Living and Working in the UAE

Living and working in the UAE

Are you exploring the possibility of a move to the UAE or have you already accepted a job offer? Look no further!

In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive information on living and working in the UAE, along with some intriguing facts about the country.

Visas & Permits: To live and work in the UAE, you will require a residency and work permit. Your visa and required permits will be organized by your employer as will your health insurance. A local driving license will be an added benefit – carrying your home country’s driver’s license will be helpful when applying for a local license and your employer will be able to provide you with a NOC letter if required.

Housing & Rentals: The traditional ex-pat package includes accommodation costs, but at times your remuneration package will include an element meant to cover these costs. Popular websites to search for accommodation are:

Transport: The traveling distances within the UAE are relatively short – a trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi takes approximately 1 hour by car.

Car rentals: The documents required to rent a car differ for residents and tourists. For example, rental car companies will usually require residents to submit copies of their passport, visa, UAE driving license, and Emirates ID. Tourists, on the other hand, are required to submit the following documents:

  • Passport
  • Visit visa
  • International driving permit
  • Original driving license from their home country

Public Transport: Traveling within the city limits is pretty good and always improving. There are bus services that run in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The Dubai Metro is also a fantastic and cost-effective way to see the city. Taxis are plentiful and can be picked up roadside or by pre-booking by phone or app. Careem and Uber also operate here.

Schooling & Education: The quality of the UAE’s education system ranks among the top 20 globally and is a big reason ex-pats choose to live here. Your package might include an education allowance for your children and it’s important to consider where you will live and work when looking at schools. Edarabia is a useful source of information when it comes to reviewing school ratings and fees.

Money & Banking: Payment is usually made in local currency and will need a local bank account – your new employer will guide you on how to open a bank account here and provide all necessary documents. All the usual banking facilities are offered (debit cards, credit cards, internet banking, loans, mortgages, etc.) However please note that bad debt, bounced cheques, etc. are taken very seriously by the authorities and can result in criminal proceedings.

Telephone & Internet: The national and private telecom companies across the region provide state-of-the-art telephone and internet services. The payment for these services can be either pay as you go or on the account. Mobile coverage is extensive and very reliable – there are 3 main providers in the UAE – DuEtisalat, and Virgin.

Language: Arabic is the official language of the UAE, but English and other languages are widely spoken and understood in the country. Many other languages are also spoken in the UAE due to the high number of ex-pats in the region – ex-pats make up 89% of the population!

Religion, Culture & Restrictions: The official religion of the UAE is Islam. The culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam, traditional Arab, and Bedouin. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture in particular has a prominent influence on the architecture, music, attire, cuisine, and lifestyle. In November 2021, HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, approved amendments to more than 40 laws in the UAE, the largest legislative reform in its history, effective January 2, 2022.

Dress Code: The UAE has a very varying degree of tolerance to clothing styles. A few legal guidelines are in place to state what is not acceptable by society in the UAE. One should dress modestly during the time of Ramadan to show respect for the local religion and customs. Wearing a headscarf or abaya is not mandatory and in general, you can mostly wear what you like keeping in mind a few of the local guidelines.

Climate: The UAE enjoys a sub-tropical climate and is sunny all year round, with just a few days of rainfall per year. June-September are the hottest months when the temperatures reach up to 45°C. It is very hot during the day along with high humidity levels. The lowest temperature in the winter season is 10°C to 14°C. It should be noted that AC is available almost everywhere indoors!

Must-have Apps: The UAE is a place of convenience and almost anything you need is just a tap away. Here are some apps we suggest you download when you arrive!

  • Government: UAE Pass
  • Taxi’s: Careem | Uber
  • Travel: RTA (Dubai) | DARB (Abu Dhabi) | Waze
  • Food Delivery: Deliveroo | Zomato | Talabat
  • Supermarket, Grocery, and Pharmacy Delivery: Instashop | NowNow | Kibson’s
  • Fashion and Shopping: Noon | Namshi
  • Discounts: The Entertainer | Groupon | Privilee

Things to Do: The UAE has plenty of options when it comes to things to do, whether you prefer a chilled pool day, something high adrenaline or cultural – you will never be bored! Check out WhatsOn and Timeout.

The UAE ranks among the top 10 destinations with regard to the quality of life and services offered and has been voted as one of the best places for ex-pats to settle. Here are some interesting facts about the country:

  1. The UAE is a federation of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. Each emirate has its own ruler.
  2. The UAE is known for its modern and futuristic architecture. Iconic landmarks include the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, and the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, one of the largest mosques in the world.
  3. The UAE has a rich cultural heritage. Traditional activities such as camel racing, falconry, and dhow sailing still hold significant importance, providing a glimpse into the country’s historical roots.
  4. The UAE is a safe country with low crime rates, making it an attractive destination for expatriates and tourists alike. In 2021, Dubai was voted the safest place in the world for a woman to walk alone at night.
  5. The UAE hosts several major international events, including the Dubai Shopping Festival, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Dubai World Cup horse race, and the Dubai Airshow, attracting visitors and participants from around the world.

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