule states that if something has less than a 2% chance of happening, you don’t fucking worry about it. What are the odds that you’re going to get thrown in jail in Dubai? It’s a fraction of a fraction of a percent. You are literally being insane.
If you do the research in detail where people went to jail in Dubai, you will find that 85% or so of them were blatantly doing something stupid, like getting stumbling drunk in public, harassing women in public, or groping their girlfriends in public. If you don’t do stupid shit, you won’t run into problems. Dubai isn’t some kind of police state; you’ll only get busted for doing dumb shit in front of the cops.
Objection #2: I talked to someone who lived in Dubai for a while and they didn’t like it.
I have done extensive research on this, and I’ve talked to people who moved to Dubai and didn’t like it. The people who moved there and loved it far outnumber the people who didn’t.
Dubai, unfortunately, has a kind of a caste system. There are the wealthy Westerners, and then there are the laborers who come from places like Pakistan and India who make around $400 a month, and yes, life is very hard for those people. Do I fall into that category? No. Do you? Probably not. Then why is this relevant?
If you go through all the complaints from the people who didn’t like living in Dubai, they all seem to boil down to one of two things: First, it’s kind of expensive here, and that’s true. If you don’t make a lot of money, Dubai probably isn’t the place for you to be. I can live here because I make a high income; if I didn’t, I’d have moved to Colombia or Paraguay or somewhere like that. Besides that, I’m saving so much money on taxes that I’m more than happy to spend a little extra on my lifestyle.
The second complaint usually amounts to, “I ran into a problem with my employer and I had no recourse.” Their employer screwed them somehow and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Well, I don’t have an employer. I’m Alpha 2.0. I have my own business, so that doesn’t apply to me. If you’re Alpha 2.0 with a six- or seven-figure location-independent income, it won’t apply to you either.
Objection #3: They have low taxes now, but they’re going up over time.
Would you rather live in a country with super-high taxes that are getting even higher or a country with low taxes gradually increasing?
Objection #4: Dubai’s economy is terrible.
Dubai had problems in 2008 during the financial crisis; they had problems in 2015 because of oil prices; last year they had more problems due to COVID-19. So yes, relative to its history, the economy in Dubai is down. Does that affect me at all as a location-independent Alpha Male 2.0? No, it actually benefits me because real estate is much cheaper here than it has been in a long time. In fact, Dubai is probably a really good place to buy real estate right now, because the economy is going to come back eventually. Rent here is cheaper for nice places than it was several years ago.
Objection #5: It’s too hot! You said you don’t like heat.
I said I don’t like heat + humidity, and that’s why I didn’t move to Singapore. I probably would have moved to Singapore if not for that. Heat is fine. Dubai is warm, and that’s fine because it’s dry heat.
That said, it does get really hot here. So guess what happens at that time: I won’t be here. That’s when I’ll leave and do my international travel, probably in the southern hemisphere, where it’s winter down there.
Once again, this doesn’t affect me as a location-independent Alpha Male 2.0.
Objection #6: Premarital sex is illegal in Dubai! They’ll throw you in jail!
Incorrect. As of last year, they’ve legally recognized living with a woman you’re not married to, which is a big deal for them. Every year, the UAE gets more liberalized. Today, when you walk around the UAE, you will see women with their tits and ass cheeks hanging out; Pink Firefly was shocked when she was here a few weeks ago. So as time goes on, that will be less of an issue.
Also, saying that you shouldn’t have premarital sex in the UAE is like saying you shouldn’t smoke pot in the U.S. because it’s illegal. Everyone smokes weed in the U.S., and they did even before states started legalizing it.
Objection #7: OMG, they don’t treat women well!
You’re thinking of Saudi Arabia and a few other Middle Eastern countries. Dubai is actually the exact opposite. They go out of their way to treat women better because Dubai is an international business hub. They want to make sure women are treated well.
For example, when you use the subway in Dubai, there’s a big pink line that denotes the women-only section. It’s the biggest section of the subway, and only women can go there. They also have pink taxis here that are only for women and driven by women. They treat women really well here; that’s why so many people moving here are women.
Pink Firefly is a member of several Dubai-based Facebook groups that are for women only. They’re growing by leaps and bounds. In many respects, women are treated better here than they are in most other countries.
Objection #8: It’s all city and all concrete and that’s ugly!
Sure, if you don’t like cities, don’t move to a big city. I love cities; I think they’re great. I also like the country, so my goal is to have multiple homes in multiple places all over the world—some in cities and some in rural areas.
If you hate cities, don’t move to Dubai! What the fuck?
Objection #9: It’s in the desert and the desert is boring.
If you think Dubai is boring, you’re stupid. Come to Dubai for a week and see how “boring” it is here. This is one of the most exciting cities in the world; it’s my third favorite city in the world behind Shanghai and Hong Kong. There are tons of great things to do here; it’s one of the coolest places I’ve ever been.
When I look out my window, I don’t see a desert. I see a really cool city. I see high-tech buildings, hot chicks, happy people, a beach, and all kinds of cool shit. Sure, if you live way out in the suburbs, you’ll see desert. But you wouldn’t do that if you don’t like the desert.
Objection #10: Dubai is expensive.
I’ve already addressed this. Some aspects of Dubai are more expensive, that is true. If you have a very low income, you probably don’t want to live here. If you have a higher income, check it out. There are lots of tax benefits, in particular, for higher-income people. As a higher-income person, it won’t really affect me that much.
Objection #11: In 70 years, Dubai will be unlivable due to climate change.
This is one of the crazier objections I get.
Two things: First, you left-wing environmentalists have been consistently wrong on all your doomsday scenarios for my entire life. When I was a kid in the ‘70s, you said we were all going to die in 10 years from a global ice age. In the ‘80s, you said we were all going to die in 10 years because the ozone layer was depleted. A few years later, in the ‘90s, you said we were all going to die in 10 years because the polar ice caps will melt.
This is why so many other liberals and left-wingers roll their eyes when you environmentalists make these insane predictions. So I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.
But I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say you’re right, and in 70 years, Dubai will be unlivable.
Um, I’m 50. In 70 years, I’ll be dead. I don’t think I’ll care.
Plus, if there is a problem with the climate down the road, I’m location independent. I can move somewhere else.
See, a lot of guys raise these objections because they’re coming from a more beta male/Alpha Male 1.0 location-dependent stance. Guys who are location dependent worry about all kinds of things. When you’re not, you have the flexibility to deal with these issues in ways other people can’t.
Objection #12: You’re not allowed to drink alcohol!
First, I don’t drink. I’ve never been drunk in my entire life, so I don’t give a shit.
Second, its not even true. Mobs of people get drunk here every night. The clubs are open until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. most nights of the week. Last year, as a COVID-19 precaution, they started closing the clubs at 1:00 a.m. instead of 3:00 a.m. Remember, most of the people in Dubai aren’t from Dubai.
Even the Muslims / local Emiratis, as of last year, are allowed to drink as long as you get a license.
These are the reasons I’ve moved to Dubai—and the objections I’ve overcome. One more time for good measure: I’m not trying to convince you to move to Dubai. I’m just letting you know why I did it. It made sense for me.
When you evaluate countries to move to, you need to look at all the same criteria I did. Do your research. Spend time in that country to make sure you’re getting the real picture of the place and not just the picture you’re getting from people online. I don’t know where you’ll need to move, but you should get out of the Western world while you still can.
As of now, I really don’t consider myself an American anymore. I consider myself a global citizen, and boy, is it a nice feeling. I have had such an overwhelming feeling of calm and relaxation since I landed in Dubai, even when I was jetlagged. And I want as many of you as possible to experience this too.