Moving to Mumbai?

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Moving to Mumbai

If you are planning on moving to Mumbai, you might be in for a few cultural surprises. The InterNations Guide on moving to Mumbai offers valuable information on visa requirements, health and safety issues, and more. Get advice on relocating to India’s “unofficial capital” here!
Beautiful structures like this one are visible all over Mumbai.

Moving to Mumbai, you might be about to embark on one of the biggest adventures of your life. Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is widely regarded as India’s second capital which is not surprising considering it is both India’s richest and most populous city. Every year, it attracts thousands of migrants from other regions of India and foreign employees from abroad.

Due to India’s rise to economic power on the global stage, Mumbai is fairly popular among expats. They usually flock to this city in order to work for one of the many multinational companies, which have been moving to Mumbai for the past few decades in an attempt to tap the vast Indian market.

Mumbai: Seven Islands Becoming One

When you depart for Mumbai, you can look forward to living in a vibrant and multicultural city. If you have never been to India before, moving to Mumbai might present less of a challenge compared to moving to other Indian cities. Expatriates can expect one of the highest living standards in India as well as a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The capital of the Maharashtra state lies on India’s west coast. Originally, the place was a combination of seven individual islands. The ultimate goal of merging the seven islands was achieved in around 1840. After this point, the local economy began to experience constant growth. About a decade later, the arrival of the passenger railway brought in never-ending streams of people moving to Mumbai from other parts of the country.

Today, the decision to move to Mumbai is mostly made for economic reasons. Despite the initial culture shock that most foreign residents experience, language is the one thing expats moving to Mumbai need not worry about. Among the many languages spoken on the streets, e.g. Hindi, Marathi, and Gujarati, English is one of the most common and prevails in the white-collar business world.

The tropical climate, on the other hand, is often seen as one of the negative aspects of life in Mumbai due to its infamous distinctly wet and dry seasons. Temperatures rarely drop below 20°C and often exceed 30°C. During the Monsoon season from June to September, expatriates moving to Mumbai should be prepared for heavy rainfall.

Relatively Safe but Expats Are on Constant Alert

Mumbai is considered a comparatively safe place. During the past two decades, however, it has increasingly become the scene of religious tensions and a target of terrorist attacks. For example, the horrible 2008 attacks left over 160 people dead and 300 victims wounded. In 2011, three coordinated explosions killed another 26 victims and injured 130 others.

While there are no official warnings, foreigners in Mumbai are generally made aware of this potential threat by the Foreign Office of their respective home countries. Expats are advised to stay alert when visiting public places that attract large numbers of people, such as markets, festivals, and sports events, or venues which are frequented by foreigners, such as hotels or embassies.

Please keep in touch with your general consulate in Mumbai for up-to-date safety advice.

Vaccinations: The List Is Endless

As in most tropical climates, common health risks for Mumbai residents include vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and chikungunya (another tropical fever). Precautions against mosquito bites should always be taken. Expats planning to stay in Mumbai for an extended period of time might want to consider taking malaria prophylaxis as a precautionary measure.

Additional immunizations for hepatitis (type A and B), typhoid fever, meningitis, pneumococci, and rabies are also recommended. You should refresh all standard vaccinations, such as tetanus, polio, diphtheria, MMR, pertussis, and influenza, too. The existing risk of cholera infections and diarrhea can be avoided by abiding by strict food and personal hygiene guidelines.

Always take out an insurance policy with an international health insurance provider before moving to Mumbai. Private health insurance is definitely the most secure option for expats moving to India.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Jan-Peter van Tijk

"I was searching on the internet for valuable tips on Bombay. Then I found InterNations and was surprised by its quality site."

Nellie Collins

"Bombay is definitely different from from the States. InterNations became my international home and my local 'family' of expats in no time."

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