We had 8,808 expatriate women take part in our big survey of 2018, and the results are in
9 May 2018| Last updated on 14 January 2020
We've been connecting with women for over 15 years, and know first-hand just how much Dubai's landscape has transformed. We've witnessed Dubai evolve from a sandpit, into a bustling metropolitan city, and with it thousands of different women have moved to the emirate over the years.
Nowadays, we're far from the stereotype of trailing spouses and 'Jumeirah Janes', instead the past 10 years has seen the average age of people coming to live and work in the region steadily reduce, as Dubai has become a destination posting.
In order to gain an insight into the nitty-gritty of expatriate life for women in Dubai nowadays, we held our BIG ExpatWoman Survey 2018 - with two return tickets with Air Seychelles to the Seychelles up for grabs for one lucky winner!
The results are in - over 8,000 women responded, sharing with us the details of their Dubai lives.
Keep scrolling to discover the complete results of the BIG ExpatWoman Survey 2018!
The demographic of women living in Dubai
Out of 100, our women ranked their Dubai lifestyle as 70/100, and the entertainment and leisure options offered in Dubai as 84/100.
We're living well it seems, but times have changed. Ten years ago, we would have expected to see the majority employing home help. This result reflects the same shift in age and demographic; increasing numbers of young women attracted to life in the region, many at the beginning of their careers, living alone or with friends in apartments. The 30-something families in villas are still here, but across a wider household income spectrum.
Health and fitness for expats in Dubai
91% of our respondents agreed that Dubai offers high standards of public health care, with 93% stating that private health care standards in Dubai are very high. In fact, 88% of them use private healthcare themselves.
EWmums and children's education in Dubai
Out of the 8,808 women who responded, 52% are mums. And 42% of them had given birth here in Dubai!
Of those with school age children, 21% are considering home-schooling their children. Perhaps this is a result of the cost of education in Dubai - as our EWmums ranked the cost of education in Dubai a 7.8 out of 10, with 10 being the most expensive. Plus, with the new KHDA results released that shows an increase in the quality of education offered in Dubai, we anticipate that fees may rise even higher in the near future.
Unsurprisingly, a large portion of our mums surveyed have considered higher education opportunities abroad - with only 31% opting for UAE.
Working women and their careers in Dubai
60% of respondents are currently employed full-time, and 55% of those women have moved to Dubai to pursue career opportunities for themselves - a huge change in comparison to previous years that witnessed 'trailing spouses' moving here in order to support their partner's career.
Forget the stereotype... The majority of expat women here work!
Property, finance, home and car
Our skewed demographic to a younger profile, early in their careers, is reflected here... With over 57% of respondents earning a household income of less than AED 19,999 per month. Expat women in Dubai nowadays are more and more price-sensitive, too, and looking for value - evident in our use of daily deals websites and discount apps, like Cobone.com.
Since VAT came into force, over half of our women surveyed felt that the cost of living in Dubai had only become marginally higher... But perhaps what's more worrisome is that 35% consider the cost of living here to be considerably higher. Respondents in lower income brackets will no doubt have felt more keenly price rises on petrol and basic commodities.
It comes as no surprise then, that 94% of respondents are living in rented accommodation - with 48% of them paying less than AED 59,999 per annum!
Of those women who do own property in Dubai, 77% of them have only one property. With 23% having 2 or more. There has been a clear resurgence in property buying however, post the 2008/9 slump, and the majority of home owners are now buying for their own use.
It follows the pattern of people moving to the region, developing their careers here and putting down roots.
In fact, 43% of respondents who already own property are open to buying again.
When it comes to cars and transportation, it seems Dubai's high-quality public transportation cannot be matched; with private services showing a relatively low market penetration, in comparison to the established public transport services such as the RTA's national taxis, and the Dubai Metro.
Our food and dining habits in Dubai
For those of you who indulge in dining out and take-aways more often than you should, you may find comfort in knowing you're not alone. In fact, 62% of respondents dine out at least 1 - 4 times every month, and 60% order take-aways just as often.
And despite the numerous options of home delivery services, we seem to still opt for ordering directly from individual restaurants!
When it comes to grocery shopping, Carrefour ranked #1 with 89% of respondents choosing the recognisable brand. So much so, it seems Carrefour is ExpatWomans favourite food store! As a result, our readers shopping habits reflect price sensitivity and selective shopping for different products in different stores.
Regarding grocery shopping online, Dubai still has a long way to go - but it is a fast growing market sector. In fact, Carrefour seems to have this part covered too, with over 56% respondents opting to grocery shop online with the brand.
What we're shopping, and where we're travelling to
Unsurprisingly, Dubai's biggest malls stand firm as favourites for residents - not just tourists. 79% favour Dubai Mall, and 70% visit MOE. Of course, local malls are no doubt frequently visited by residents local to their communities... But at least the biggest in Dubai is still standing strong as the #1 favourite Dubai mall to visit and shop in.
A whopping 74% shop for fashion, accessories and shoes here in the malls. Whether this is a result of lack of online options and delivery, or the fact we just enjoy shopping until we drop in Dubai is unclear. We're voting for the latter.
Lastly... Our respondents chose Emirates as ExpatWoman's #1 airline to travel with. And despite living by the sea, beach holidays are our top ranking holiday themes. Nonetheless, the broad spectrum of interests reflect the many and varied opportunities that we enjoy, living in a global travel hub.
Congratulations to our survey winners!
We'd like to say a HUGE thank you to every respondent who participated, and a special big thank you to our sponsors Air Seychelles. You can meet all of our winners here!
Congratulations to all of our winners, especially Catherine who has a fabulous holiday to plan!
Download the results of the BIG ExpatWoman Survey 2018
Simply enter your details below to download a copy of the BIG ExpatWoman Survey 2018 results - check your inbox as it'll be sent directly there.