12 Tips for Living in Abu Dhabi, UAE
An expat talks about what it's like living in Abu Dhabi - stifling summers, lots of shopping malls and very little crime.
Expat Life in Abu Dhabi
Usually for job opportunities. The UAE is growing at an impressive rate and the majority of their work force is expat.
Cost of Living in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Cost of living is pretty high, but there is a huge variety of income ranges and shops that cater to them. You can live a life of opulence and luxury, or get by quite well on a variety of cheaper options.
We found that paying for our kids education was the greatest expense.
Local Clubs and Organizations
Abu Dhabi has the British Club which requires a paid membership. They cater to expats, predominantly British but not exclusively, and offer facilities and parties and restaurants. There are a variety of golf, equestrian, rugby and sports clubs. All require an annual membership fee but are quite easy to get into and accessible.
International Schools in Abu Dhabi
The education industry has boomed over the last 10 years with all manner of international schools and colleges. GEMS have many schools offering British and American curriculum, there are Canadian school, American and British schools as well as Indian and Philippine schools. They really do cater to everyone. Most schools accessible to expats are private. Government schools tend to be almost exclusively arabic and local
Shopping in Abu Dhabi
Most people get their groceries from large chains such as Geant or Carrefour. British brands such as Marks and Spencers, Spinnies and Waitrose are also very popular. Lulu's is hugely popular but seems to be a local brand that import a lot of American products and are quite reasonably priced.
As far as clothing stores go, there is very little that you can't get.
Taxis are the easiest and most accessible, however the bus service is extensive and reliable. There are plans for a train and to extend the metro from Dubai, but this iant available yet. Their public transport system is growing in leaps and bounds and is still a work in progress
It is Hot! Summers are stifling and humid, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees Celsius and humidity hitting 80%.
Winter is gorgeous. Temperatures can drop to about 9 degrees Celsius but usually stay in the high teens and low 20's. It very seldom rains, when it does it is a joyous occasion.
Restaurants and Nightlife
There are a lot of your typical chain reatuarants, pf changs, california pizza kitchen, ruby tuesdays, ihop, McDonalds, burger king etc... just about everything you might want. You can also find local restuarants and really good iranian and indian food.
What are local hospitals and emergency services like?
Hospitals are clustered in the city. On the outskirts they are less frequent, but you are never more than a 20 minute drive away from a hospital. There are private and government hospitals available, expats typically go to the private hospitals. Quality of care is high, hospitals are held to international standards and have expat nursing staff and doctors.
Expat Health Insurance in UAE
Expats interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.
Recreational Activities in Abu Dhabi
Golf at yas links golf club, the al ain golf, equestrian and rugby club is popular, crossfit gym with some of the worlds top athletes at Vogue fitness on yas island, a huge array of water parks and theme parks that offer memberships...
Residency and Visa Requirements
You need to have a sponsor, typically your employer sorts this part out. A medical exam with tests for hiv, tb, etc... police record,
Crime in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Crime is minimal and really low on the typical list of concerns. Petty theft can be a problem in some areas, perhaps some scamming... we didn't really experience anything
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