There are many things to consider when deciding on a move to Abu Dhabi. At the forefront of many expats' concerns are culture, the emirate's education system and the cost of living.
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions that expats have about moving to Abu Dhabi.
Is the cost of living in Abu Dhabi really that bad?
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi, overall, is relatively high. However, as with anywhere in the world, an individual’s cost of living is all dependent on their particular lifestyle and family situation. Expat salaries for highly skilled and senior-level management jobs are usually high and it’s worth noting that salaries are tax-free. Accommodation and education will be the two most prominent monthly expenses for expats living in Abu Dhabi.
Will I experience any culture shock in Abu Dhabi?
Even though Abu Dhabi is a multicultural environment where expats make up the majority of the population, Abu Dhabi is still a conservative Islamic emirate and expats coming from more liberal countries may struggle to adjust to this.
Will it be difficult to make friends in Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi, like all areas in the UAE, claims a larger expat population than local one. As a result, there is plenty of opportunity for newcomers to find others who share their language, nationality, ethnicity, background and interests.
How important is it to speak Arabic in Abu Dhabi?
Arabic is the national language of the UAE, but English is the business language, and most signs and documents are published in both. This means it's possible to get by without speaking more than a few words of Arabic – but there is no doubt one can make a real impact in business and social dealings by learning to speak conversational Arabic. So few expats make the effort to do so, that it is the simplest and most effective way to stand out in a positive manner.
Can I ship my pets to Abu Dhabi?
It's possible to ship pets to Abu Dhabi but given the heat and the likelihood of living in an apartment, large animals will not have a high quality of life. On the plus side, there are no quarantine laws.
Are you an expat living in Abu Dhabi?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Abu Dhabi. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
Cigna Global Health Insurance
With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider. Cigna is currently offering a 10% discount for seniors (over 60) on their Silver package.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.