Saving, Travelling, and Wedding Planning

“Why would you move to the UAE? Why Dubai? Why The Middle East?”

We moved to Dubai August 2015 to fulfill our needs to travel, save and get married. Luckily for us, that has happened in the first year of being here….How do we do it?

The Saving:

This is how we balance our life in Dubai….

  • Spend $6,000 (NZ) a month on living: power, internet, phone bills, car rental, groceries and a fair amount of coffees … and the occasional Dubai brunch 😊
  • Save $10,000 (NZ) dollars every 2-4 months depending on our travel budget (you could save more)
  • The rest goes on travel or (went on) the wedding.

The Wedding:

Don’t plan a wedding from overseas unless you’re prepared to be flexible and relaxed (like us kiwis). A lot of effort went into making our day back in NZ extra special but we also had to be chilled when it came to making decisions about many things such as decorations, celebrants, M.C’s, the bridal party (what will fit? etc) the set up and so on. Our advice: enjoy the planning even though it’s tough from overseas, and as a bonus you also don’t have to have those awkward “I wish you could come to my wedding, but you wont fit on the guest list” conversations – they’re never nice!

We were lucky. We had our Mums and other family members and friends who helped us bring the day together. Let go of trying to control everything, your family and friends want to help you, especially if you’re overseas and your family are living where you will get married! My Mum was great, she was in charge of all the decorations, flowers and co-ordination of ‘extra’ ceremony guests. Yes we had *eye rolls* and stressed conversations over the phone but I wouldn’t have had a wedding if she wasn’t at the core of the planning! – Shot Mum, love you heaps as.

The Travelling:

A budget for two…

  • Flights to Europe – $950 nzd each, return to DXB (646 Euros; 2,500dhs)
  • Accommodation – $90 NZD a night (Airbnb) give or take your preferences.
  • Daily activities – $160 NZD. (This really depends on what you do during the day)
  • Dinner – $44-75 NZD (30-50 Euros; 114-195dhs)

It’s easy to travel to and from DXB (or anywhere else in the Middle East) and the flight prices are reasonable; this is one of the main reasons we chose the UAE to be our country of residence. Bare in mind that this is how we travel and you might travel more or less expensively depending on your preferences and #travelgoals. We try spend as little of our daily activity budget as we can by buying supermarket food to make sandwiches and have healthy snacks and by going sightseeing for free (not in tour groups) or going ‘off the beaten track’ away from those sparkly tourist vendors.

The world is yours to explore, take risks, get lost and enjoy the laughs (and tears) along the way!


Cinque Terre, Italy (above) is one of our favourite places to visit; we went twice within 4 months!

Want to be an Expat Brat?

Do it, if you’re thinking it, you’re already making decisions in your head to quit your job and come try it out. Life over here is good! You have no worries or commitments, you can invest in yourself as well as your future at the same time. There are plenty of people from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and other countries that come here as single men, single women, a couple, as a single Mum or Dad, with their entire family including pets, you name it! Families can do it here and save and go travelling. Work is always full on no matter where you live, but the week nights and weekends are ours to live and be ‘in the moment’.

If you’re thinking about making the move, do it….you can thank us for it once you’re here 😅

If you have questions about moving to the UAE or surrounding countries or anywhere else from anywhere else, drop us a line, we’re happy to help and show you how amazing expat life is!

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