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Abu Dhabi is it worth it?

Toni Carr's picture
By Toni Carr - Posted on
23 February 2012
whats this deal like to be able to live and save - family of four (2 adults and 2 children) 30,000 to 34,000 – Basic + 9,800 to 12,500 – Housing ( all in AED) Benefits Medical Insurance + Air Tickets ( For Self and Family) + Children Education allowance(As per Standard Scales) + Relocation Allowance i really want to accept however not if we wont be able to live? Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks x
Stephanie's picture
Last seen: 4 years 50 weeks ago
Joined: 19/04/2010

Living in:
Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte, North Carolina (the USA)

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Hi Toni-

At first glance it looks good. Housing allowance will land you a sizeable apartment or off-island villa, so no need to renegotiate that. Medical insurance is standard. As far as education is concerned - make sure they give you a figure here, and enquire if they can help you with enrollment. Abu Dhabi is notorious for its seat scarcity, and tuition can be killer - at least 50,000 AED per student for some of the better schools. Also, keep in mind each adult will need a car - public transport in the emirate is not really sufficient. Thus, that's two leases you're looking at - which amount to at least 2500 AED per month for modest vehicles. Still though, you should be able to live quite comfortably, and still put some money away each month. 

Have a look at the Expat Arrivals Cost of Living section for more info.
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Anonymous's picture

Hello, Im an american medical ultrasound tech who is thinking of accepting a contract in Abu Dhabi. Can you tell me what the living and working conditions are like?
Diane Doherty, Denver, Colorado, USA

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Catherine's picture
Last seen: 2 hours 19 min ago
Joined: 08/03/2012

Living in:
South Africa

South Africa

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Hi Diane

Abu Dhabi is considered a safe environment, with a vibrant lifestyle and lots of opportunities for shopping and entertainment. The emirate is bound by the same Muslim mandate throughout the UAE and expats may take time to become accustomed to the local cultural and conservative norms. The cost of living in Abu Dhabi is steep and jobs are not as plentiful as they once where, but if you are thinking of taking up a contract there, you will find a thriving expat community. We have plenty of information on living in Abu Dhabi, so be sure to check out our Moving to Abu Dhabi page, which will give you some insights into the living and working conditions in Abu Dhabi.


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princepetra's picture
Last seen: 4 years 33 weeks ago
Joined: 16/03/2012


My situation is pretty much like Toni's except that the basic is pretty much less (26,840AED), my family composition is 6 (2 adults and 4 kids) and an education allowance of 35,000AED per kid (from age 5 to 18yrs).

Considering my very conservative lifestyle, can I expect to save between 60-70% of the monthly salary? Again, is age 5 the minimum school age?...


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Anonymous's picture


I hope you dont mind me asking but are the figures being quoted her per month or annual?

I am in the process of accepting an offer of employment however I am struggling with the money side of things.

Thanks Sarah

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Anonymous's picture


I am hoping to accept an offer of employment in the next few days with my current employer to relocate to Abu Dhabi.

I am doing some research into the cost of living etc so I know what is a good offer etc.

Can I ask are the figures quoted above monthly or annually?

Thanks in advance


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