What It’s Really Like to Live and Work in the UAE

The UAE has long been a draw for people from all over the world due to its constant growth, the luxurious lifestyle it promotes, and the cultural diversity of its people. While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are seen as the epicenters of this unique lifestyle, there is much more to the UAE than these two cities. The UAE is made up of seven Emirates: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Fujairah, and Umm al-Quwain, each with its own unique charm.

Most expatriates find living in the UAE to be a very rewarding experience. With a well maintained security system, year round sunshine and a huge amount of incredible entertainment facilities on offer, the UAE offers its residents an extremely high quality of life. While most of the country is made up of desert, every facility is built for the heat of the summer, with large scale central air conditioning systems common throughout every building. The winter months offer the perfect climate with pleasantly warm days and cool evenings.

UAE might be to some individuals an expensive place to live, with accommodation costs similar to other large cities around the world. Despite this, there are many financial benefits, such as tax-free salaries and extremely low taxation on grocery, vehicles, and electronics.

In an environment as culturally diverse as in the UAE, all kinds of unique experiences are to be found. Although the official language is Arabic, English is spoken everywhere. The week is a little different than most expats are used to. Sunday is the beginning of the work week, and the weekend is Friday and Saturday. The native population and other Arab nationals make up less than 30% of the population, yet their devotion to tradition and ritual still remains strong, even in the world of business. There are a number of cultural differences such as attire and conduct. While there are some negative connotations about the region, the reality is that the UAE is one of the safest locations for all in the world, and any cultural differences don’t impact on expats day to day lives.

Overall, the UAE is an extremely welcoming place. The country prides itself as a progressive, modern and open place to live for all cultures. There is an abundance of international schools available for expat children and Emiratis alike. Thanks to the cultural melting pot that is the UAE, expats will build connections all over the world without ever leaving the UAE, and the great work opportunities available will provide an enriching experience like nowhere else.

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