The whole of the UAE is home to over 200 nationalities, with Emiratis making up roughly 20% of the total population. It’s such a popular destination for Expats. This list will tell you all you need to know about moving to Abu Dhabi.
What is it known for?
The capital of the UAE is a culturally unique city on the shore of the Arabian Sea. Abu Dhabi has been the traditional home of the federal government. The emirate owns 95% of the UAE’s oil production. As a result, the city provides a wealth of opportunities to ex-pats by allowing residents to live tax-free.
Abu Dhabi Island is the centre of the city, connected to the mainland by three bridges and surrounded by several smaller islands. The last decade has seen the city concentrate on developing its tourism, education, financial and cultural sectors.
Things to know before you go
Before you go to the UAE, you will need to apply for a visa. Most noteworthy, you will need a work permit, residence visa and an Emirates ID card. Often employers will apply for the visas for you and once granted, they last for up to two years. To get a residence visa for your family, you will need to show you earn at least AED 4,000 a month.
Information to know once you arrive
The main airport in the city is the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the second-largest in the UAE after Dubai. Another important detail to know before arrival is the currency, which is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs) and is pegged against the US dollar at US$ 1: AED 3.6725.
Arabic is the leading language spoken in Abu Dhabi, with English generally spoken throughout. As well to English, the other common languages spoken are Farsi, Hindi and Urdu.
Where to live?
One of the most desirable areas to live in the city is The Corniche on Abu Dhabi Island. The area is home to many mixed-use developments, hotels and malls. Similarly, the highly sought-after modern luxury developments found on other islands such as Al Reem prove very popular with Expats. Saadiyat Island is currently being developed with a host of villas and high-end apartment blocks and will be home to about 160,000 residents.
While most Expats move to one of these Island suburbs, there are plenty of suburbs on the mainland suitable for potential Expats, such as Khalifa City along the Abu Dhabi – Dubai Road.
The climate of the UAE features a desert climate with hot summers and cold winters. Most days are sunny and pleasant except in the middle of the summer season (July – August) when it is VERY hot in the UAE.
As a result, the nicest period is during wintertime, which runs from October to March. The weather is moderate and pleasant during this time, making it ideal for sightseeing and outdoor activities.
Moving to Abu Dhabi with family
The UAE is a very family-friendly country and a place you can make a fresh start with your spouse and children. Fortunately, English is widely spoken in Abu Dhabi, which makes the initial move more comfortable.
Family is highly valued throughout the United Arab Emirates, and this will give you a simple way to bond with locals and new colleagues. As for Education in Abu Dhabi, private or international schools are abundant, so there is plenty of option for your kids.
What is the food in Abu Dhabi like?
Brunch is very popular in Abu Dhabi, and beyond in the UAE. It is not uncommon for people to settle for double or even triple brunches in one day. Yes, you read that correctly, some people will repeatedly jump from one brunch to another once the weekend comes round.
One staple food found all over the region is the national fruit: dates. You will see these fruits being sold everywhere and will often find them incorporated into local recipes. As well as these regional delicacies, you will be able to access almost every type of dining in Abu Dhabi, from high-end to fast food. Because of its diverse population, Abu Dhabi has a plethora of different cuisines, as you’d find in any big city.