Living in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates is a unique experience that offers a blend of traditional Middle Eastern culture and modern amenities. With its stunning architecture, luxurious shopping malls, and vibrant nightlife, Abu Dhabi is a popular destination for expats worldwide.
As an expat in Abu Dhabi, you will have access to world-class healthcare, education, and entertainment facilities. The city is home to some of the region’s best international schools and universities, making it an excellent choice for families with children.
Additionally, Abu Dhabi offers diverse job opportunities across various industries, making it an attractive destination for professionals looking to advance their careers.
However, it’s important to note that living in Abu Dhabi comes with unique challenges. The city’s hot and humid climate can be difficult to adjust to, especially during summer.
Additionally, expats may need to navigate cultural differences and language barriers while living in the UAE. Nonetheless, with its welcoming community and high quality of life, living in Abu Dhabi can be a rewarding experience for those up for the challenge.
The Emirate and Its Capital City
Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Emirate of Abu Dhabi is in the Middle East and borders the Arabian Gulf.
Abu Dhabi is the largest of the seven emirates and covers an area of approximately 67,340 square kilometres. It is home to a diverse population of roughly 2.9 million people, including UAE nationals and expatriates worldwide.
Abu Dhabi is a modern and cosmopolitan metropolis that has developed significantly recently. It is home to some of the world’s most impressive architecture, including the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Etihad Towers.
In addition to its modern amenities, Abu Dhabi is steeped in history and culture. Visitors can explore the city’s many museums and galleries, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.
Overall, Abu Dhabi is a vibrant and exciting city that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, or modern amenities, you will find something to enjoy in this dynamic city.
Understanding the Culture
Let’s explore it now.
Religion and Customs
Abu Dhabi’s culture is rooted in the region’s Islamic traditions and its foremost message of peace. The UAE’s official religion is Islam, and it is an integral part of daily life in Abu Dhabi. Visitors and expats are expected to respect Islamic customs and practices. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, and non-Muslims are expected to refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during the day.
In addition to Islamic customs, Abu Dhabi is home to a diverse population with various cultural backgrounds. It is essential to respect local businesses and traditions, such as dressing modestly in public places, particularly when visiting mosques or other religious sites.
Language and Communication
Arabic is the official language of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, but English is widely spoken and understood, particularly in business and tourist areas. Many expats find it easy to get by with just English, but learning a few basic Arabic phrases to show respect for the local culture is always appreciated.
It is also essential to be aware of the call to prayer, which is broadcast five times a day from mosques throughout the city. This is a significant part of Islamic culture and should be respected by visitors and expats.
Understanding and respecting the local culture is essential when living in Abu Dhabi. By being aware of customs, language, and communication, expats can integrate into the community and enjoy all the city offers.
Housing and Accommodation in Abu Dhabi
Here is what you need to know.
Rents and Sales
Housing in Abu Dhabi offers a range of options, from apartments to villas and from low-cost to luxury. The rental market is more common than the sales market, with most expats choosing to rent rather than buy. Rental prices vary depending on the property’s location, size, and amenities.
According to Property Finder, the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Abu Dhabi is around AED 5,000 to AED 7,000, while a three-bedroom apartment can cost between AED 10,000 to AED 15,000 per month. The average sale price for a one-bedroom apartment in Abu Dhabi is around AED 1 million.
Popular Residential Areas
Some of the most popular residential areas in Abu Dhabi for expats include:
- Al Reef: Located on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, Al Reef offers affordable housing options, including apartments and villas, with access to amenities such as swimming pools, parks, and supermarkets.
- Khalifa City: A popular choice for families, Khalifa City offers spacious villas with gardens and private pools, as well as access to schools, malls, and healthcare facilities.
- Saadiyat Island: Known for its luxury properties, Saadiyat Island offers beachfront villas and apartments and access to cultural attractions such as museums and galleries.
- Al Reem: Located on Abu Dhabi Island, Al Reem offers apartments and villas with access to amenities such as parks, schools, and shopping centres.
When choosing a residential area, it is essential to consider factors such as proximity to work, schools, amenities, and the type of property and budget. Working with a reputable real estate agent who can provide guidance and support throughout the process is also recommended.
Cost of Living
Abu Dhabi is known for its luxurious lifestyle but comes with a high cost of living. Expats moving to Abu Dhabi should be prepared for an increased budget to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Various factors, such as accommodation, food, and transportation, influence the cost of living in Abu Dhabi.
Utilities and Bills
Regarding utilities and bills, electricity, water, and internet costs are relatively affordable. However, air conditioning bills can be high due to the hot climate in Abu Dhabi. Expats can expect to pay around AED 500-800 monthly for a two-bedroom apartment’s utility bills.
Groceries and Dining
The cost of groceries and dining in Abu Dhabi can vary depending on where you shop and eat. Expats can find supermarkets like Carrefour, Lulu, and Spinneys offering a range of products at reasonable prices. However, imported products can be expensive due to import duties. Expats can expect to pay around AED 300-500 per week on groceries for a family of four.
Dining out in Abu Dhabi can be expensive, especially in high-end restaurants. However, affordable options, such as local Arabic restaurants and fast-food chains, are available. Expats can expect to pay around AED 50-100 for a meal at a mid-range restaurant.
Overall, the cost of living in Abu Dhabi can be high, but expats can maintain a comfortable lifestyle with proper budgeting and planning. Researching and comparing prices before making any purchases or commitments is essential.
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Regarding cuisines, Abu Dhabi offers diverse options, including Arabic, Indian, Chinese, and Italian. Expats can explore the local markets and street food stalls to experience the authentic flavours of Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Employment and Income
Let’s find out.
Abu Dhabi has a thriving job market, with many opportunities for skilled expats and professionals. Most expats who relocate to Abu Dhabi do so with an employment contract in place.
The best ways to find a job abroad are to register with local recruitment agencies and peruse the employment sections of the local newspapers, such as Gulf News, Khaleej Times and The National. Scouring company websites job portals, and networking via social media sites can also be beneficial.
Salaries and Taxes
The average salary in Abu Dhabi is around 21,000 AED per month. Salaries range from 4,680 AED (lowest average) to 96,400 AED (highest standard, maximum actual wage is higher). The compensation you can expect will depend on your profession and experience level. High salaries are expected in finance, oil and gas, and healthcare industries.
Income tax is not levied on individuals in the United Arab Emirates. However, businesses are subject to corporate tax, set at a flat rate of 5%.
Abu Dhabi offers a range of employment opportunities across various industries. Some of the top sectors in Abu Dhabi include finance, oil and gas, healthcare, construction, and tourism. The government invests heavily in technology and innovation, creating opportunities for skilled expats in these sectors.
Abu Dhabi is home to many multinational corporations, making it an attractive business location. The government offers various incentives to attract foreign investment, such as tax exemptions and subsidies. The ease of doing business in Abu Dhabi is also improving, with the government implementing various reforms to streamline the process.
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi offers a thriving job market with high salaries and various employment opportunities. The absence of income tax makes it an attractive location for skilled expats and businesses.
Abu Dhabi Education and Family Life
Very important for your kid’s future.
Schools and Education
Abu Dhabi has an excellent education system catering to locals and expats. Various options are available, including public, private, and international schools. The Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) oversees the education system in Abu Dhabi and ensures that all schools meet the required standards.
Many preschool and kindergarten options are available for families with young children. Some of the most popular preschools in Abu Dhabi include:
- British Orchard Nursery
- Chubby Cheeks Nursery
- Little Smarties Nursery
For older children, there are many excellent schools to choose from. Some of the best international schools in Abu Dhabi include:
- American Community School
- British International School
- GEMS World Academy
Family and Community
Abu Dhabi is a family-friendly city that offers many activities and events for families to enjoy. There are many parks and playgrounds throughout the city, as well as family-friendly restaurants and cafes.
The community in Abu Dhabi is also very welcoming and friendly. Families can join many expat groups and clubs to meet new people and make friends. The Abu Dhabi Family Forum is an excellent resource for families, as it provides information on events, activities, and services for families in Abu Dhabi.
Overall, Abu Dhabi is a great place to raise a family. With its excellent education system, family-friendly activities, and welcoming community, it is no wonder that many expat families choose to call Abu Dhabi home.
Lifestyle and Entertainment
Abu Dhabi offers a rich and diverse lifestyle with plenty of entertainment options for expats and locals. The city has something for everyone, from leisure activities to dining and nightlife.
Abu Dhabi has a range of leisure activities to keep you entertained. The city is home to the world-famous Louvre Abu Dhabi, an art and civilization museum showcasing various international exhibits.
If you want something more active, you can explore the city’s beautiful mangroves, beaches, and parks. For adventure seekers, the city offers dune bashing, skydiving, and hot air ballooning.
Abu Dhabi is a food lover’s paradise, with various restaurants serving international cuisine. From fine dining to street food, the city has it all. You can enjoy traditional Emirati cuisine, Arabic dishes, and international flavours worldwide. Shisha is also a popular pastime in Abu Dhabi, with many cafes and restaurants offering the standard Middle Eastern water pipe.
Abu Dhabi has a vibrant nightlife scene, with plenty of bars, clubs, and lounges. You can enjoy live music, DJs, and dancing at various venues across the city. The city’s many hotels also offer bars and nightclubs with stunning views of the city skyline. However, it’s important to note that alcohol consumption is strictly regulated in Abu Dhabi, and it’s essential to respect local customs and laws.
In summary, Abu Dhabi offers diverse leisure activities, dining options, and nightlife venues. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or entertainment, the city has something for everyone.
Transportation and Commuting
Abu Dhabi offers a range of public transport options, including buses, taxis, and the metro. The public transport system is relatively new but is growing and improving rapidly. The bus system, in particular, is extensive and offers affordable and accessible options for all.
The local trips (inside the city) cost AED 2, while regional trips (suburbs) cost AED 2 plus AED 0.05 per kilometre. Inter-city trips cost AED 10 plus AED 0.1 per kilometre. To use public transport, you can register for the Hafilat card, which costs AED 10 and can be recharged online.
Traffic and Driving
Abu Dhabi is a relatively uncongested city to drive around, and most parts take 20-30 minutes to get to. However, traffic can be heavy during peak hours, especially on the main highways. The city has an extensive network of roads and highways, and driving is the most common mode of transportation. The streets are well-maintained, and the city has strict traffic laws enforced to ensure road safety.
If you plan to drive in Abu Dhabi, you must have a valid driving license from your home country or an international one. Following the traffic rules and regulations is essential, as the penalties for traffic violations can be severe. Additionally, it is worth noting that parking in the city can be challenging, particularly in busy areas, and parking fees can be high.
In conclusion, Abu Dhabi offers a range of transportation options, including an extensive bus network, taxis, and the metro. Driving is also a standard mode of transportation, and the city has an excellent network of roads and highways. While traffic can be heavy during peak hours, the streets are generally well-maintained, and the city has strict traffic laws enforced to ensure road safety.
Safety and Security
Abu Dhabi is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the world, making it an ideal place to live. The city has a meagre crime rate, and the government has made significant efforts to ensure that residents and visitors feel secure.
The police force in Abu Dhabi is well-trained and equipped to handle any situation. They are evident throughout the city, which helps to deter criminal activity. In addition, several emergency services are available, including ambulance, fire, and police, which can be accessed by dialling 999.
The government of Abu Dhabi has also implemented several initiatives to ensure the safety and security of its residents. The Aman electronic system is one such initiative which allows individuals to report any security concerns they encounter. This information is then used to assist security agencies in preventing precisely planned crimes and locating criminals.
Moreover, Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure is well-maintained, contributing to the city’s overall safety. The roads are well-lit, and plenty of pedestrian walkways make it easy to get around. The city also has a very efficient public transportation system, which is safe and reliable.
It is worth noting that while Abu Dhabi is a safe city, it is always essential to take precautions to ensure your safety. This includes being aware of your surroundings, avoiding walking alone at night, and keeping your valuables secure. By accepting these simple steps, you can enjoy all Abu Dhabi offers with peace of mind.
Climate and Environment
Keep in mind.
Abu Dhabi has a hot and arid climate with high humidity levels throughout the year. The city experiences two main seasons: a hot season and a cool season. The hot season lasts from May to September, with temperatures ranging from 35°C to 48°C. The humidity levels during this season can make it uncomfortable to be outdoors.
The cool season lasts from December to March, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. The weather during this season is pleasant, and it is the best time to visit Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi has several natural attractions that are worth visiting. The city is home to several parks, gardens, and beaches. The Abu Dhabi Corniche is a popular attraction, offering stunning views of the city skyline and the Arabian Gulf. The city has several parks and gardens, including the Al Ain Oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The oasis is home to over 147,000 date palms and is an excellent place to learn about the traditional agricultural practices of the region.
Abu Dhabi also has several wildlife reserves, including the Sir Bani Yas Island. The island is home to over 10,000 free-roaming animals, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, and giraffes. Visitors can take guided tours of the island to learn about the local wildlife and conservation efforts.
Abu Dhabi has taken several measures to protect the environment and reduce pollution. The Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi, also known as Tadweer, is responsible for waste management services in the city. The government has also launched several initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable development. The city has several green spaces and parks, which help to improve air quality and provide a natural habitat for wildlife.
Overall, Abu Dhabi has a hot and arid climate with high humidity. The city has several natural attractions, including parks, gardens, and wildlife reserves. The government has taken several measures to protect the environment and reduce pollution levels in the city.
Living in Abu Dhabi as an expat can be a unique and rewarding experience. The city offers a vibrant and diverse expat community, with people worldwide coming together to enjoy the city’s many attractions. Abu Dhabi expats can often find like-minded individuals who share their interests and hobbies, making it easy to build a strong social network.
The expat community in Abu Dhabi is also known for being welcoming and friendly. Many expats find that they can quickly settle into their new life in the city, thanks to the support and guidance of their fellow expats. Many social groups and clubs cater to expats, making meeting new people easy and making new friends.
Relocating to Abu Dhabi as an expat can be smooth and straightforward, thanks to the city’s efficient infrastructure and supportive government. The city is home to many relocation companies that specialize in helping expats move to Abu Dhabi, offering services such as visa assistance, housing search, and cultural training.
One of the key benefits of relocating to Abu Dhabi is the city’s high standard of living. The city is known for its modern amenities, world-class healthcare, and excellent education system, making it an attractive destination for expats with families.
While Abu Dhabi is generally an accessible city to live in as an expat, there are some bureaucratic hurdles that expats may need to navigate. For example, obtaining a residency visa can be time-consuming, and expats may need significant documentation to be approved.
However, the government of Abu Dhabi generally supports foreign nationals living in the city, and many resources are available to help expats navigate the bureaucracy. For example, the Abu Dhabi government has launched an online portal that allows expats to access government services and information quickly.
Overall, expat life in Abu Dhabi can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. With a vibrant expat community, efficient relocation services, and a supportive government, Abu Dhabi is one of the top 10 Middle East countries for expats.
Frequently Asked Questions
People also ask.
Where to live in UAE?
Abu Dhabi offers various neighbourhoods catering to different lifestyles and budgets. Some popular options include Al Reem Island, Khalifa City, and Saadiyat Island. It’s essential to research each area and consider factors such as proximity to work, schools, and amenities before deciding.
Living in Abu Dhabi as a single man?
Abu Dhabi is a safe and welcoming city for single men. There are plenty of social activities and events to meet new people, including expat groups and sports clubs. However, being aware of cultural norms and respecting local customs is essential.
Abu Dhabi expat salary package?
Expats in Abu Dhabi can expect a competitive salary package that includes benefits such as accommodation, healthcare, and annual flights home. The exact package will depend on the industry and level of experience.
Cost of living in Abu Dhabi?
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi can be high, especially for housing and transportation. However, salaries are generally higher to compensate for this. Budgeting carefully and taking advantage of cost-saving measures such as carpooling and shopping at local markets is essential.
Living in Abu Dhabi as an American?
Abu Dhabi is home to a large expat community, including many Americans. The city offers a high standard of living and various cultural experiences. It’s essential to be aware of cultural differences and respect local customs.
Is Abu Dhabi an excellent place to live?
Abu Dhabi offers a high standard of living, with modern amenities and a safe environment. The city is also home to various cultural experiences and a diverse population. However, it’s essential to research factors such as cost of living and cultural differences before moving.