Choosing a country for permanent residence is no easy task, as it involves considering a multitude of factors. Above all, when moving, people want to live in a wealthy, safe country with a pleasant climate. Additionally, they assess the possibility of maintaining (or better yet, increasing) their income, favorable conditions for doing business, or the opportunity to find employment, as well as access to quality and affordably priced real estate.
In terms of climate, Spain undoubtedly wins. There are regions with a full change of seasons: cold in winter and warm in summer. In some places, it even snows)) There are natural ski resorts, beautiful natural parks, orange and olive groves, and vineyards. As for the Mediterranean coast, it offers an ideal combination of climatic and natural conditions for living and relaxation. And although Dubai is also sunny with a sea, the summer heat up to +45 degrees Celsius practically rules out walking and even moving around the city on foot. People are constantly battling the desert. In the areas reclaimed from it, people create beautiful, comfortable cities, but beyond their limits, the desert takes over.
Perhaps, this struggle for existence in a lifeless desert has become one of the factors of the economic miracle of the Arab Emirates, and of course, oil. In the fifty years since the discovery of oil fields, the country has made an incredible leap and managed to build an economy independent of hydrocarbons. Today, it is a business-friendly region with opportunities for growth and development. State support is focused on local residents, but excellent conditions have also been created for expatriates. The Spanish economy, as part of Europe, is not growing significantly, and there are fewer groundbreaking ideas and startups here than in the Emirates, but a good standard of living is accessible to both local residents and immigrants. Everyone living in Spain and the Emirates has access to quality healthcare and education, a developed banking system integrated into the global financial structure. Undoubtedly, taxation in the Emirates is more lenient than in Spain.
Both countries welcome migrants and have lenient programs for obtaining residencies, including for owners of expensive real estate, the so-called investor residencies.
Just ten years of legal residence in Spain allows you to apply for citizenship. However, becoming a citizen of the Emirates is impossible..
Neither you nor your children born in the Emirates will ever obtain citizenship, even if one of the parents is a citizen of the Emirates. From a security standpoint, both the Emirates and Spain are excellent choices, with low crime rates, polite police, and fair courts. However, it should be noted that Spain's laws and orders are more understandable and familiar to us. The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country, living under Sharia law, meaning serious crimes (according to the Quran) can result in capital punishment. These include premarital sex, drug trafficking, preaching atheism or the fundamentals of any religion other than Islam, marital infidelity, and homosexual relationships. Being a foreigner does not exempt you from responsibility for violating the law. Moreover, it is not permissible to wear frivolous clothing, publicly express your feelings, interact with local women, and there are almost everywhere restrictions on photography and videography. Compliance with Islamic traditions is taken especially seriously during Ramadan, when religious restrictions must be observed even by foreign guests. It's not that Emiratis impose their beliefs, but during this time, among other things, it is not allowed to consume food and drinks before sunset, and many establishments are simply closed. Needless to say, Spanish traditions are much closer to us. Spaniards are also quite religious, but they certainly do not impose anything on anyone. On the contrary, there is accountability for disrespect to any confessions and nationalities, and Spanish women have achieved great success in fighting for their rights.
A significant difference is also the attitude towards alcohol. In Spain, it's hard to imagine a dinner without a glass of wine. Wine-making traditions here are an important part of the culture and a serious item of export income. Each region is famous for its special type of wine, not to mention the various sherries, beers, ciders, and liqueurs. In the Emirates, however, sales and consumption of alcohol are severely restricted, and in some places, outright prohibited. You must agree, this is an important argument in favor of Spain.
The rapid economic growth in the Emirates is accompanied by construction projects of incredible scale. Skyscrapers, shopping malls, offices, everything that's the most expensive, tallest, luxurious, and impressive is built here. The construction boom in Spain has declined, but there are still noteworthy real estate objects here. We won't compare the price per square meter. Why we consider this pointless (not only in Spain and the Arab Emirates but everywhere) is detailed here.
Modern housing in both countries consists of complexes with green areas, gardens, swimming pools, gyms, and relaxation spots. Spain has more outdoor areas, terraces, and solariums, as the climate is conducive to this. Another distinctive feature of real estate in Spain is the opportunity to find a property in a historical area or one built using Mediterranean style elements. Such areas have preserved the measured rhythm of traditional Spanish life, where one can feel the traditions and understand why Spaniards are such friendly and cheerful people. Life in the Emirati megapolis is bustling, with noise and hustle around the clock. Spain, of course, also has large cities, but there are smaller cities too, with developed infrastructure but a more tranquil way of life. The diversity of such cities is showcased on the Costa Blanca coast. Here is Benidorm with skyscrapers and a bustling nightlife of bars, discos, and casinos. Alicante with its ancient districts, temples, and the Santa Barbara Castle. Torrevieja, where there's everything and plenty of it. Altea, Calpe, Punta Prima, and many more coastal cities with elite real estate. And everywhere, stunning beaches, incredible food, lively festivals, carnivals, and football.
We tried to be as objective as possible, but the attentive reader has already noticed that our sympathies lie with Spain))
There's no definitive answer to the question of where it's better, in Spain or the Arab Emirates, but as a recommendation, compare specific real estate options. For example, in a budget up to 100,000 euros, in our opinion, Spain confidently wins; with this money, you can buy a full-fledged apartment (not a studio) in a large city with developed infrastructure in the secondary market. New constructions in Spain and the UAE are currently priced about the same, and here it all depends on the purchase goals or how much each country appeals to you personally, where you would want to come back time and again, or maybe even stay forever. And to help make your choice, the managers of Granfield Estate, who have been living and working in Spain for a long time, know and will recommend the best option depending on your goals.