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Pros and Cons of Living in the UAE

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By Betsy Burlingame

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats and digital nomads have to say about the pros and cons of living in UAE.

What are the pros and cons of living in the UAE?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in the UAE responded:

"I love Dubai. I it a safe clean city. Goof for kids. Education, health, housing all services are great. It is a great city for Muslims and non- Muslim," said another in Dubai.

"Here in Dubai life it's totally different because there is people from all over the world living and working here, so Dubai it's 100% tourist city," explained one expat in Dubai.

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What do expats in the UAE appreciate most about the local culture?

"The friendliness of the Emirati people. I have been made more welcome in the UAE that in several parts of the UK I have visited," explained one expat.

"Although I don't like modern architecture, you just can't help but marvel over the buildings and beautiful water fountains. The Burj Khalif is out of this world and the fountains below are better than the ones in Las Vegas - (Designed by the same guy) Everything is over the top in style and beauty," said another person in Dubai.

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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.

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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.

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What do expats find most challenging?

"Moving to a middle eastern country is so different to other European countries, the greatest challenge is understanding how and why things happen in the workplace. One expects differences in food and the day to day shopping, bargaining etc. Working in Government I was and still am to a degree, challenged by the completely different way of internal working when compared to the UK. The language is a barrier, but it is also the unwritten codes of the tribes and families, the office politics etc which pervade every thing, every day," explained one expat living in Abu Dhabi.

"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," said another expat in Dubai.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

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