Dubai is an expat magnet, so it isn't a problem finding other expats in Dubai. There are a lot of other aspects of expat life in Dubai that you need to know about. Here are some tips with links to expat reports that will be extremely helpful to settling into this country in the UAE.
Try To Surround Yourself With Expats And Friends
An expat in Dubai advised that she does experience Culture Shock, "but being around my collegues that are also expats helps a great deal. Some had been there for over 2 years already, so they knew all the right places to go, the best restaurants and beaches. Just as any expat does, missing your family and friends is very hard, but Skype helps a lot.
Living In Dubai Takes Patience
One expat shared in a Culture Shock in Dubai report that "if you're from a Western society, get ready for lots of red tape. If you've met foreigners in your home country and were hospitable and open to them, don't expect that in return in UAE. Don't let loneliness put you in an awkward situation with people you wouldn't normally be friends with. All in all, try to remember to have fun and make the best of it.
English Is The Predominant Language
In Dubai, expats speak English more than any other language. One expat wrote in a report that "the local language is Arabic, but in a city of 90% expats from over 150 countries, the common language is English. Have learned a little Arabic, but without the need to use it regularly it's hard to develop any level of fluency. [I] have given up."
Alcohol Is Available But Strictly Regulated in Dubai
One expat reported in a Living in Dubai report that "Although UAE is a Muslim country, alcohol is served in licenced restaurants/hotels to non-Muslims. An alcohol permit could be applied through various alcohol stores (MMI or African eastern) - to be issued by Dubai Police upon approval - which allows you to purchase alcohol from the stores."
Prepare Yourself For The Heat
One expat in Dubai wrote that the heat is one of the most challenging aspects of expat life in Dubai is "the heat - by far the heat. And there is dust on everything especially after even the smallest dust storm. My deck off my apartment is like a beach most of the time!"