Living in the UAE

Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance
Allianz Care International Health Insurance

By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Feb 10, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees talk about what it is really like living in UAE. They offer advice about meeting people, cost of living, finding a home and more.

What do I need to know about living in the UAE?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to the UAE, they said:

"Negotiate a VERY comprehensive relocation package with your prospective employer, including school, housing, transportation and travel allowance, in addition to a generous salary, because the cost of living is not cheap here," said another expat in Abu Dhabi.

"Come with an open mind in regards to religion. Leave your cultural and racial baggage back home (figuratively speaking, of course). Show respect for the moderation of dress, even though you might see sooo many who rudely flaunt scandalous and scanty dressing. Be ready to deal with some heavy population and traffic situations that only get worse with time. Talk with an expat living here before you make any decisions about employment, housing, etc. They can give you tips to avoid getting gouged or led in the wrong direction," added another expat who made the move to Abu Dhabi.

"Do it! you will love it if you bring an open mind and some patience and don't expect things to be like it is 'at home'. The temperatures here are extreme - up to 58-60 degrees in summer! Winter is very pleasant," explained one expat living in Al Ain, UAE.

"Since you will probably be far from family, be sure to connect with people in Al Ain who come from your country. You need to have friendships and contacts with those who have something in common, your holidays, traditions, religion, etc. These people become your 'family.' They will help you adapt to your new homeland. Someone told me this before I moved there. he was right. I didn't realize how right he was until my 2nd year there when I met and befriended some people, who were like me in many ways (fun, easy-going, like to dance, willing to be patient with our new home country and embrace it), and found more satisfaction than I did my first year with those I befriended in my first month in UAE. It did a lot for my morale to find 'the right friends.' But, don't be too picky about friends. Do not expect your job and life to be wonderful all by itself. You may have to be tolerant of things taking a long time to get addressed/answered. Patience will go a long way in UAE. It's better for the blood pressure if you learn to be patient, to the utmost. Find activities to become involved in so as not to always be 'stuck' inside. Enjoy everything around you, camel rides, the Al Ain air show, beauty of the desert, the mountain Jabel Hafeet, the date palm trees, etc," mentioned another in Al Ain.

"Remember your purpose of coming to the city, many cases you earn lots but also spends lots," explained one expat who made the move to Dubai.

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

How do I meet people in the UAE?

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William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

William Russell Health Insurance

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Learn MoreGET A QUOTE

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 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, 12 Things to Know Before Moving to The Dominican Republic and the Living in Panama Guide. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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