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An Expat Talks about Living in Al Ain, UAE

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What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Al Ain

How long have you lived there?

2 years

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Major international hotels are (in order of my preference) the Intercontinental, Hilton, Rotana, Mercure Jebel Hafeet.

The Palm Resort has a Rugby Club and Golf Club and both are good value.

Have a look at the Living in Al Ain thread on the British Expats site in the Middle East Forum, it is a very popular thread and full of information about events, schooling, life in general.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

Al Ain is much more traditional than Dubai or Abu Dhabi - so you will see more of true Emirati culture. The Emirati are a very closed culture and men and women do not generally socialise together. if you can make a few Emirati friends and be invited into the inner sanctum you will be very welcomed and valued, however it is not easy to do that. Most of the population in the Emirates is Indian - over 50% and the Emirati are a very small percentage (maybe 12-15%) so it is very multicultural here.

Islam is the main religion and permeates all aspects of life here - and it is very peaceful and non-threatening.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

It seems to get a job here (that pays anywhere near a decent wage) you must have a degree (minimum) qualification. Usually you will apply for a job from outside the country and come in under the sponsorship of an employer. If your spouse or partner wants to find work it is available, but you won't have the selection of jobs that you will have in the West.And there is no job advertising so word of mouth is how you will find one. You really have to talk to a lot of people!

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Al Ain is a great city to live in and offers many things to see and do. Expats get together frequently for quiz nights, to watch sporting events, meet for coffee in the malls. Life is varied and interesting.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Do it! you will love it if you bring an open mind and some patience and don't expect things to be like it is 'at home'.

The temperatures here are extreme - up to 58-60 degrees in summer! Winter is very pleasant.

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