Living in the UAE
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a country in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Arabian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. It also shares sea borders with Qatar and Iran.
It is made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Qwain. Abu Dhabi, the capital, is the state's centre of political and cultural activities.
The UAE’s official religion is Islam and the official language is Arabic. English is also spoken by the majority of people.
The UAE enjoys warm weather conditions all year round. July and August are the hottest months of the year, with average maximum temperatures above 40 °C (104.0 °F) on the coast. Average minimum temperatures in January and February are between 10 and 14 °C (50 and 57.2 °F).
The UAE is an extremely family-oriented society and very child-friendly. It offers first-rate education in many different curriculums. There are numerous high quality healthcare institutions throughout the country.
The UAE also provides a secure and peaceful environment for families. The crime rate is very low compared to other industrialized nations.
RESTAURANTS & FOOD
The great variety of restaurants in the UAE is a true reflection of the cultural diversity that can be found in the city. From traditional Emirati cuisine to spicy Indian food, there are cuisines to suit every palate. You will also find a multitude of cafes, where you can enjoy coffee while lazing on cushions and nibbling on some delicious dates that the region is known for.
When it comes to supermarkets, expats usually have no problem finding a lot of the brands and products they are used to in their home country.
If you are a sports enthusiast, you will love the UAE. Not only are there many beaches, parks and other outdoor settings that are conducive to an active lifestyle, but there are also a multitude of high-end facilities and organized events. Golf, swimming, tennis, squash, badminton, water sports, cricket, rugby, football, sailing and many more activities are available in private clubs, hotels and public areas.
The country also offers great desert landscapes, where expats can experience dune bashing, leisurely drives and camping.
For those who like watching world-class sporting events, there is the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Al Ain International Aerobatic Show, Dubai Tennis Championships, the Dubai World Cup (horse racing), the Rugby Sevens World Cup and many more events all year round.
Although the country was only founded in 1971, the UAE has a vast and rich cultural heritage. Visitors can familiarise themselves with local culture through the many souqs, museums, mosques and other venues available in each Emirate. There are also several guided tours that can help expats discover the wealth of the country’s history and customs.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR EXPATRIATES
The UAE is a very progressive country; however it is built upon solid social and religious values that may differ from Western nations. Anyone planning to move to the UAE should be mindful of the following:
• Although UAE Nationals have their national dress, the dress code is relatively flexible for visitors. However, it's recommended to dress in a style that is sensitive to local culture. Men generally wear long trousers and a shirt in public.
• Women’s attire in public (as opposed to hotels or private clubs) should cover the shoulders, upper arms and knees. Western bathing suits can be worn at hotel and club swimming pools and beaches
• Drugs are not permitted and there is zero tolerance for its possession
• The UAE is very liberal with regards to women: they are encouraged to be educated, seek engaging work and they play an important role in society
• Muslims will break for prayer during the day – this should be taken into consideration when scheduling meetings or other work-related activities