International Destination Report

12 Tips for Living in Abu Dhabi, UAE

By Brittychris

An expat talks about what it's like living in Abu Dhabi - stifling summers, lots of shopping malls and very little crime.

12-Tips-for-Living-in-Abu-Dhabi,-UAE

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.

Public Transportation

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

Climate

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.

International Health Insurance in UAE

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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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GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
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Join our UAE Expat Forum

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

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Comments & Questions

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GeoBlue International Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote

Get a quote for expat health insurance in UAE from our partner, GeoBlue.
Get a Quote Call  

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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.

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Support your favorite restaurants in Abu Dhabi as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

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An expat in Abu Dhabi talks about the quality of healthcare, recommends American hospitals for their standard of care, explains that many people skip the doctor and get prescription medicine from the pharmacy.

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An expat talks about living in Abu Dhabi - from socializing in the golf scene to the shopping mall culture. Factors to consider: the heat and high cost of living.

Culture Shock in Abu Dhabi

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.

7-Important-Tips-about-Healthcare-for-Expats-in-the-UAE7 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.

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