Published on 04.08.2023

Living in London

Many people choose to live in London for a number of reasons. Among the most popular are the sights, the high standard of living and salaries, and its close proximity to Europe.

In this article we give some different reasons as to why it is worth living in London. One of which is the opportunity to obtain financial services that you can't get in the UAE or any other country in the Arabian Gulf.

Why is London worth living in?

Pros of living in London

The capital of the UK has many advantages that distinguish it from Dubai, with the list of priorities varying, depending on the purpose of moving to London.

In this article we have listed the common pros of living in the capital of the UK for residents of GCC countries.

Financial Centre

London is constantly referred to as the financial centre of the world. Despite in recent years it has lost ground to New York because of Brexit, the city still maintains its leading position in global rankings. For example, in the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), London is ranked 2nd in 2023.

Historical background, specific legislation and leading positions in financial services, such as insurance and audit, help the city to maintain this status.

London is divided into several boroughs, separate from which stands the business district of London City. In fact, it is a city-state with its own authority and police, which is mainly engaged in the investigation of financial crimes. Even the powers of the Mayor of London do not apply in London City, as there is its own head of the district. It is in London City that all financial transactions, including those with foreign companies, take place.

General autonomy and its own jurisdiction attract companies from all over the world to the capital. If an entrepreneur is just starting a business and looking for funding, they often choose between New York and London. The capital of Great Britain is often chosen by companies with non-transparent businesses, since the legislation of London City allows them to draw up documents in a way that cannot be done in other countries.

As a result, 70% of London City's revenue comes from providing financial services to clients from the US and EU.

Public transport

London has one of the largest and most efficient public transport systems in the world, and includes the London underground, bus, rail and river transport.

The London Underground covers not only the city itself, but also the surrounding areas, with 11 lines and 270 stations connecting all districts of the city, allowing you to quickly reach the wider suburbs.

The bus network also runs through the entire city and into the suburbs as well. What sets it apart from other cities is its operating hours — most routes run 24/7, which means you don't have to worry about public transport shutting down when the clock strikes midnight.

An alternative mode of transportation in London is via the river. It’s not so much used for getting around the city by locals, but more for tourist purposes. However, locals choose it when they need to get to the other side of the Thames quickly.

In recent years, the bike-share system has become popular, and is actively encouraged by the government, whose policy is aimed at supporting environmentally friendly transportation. In addition, the UK is testing an electric flying cab, so London may soon have a new mode of transportation.


The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim state where religion is very prominent. Because of this, the country's legislation has its own specifics, and in some cases severely punishes crimes that are not considered as such in European countries.

London is more loyal in this respect, so UAE residents can feel freer here. The sale of alcohol, more open style clothing, and freely embracing acquaintances on the streets are freely allowed here. At the same time, violations of public order are also strictly punished, so one should not think that everything is possible in London.

Large number of foreigners

Between March 2022 and March 2023, around 118 million people arrived in the UK, most of whom came to London. The capital itself is home to almost 9 million people, about 37% of whom are not British citizens. The large influx of visitors is related to both the tourist appeal of London and the opportunity to get a good job and quality education.

The majority of applications to the embassy are related to obtaining work visas. The United Kingdom actively welcomes foreign specialists, the largest number of which for the specified period above, were citizens of India.

The country also actively supports international students who receive government grants and scholarships for their studies. They also receive a student visa, which allows them to stay in the country past their time of studying.

Cons of living in London

London as a city may not suit everyone. The main problem for GCC residents is the weather, which is radically different from the countries in the Middle East. The health care system is also vastly different, as well as the real estate market.


Although medical services in public hospitals are free for anyone with a visa, the UK healthcare system is specific. The same is true for London.

It is virtually impossible to get an appointment quickly, even with acute pain. On average you have to wait about a week to see a doctor. In addition, a significant part of time is also taken up by sitting in a queue within the A&E department, on average about 5 hours, if you have a medical emergency. Ambulances only arrive in extreme cases, so in many instances, you have to make your own way to the hospital.

The UK medical system doesn’t always enable a patient to see a specialized doctor straight away. You will first have to consult a general practitioner (GP), who will write a referral for you to see a highly specialized doctor.

Dentistry in the UK is not of the highest standard. Most NHS practices have long waiting lists and aren’t known for their quality and aesthetically pleasing results, and treatment in private clinics are expensive. In this case, it helps to have paid dental insurance.

High demand for real estate and rental costs

Due to the large number of tourists and visiting professionals in London, there is a very high demand for housing, which constantly pushes property prices up. Various economic shocks also affect this figure. Although the UK capital is more economically stable than other cities, the problem of rising real estate prices still remains.

Unlike Dubai, London is an established city, which is not being built up as actively as the emirate. As a result, there are far fewer offers of apartments for rent, and prices are higher.

The high cost of living in the UK capital forces people with low budgets to move to the suburbs, such as Slough, where the cost of housing is much lower. The remoteness from the city is compensated by transportation logistics, where you can get from the suburbs to London in just 30 minutes by underground or train.


The UK is located in a temperate maritime climate zone, which means that the average annual temperature is many times lower than in Dubai, and there is little or no sunshine for most days of the year. Many people have to get used to these conditions or give up considering London as a city to live in altogether.

The unpredictability of the weather in London also makes many people uncomfortable. Depending on the season, it can start raining at any second, so locals have to carry an umbrella and warm clothes with them at all times.
Whether you’re looking to invest or buy a property in the UK for personal use, we’re here to help
Amit Seth
Managing Director