Home UAE Forum UAE Guide UAE Resources UAE Real Estate International Jobs
UAE
Resources
City Guides
AGS Worldwide Movers
Join Sign In
International Mail Forwarding with US Global Mail

Future perfect: Living in Abu Dhabi

By International Career Advice & Overseas Employment Tips Blog

Summary: Barely two hours from Dubai lies Abu Dhabi, more culturally sound and peaceful, and the richest city in the world with booming job opportunities!

Future perfect - Living in Abu Dhabi

Want to work abroad but feeling unsure? Looking for a destination that serves as a healthy workplace, with a mixed population, a luxurious lifestyle and an easy transition?

Most people with these requirements immediately think of Dubai. However, barely two hours from Dubai lies Abu Dhabi, more culturally sound and peaceful, and the richest city in the world with booming job opportunities!

The less-marketed capital of the UAE has always had a low profile. The only times we hear about it is when we read about the world’s richest city or check out a list of the most prolific oil producing cities in the world. But Abu Dhabi offers much, much more than that.

Diverse growth opportunities

Abu Dhabi has taken concrete steps to diversify its economy from oil to other industries such as financial services and tourism. While Dubai had to diversify due its exhausting oil supply, Abu Dhabi's plans are well-rounded - for a sustainable, healthy, more secure future. Hence, the city has a number of growing sectors open for jobs in industry, real estate, tourism and retail. While Dubai is beginning to get saturated and is very expensive, Abu Dhabi holds a lot of promise and scope for the near future.

Around & about

People who have been to Abu Dhabi speak of it as a modern city without the urban blandness of Dubai. Beautiful parks, wide roads and tree-lined streets co-exist with tall office and apartment buildings. And there’s plenty of shopping too - with independent shops and shopping malls in abundance. Driving your own car is the most convenient mode of transport, but taxis are also widely used by expats for short rides around the city.

Expats from everywhere

The crowd comprises professionals from the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Philippines, the Indian sub-continent and various Arab countries. This makes the place a veritable melting pot. Apart from Arabic (which is the official language), you can get to hear many tongues here - including English, French, Hindi, Urdu and Bengali.

The main religion of Abu Dhabi is Islam but the people here are tolerant of all religions and for most purposes one can follow one’s own religion without interference. Drinking alcohol and eating pork, though restricted, isn't illegal but available at designated outlets only.

Zip to Dubai

Now, if you want the lifestyle of Dubai complete with the party scene, you can have the best of that as well. Since the two cities are only a couple of hours apart, you could just zip down to Dubai when needed, or live in Dubai and commute to Abu Dhabi for work. A five-lane highway connects the two cities and the 130 km distance can be covered with ease!

The coming boom

In 2005, the Abu Dhabi government established the ‘Plan Abu Dhabi 2030’, which includes development of infrastructure, environment, transport and heritage. The objective is to make Abu Dhabi the most sustainable Arab capital.

Under this, a number of projects have been planned and some are well on their way - these include the Yas Island, a Ferrari park (both of which are already operational and a must-see on any tourist’s list). The Danet Abu Dhabi is a much-awaited development which will feature 36 mixed-use towers, two shopping malls, two mosques, and a five-star hotel. The Saadiyat Island is another much-hyped development as it will be home to the stunning Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi plans to sustain itself through energy resources other than fossil fuels because it believes that the future lies in sustainable, renewable energy resources and plans are to fully develop these sectors by the year 2030.

With all these plans in place, the sectors expected to boom in the near future are:

  • Tourism
  • Real estate
  • Hospitality
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Retail
  • Arts & culture
  • Media
  • Transportation engineering / design
  • Renewable energy (other than the already-existing opportunities in oil and gas)

Go tax-free!

We saved the best for last. If you have a family, then you’d be interested to know that Abu Dhabi offers good educational facilities, cheaper food and, of course, tax-free salaries!

Working life

So how’s life for a working professional in Abu Dhabi? Apart from the very attractive tax-free salaries, companies give about 30 calendar days of leave a year and many pay for annual flights that take you home and back. Some organizations may provide accommodation or may include a housing allowance in your package. Medical insurance is also included for some and complete relocation packages are also available for the more senior positions.

The working week usually begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday.

Contrary to what some may believe, women can live extremely comfortably in Abu Dhabi. They can go out, drive, work and don’t need to wear a veil (though dressing modestly is recommended). Education and healthcare facilities are good too.

Ramadan is a period of fasting for Muslims so restaurants are shut during the day, but the night-time dining during this period is full of zest. Most companies usually work only about four hours a day during this time and the Eid holidays post Ramadan go on for up to a week.

Getting a job

Getting a job in Abu Dhabi is tough even with growing opportunities, as many expats are constantly on the move in the Gulf. But the system is more flexible now and skills aren't as specific as they may be in other countries. So the best way to go about it is sending your CV across to expat career websites, making the right friends and spreading the word. Word of mouth is invaluable here!

Join our UAE Expat Forum

Visit our UAE Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in UAE.

Read Next

7 Important Tips about Healthcare for Expats in the UAE

Expats and people moving to the UAE have lots of questions. Healthcare and health insurance are often on the list. Here are 7 tips about healthcare, health insurance in the UAE, having a baby in the UAE and more.

5 Tips for Living in Dubai

Expats in Dubai will find one of the largest expat hubs in the world. With so many other people from other cultures, it's a location where just about anyone can find a comfort zone with the right frame of mind and amount of effort.

10 Tips for Living in Abu Dhabi

Expats in Abu Dhabi enjoy a unique lifestyle in the Middle East, but the requirements for moving there are very specific. Find out what these are and what it is like to live in this truly diverse city.

About the Author

The author regularly writes for the International Career Advice & Overseas Employment Tips blog on Teleportmyjob.com, featuring content that is of interest to jobseekers looking to move their careers to destinations other than the one they currently live in.

AGS Worldwide Movers

Write a Comment about this Article

Sign In to post a comment.

Comments about this Article

Barnes
Aug 9, 2011 03:09

First of all, I certainly agree that Abu Dhabi is an excellent place to live; it is more conservative than Dubai and it is more liveable. One does not "zip" to Dubai. That drive is horrendous most hours of the day with constant traffic. Though the speed limit tops out in Abu Dhabi at 140/kph, Dubai slows down to 120/kph and the automatic speed detection devices are ruthless and the tickets are high. Only the most patient of people would enjoy driving this route daily. This is a place where young people, 23 to 35, can find jobs easily. Women should feel comfortable here, but they older they become the more difficult it is to find a position. Unless you are highly qualified in a specific field, over 40 is difficult. Men have more ease in working here and can obtain positions until retirement. Expats should remember that they are guests in this country. As such, they have very few rights. As one friend said, "Living in the UAE is like having one had full of gold and the other full of crap. You have to decide which one affects you more." For some, it never affects their lives, while for others it is just too much. I love this country and its people. The locals are wonderful.

guest
Aug 15, 2011 21:56

I might be relocating to Bahrain. Does anyone know anything about the place? Are there lots of Americans there? john C

First Published: Aug 07, 2011

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-Abu-DhabiAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Abu Dhabi, UAE

One expat who moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE explains that moving to a Middle Eastern country is so different to other European countries. And, he feels that the greatest challenge is understanding how and why things happen in the workplace.

One expat who moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE explains that moving to a Middle Eastern country is so different to other European countries. And, he feels that the greatest challenge is understanding how and ...

7 Important Tips about Healthcare for Expats in the UAE

Expats and people moving to the UAE have lots of questions. Healthcare and health insurance are often on the list. Here are 7 tips about healthcare, health insurance in the UAE, having a baby in the UAE and more.

Expats and people moving to the UAE have lots of questions. Healthcare and health insurance are often on the list. Here are 7 tips about healthcare, health insurance in the UAE, having a baby in the ...

5 Tips for Living in Dubai

Expats in Dubai will find one of the largest expat hubs in the world. With so many other people from other cultures, it's a location where just about anyone can find a comfort zone with the right frame of mind and amount of effort.

Expats in Dubai will find one of the largest expat hubs in the world. With so many other people from other cultures, it's a location where just about anyone can find a comfort zone with the right fra...

5 Things to Know Before Moving to the UAE

Expats in the UAE talk about what they wish they had known before they moved to the UAE - from bringing gardening tools to making friends, healthcare to culture shock.
Expats in the UAE talk about what they wish they had known before they moved to the UAE - from bringing gardening tools to making friends, healthcare to culture shock. ...

8 Expats Discuss Culture Shock & Diversity in the UAE

Expats in the UAE talk about the country's incredible diversity, friendly people and family-oriented culture. Some of the downsides of life in the UAE - the heat and fact that platonic relationships between men and women are non existant.
Expats in the UAE talk about the country's incredible diversity, friendly people and family-oriented culture. Some of the downsides of life in the UAE - the heat and fact that platonic relationships ...

UAE Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal