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6 Expats Talk about Living in the UAE

Betsy Burlingame

Summary: 6 expats talk about the expat life in the UAE and how to meet people in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai
Souk Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai

Expats talk about meeting people in the UAE and what life is really like for expats living in the UAE - there are numerous support groups for moms; groups for Irish, American, British and other expat groups; clubs at local hotels and many others.

The Expat Lifestyle in the UAE

What is it like living in UAE? Here is what people had to say:

In Dubai, an expat talked about life there, "People (expats) work hard and play hard, live revolves around malls and shopping, socialising, attending events/concerts, some major sports events are happening during the winter season, Rugby 7, Dubai Horserace, Dubai Duty Free tennis, etc," one expat said.

"Though Abu Dhabi is more traditional compared to its glitzy sister Dubai, and family values/activities are stressed, nightspots are available for singles as well. It's an easier gig for families, as so much of life for an American expat here revolves around the ACS American Community School. They have a veritable cornucopia of activities and events planned for both students and their parents," reported one expat.

An expat in Al Ain described the expat lifestyle saying, "Life definitely revolves around work. Otherwise, it depends on if you are single, have children with you (and their age), etc. Singles often like to go to Dubai on the weekends for fun, sun, dance, shopping, friendships, etc. Families usually stay in the Al Ain area. With the clubs to join at the hotels, and other activities that many of them discover, there is sufficient activities for people not to get bored. There is a lot of socializing, too. Schools have a lot of after school activities, sports, dance classes, etc., and often have recitals and presentations. Married couples, and singles who do not enjoy the party/night life, join clubs and organizations in Al Ain, socialize among themselves, etc. We spend a lot of time at the mall, sitting and talking, too. Many people like to camp in the various Emirates as well. There are churchas and religious gatherings. Some of us organized Bible Studies, and we're active in our churches."

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Meeting Other Expats in the UAE

Expats living in UAE talked about meeting people in UAE and local clubs and organizations:

Expat groups in Dubai include British Mums Dubai, American Moms in Dubai, Irish Mums Dubai, Dubai Irish Exchange, The Real Brits in Dubai and Americans Living in Dubai

In Abu Dhabi, one member mentioned, "AWN American Womens Network (primarily Americans, but all are welcome..can tend to be a bit highbrow), WIAD Women in Abu Dhabi (A very international flair, this ladies group does some serious traveling!)." Abu Dhabi Mom's Run This Town - She Runs This Town is a worldwide running organization that has a group in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Mums, Bumps and Babes Abu Dhabi and British Mums Abu Dhabi are some of the female-focused expat groups in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Movie Club is another fun club.

"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," responded another expat. An expat in Al Ain listed a number of places to 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."

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder of Expat Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Some of Betsy's more popular articles include 6 Best Places to Live in Costa Rica, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and 7 Tips for Obtaining Residence in Italy. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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First Published: Oct 07, 2018

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