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Abu Dhabi: Expats Guide On Moving To UAE

Abu Dhabi is the capital and second-most populous city of the United Arab Emirates (after Dubai). The city is located on an island in the Persian Gulf, off the Central West Coast.

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. 

guide to moving to UAE

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 weather

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. 

Another reason to go to Abu Dhabi is that Laundryheap operates there! We offer the people of Abu Dhabi a same-day laundry and dry cleaning collection with free next-day delivery.

laundry service

To learn more about Laundryheap, visit our website or download the free app on iOS or Android!


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8 Things Expats Should Know Before Moving To Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a beautiful city with amazing architecture and serene canals. If you’re planning to move to Amsterdam, here are a few things you should know and some tip to prepare yourself.

8 Thins Expats Should Know Before Moving To Amsterdam

  • It rains A LOT 

The weather in Amsterdam is dull most of the time and the sun rarely comes out. So be prepared for regular gloomy weather consisting of rainy days and wind. It’s best to always bring around an umbrella to prepare for unexpected rain.

Don’t let the weather stop your plans though. One thing for sure is that the rain doesn’t stop locals from biking around, as long as they have a raincoat or umbrella, they’re good to go.

  • Get used to cycling!

There are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are people! Cycling is the main form of transportation. You’ll notice that although there are cars to be found, the city is not entirely car-friendly. Besides everyone uses a bike to get from point A to B, no matter what the occasion is.

  • Beware of bike thieves

The crime rate is very low in Amsterdam, except for bike theft. It’s common to be in a situation where you will own a few bikes in a year because your bikes get stolen, just ask the locals! Thieves will also steal just your bike wheel or bike seat. So, it’s best not to own such an expensive bike and make sure you have good bike locks. 

  • Housing isn’t the best

Living in Amsterdam is very pricey due to the growing population of expats and because of this, it can be difficult to find a place to rent. With such a big population for a small city, chances are you might find a place you actually like, only to find out that many other people are interested in it too and have given in their documents. In addition, housing properties will come unfurnished and you should expect to buy all the appliances you need, including the floor!

  • Credit cards aren’t well supported

Just know that credit cards are useless in Amsterdam (or in the Netherlands in general) when going to local supermarkets, museums or eateries. You can use debit cards that use the Maestro, Cirrus or Plus system. Otherwise, you must always carry around either cash or use a dutch maestro card.

  • Learn some Dutch

Most locals speak fluent English, but it isn’t their native language. The TV channels, signs, everything, is in Dutch. Although it can be easy to communicate by speaking English, you’ll feel more a part of the local community if you learned how to speak Dutch. It will help expand your social circle with the locals, rather than other expats or foreigners.

  • Work life balance is important

Dutch people value their personal time and so the work culture is incredibly healthy and balances out well with personal life. It’s normal for parents to take a day off work to focus on quality time with their families or work part-time. Companies are also flexible in terms of letting you work from home because of family obligations or commute problems.

  • Shops close early

In general, most shops close by 5 and supermarkets by 9pm, so you’ll have to run errands between 9-5 during workdays and 11-3 during the weekend. If you need to go to the bank or you have government appointments, you’ll have to go between 9-5. This is isn’t so much of a big deal since you can take a day off from work to run errands.

These are only some things to be prepared for when moving to Amsterdam. Despite a few negatives, there many more positive aspects to living in Amsterdam.

If you’re in need of a reliable laundry and dry cleaning service in Amsterdam, Laundryheap will happily collect, clean and deliver your clothes within 24 hours.


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5 Useful Apps For Expats In Dublin

Dublin is a small but largely populated county, everything is accessible but, as an expat, you still have to get used to how things work. From getting around to discovering new places, here are 5 apps that you may find useful if you’re living in Dublin.

5 Useful Apps For Expats In Dublin

To start with, you’ll definitely need a transportation app for getting around. It is especially useful and convenient if you want to visit the smaller towns just outside Dublin.

The Irish rail app lets you plan your journey and gives you real-time information on arrivals, departures and delays. It also includes DART trains.

Irish Rail: iOS and Android

Dublin’s Luas is a lightrail/tram service, great for when you’re navigating around the city and to tourist destinations.

Luas: iOS and Android

Unfortunately, Dublin’s bus services aren’t that reliable in terms of arrival time. So, it will be super helpful to download the bus app to check routes, see the timetable and plan bus journeys. You can also use it to check your fare. This app is only available on iOS.

If you want to keep up with the latest movies, TV shows, events and more, in Ireland including Dublin, this app gives you all the information you need to stay updated. This app is available on iOS and Android

Living in Dublin can be pretty pricey, especially when it comes to buying or renting properties. Daft lets you search for houses, apartments and other properties that are on sale and available for rent. It also allows users to put their property up for sale too. Get the app on iOS and Android

For days when you have a massive pile of laundry that you need to catch up on or for emergencies, you can schedule a collection with Laundryheap for a helping hand. Collection and delivery is free and it’s all done within 24 hours. Download the app on iOS or Android.


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8 Things Expats Should Know Before Moving To Dublin

Dublin is no doubt a beautiful county in Ireland with rich history. Whether you’re planning to temporarily or permanently move to Dublin, here are 8 things you should know before moving there:

  • Dublin is extremely international

In Dublin, you’ll find expats from all over the world and because of this diversity you will be able to find a whole variety of cuisines, from authentic Nigerian food to Portuguese cuisines. Many international companies HQ’s such as Google and Facebook can also be located in Dublin.

  • They are super friendly

It’s normal in Dublin or anywhere in Ireland to randomly talk to strangers and have a nice chat with them. Irish people in general are very welcoming and polite in their speaking. They’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction if you get lost.

  • Everything’s accessible! 

Getting around is easy from the bus, DART (train), Luas (lightrail/tram), bikes and taxi. You can even  walk from one end of the city to the other in just 30 minutes and nature is always at close proximity.

  • Buses don’t follow the schedule

Unfortunately, the buses are not exactly the best in terms of arriving when they should. Buses don’t actually follow the real-time information that you’ll see on the screen, so they can be pretty unreliable. Despite this, people still thank the drivers anyway.

  • ‘Your Man’ doesn’t actually mean your man.

If you’re having a conversation and the phrase ‘your man’ comes up, that doesn’t actually refer to your man but it refers to ‘a man’ or ‘that guy’.

  • The Pub Culture

You can find many, many pubs in Dublin and all across Ireland really. The pub is a great place to gather, not only to have a few pints but to relax and just enjoy! It is a great place to meet new people and socialise. 

  • The weather is unpredictable

Much like the British weather, you’ll never know what the weather will be like throughout the day. It can be rainy at some point and then sunny the next. You can expect to have dull weather most of the time though.

  • The ‘Craic‘ and banter

People love to be merry and know how to have a fun time. You’ll never find them bored or having nothing to say. ‘Craic’ is a term for news, fun, stories, entertainment etc etc. Basically anything that is not boring. You’ll often here the question ‘What’s the craic?’ or ‘what’s the story?’ as a replacement to ‘how are you?’, in which your reply should be a super exciting and interesting story.

Whether you live in Dublin or are just visiting, if you need a reliable laundry service, Laundryheap will happily collect, wash and deliver your clothes all within 24 hours.


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5 Useful Apps For Expats In Amsterdam

Living as an expat anywhere in the world can start off as a bit of a struggle. If you’re a new expat in Amsterdam, here are some apps that will help you out in your day-to-day activities. 

5 Useful Apps For Expats In Amsterdam

For getting around Amsterdam or anywhere else in the Netherlands, this app helps you to plan journeys on all public transport. The app will provide real-time information so you can check arrival times and it also stores frequently used locations so you don’t have to keep re-entering the same locations. Available on iOS and Android.

If you’re often using the dutch railway, this app will show you real-time train departure and arrival times. Easily plan your route by checking the timetable of any station and get a summary of planned works and disruptions. Available on iOS and Android.

A convenient way to do grocery shopping from the comfort of your own home. Picnic is the cheapest online supermarket that offers a huge range of products all at your fingertips and includes free next day delivery. Available on iOS and Android.

Want food delivered to you instead of having to cook? This app allows you to easily order any cuisine you want from restaurants that are in your local area. You can view the menu and simply choose what meal you want to eat. You also get the option to pick-up your food. Available on iOS and Android.

For days where you don’t feel like doing the laundry or just don’t have the time for it, Laundryheap will collect, clean and deliver your laundry within 24 hours. They’ll also iron already cleaned laundry and they offer dry-cleaning services too. Download the app on iOS or Android.