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Living in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

39 local experts

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Abu Dhabi, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked 39 people living in Abu Dhabi what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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39 comments on “Abu Dhabi”

Welcome to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. This thriving city offers a multicultural environment, a strong job market, iconic landmarks, and a vibrant leisure scene. With its blend of tradition and modernity, Abu Dhabi promises a safe and enriching experience for both residents and visitors.

The cost of living in Abu Dhabi is generally considered to be high. Accommodation, particularly in popular areas, can be quite expensive, while other factors such as transportation, dining out, and entertainment also contribute to the overall cost. However, salaries and benefits offered by employers often align with the higher cost of living, helping to maintain a good quality of life for residents

Abu Dhabi is known for being a safe city with low crime rates. The local government takes extensive measures to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors. There is a strong presence of law enforcement, surveillance systems, and strict adherence to regulations, contributing to the overall sense of safety in the city.

Abu Dhabi offers a vibrant and diverse nightlife scene with a range of entertainment options. From trendy bars and lounges to upscale clubs and live music venues, there are plenty of choices for those seeking nighttime activities. Many hotels also feature bars and nightclubs with a lively atmosphere. However, it’s important to note that Abu Dhabi adheres to Islamic traditions and has regulations regarding alcohol consumption and dress codes, so it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with local customs and guidelines.

Abishek NAveen, says: 2023

Although they now have trade visas available if you don’t have a job, it can be challenging to live here without being sponsored by a company for a work visa. There are many expats who come here to work. Missing a genuine art & culture scene – very little intellectual stimulation.

Helena, says: 2023

One of the safest cities in the world. Shopping malls are fabulous. Lots of hotels and resorts with perks for families. Brunches are aplenty. Very multicultural. One negative is if you’re Asian, you are often stereotyped as a nanny or housemaid. Another issue is that the salary of nannies and maids is very low compared to the job they are doing in the house. International schools are very expensive, but some companies offer educational allowances as part of the package.

Anyway, Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. Its population consists mostly of expats who work in healthcare, gas and oil, construction, hospitality, tourism, etc. Out of the 10.17 million people who live here, almost 69% are male. Out of the total population, 1.5 million live in Abu Dhabi, while the rest are scattered amongst the other six emirates. Only around 12% of the UAE’s total population are Emiratis, and the rest are expats, with 27% of them coming from India. Most people settle here for longer periods due to better job opportunities and the benefits companies offer. Islam is the main religion, but other religions are thriving here.

The weather out here is very hot and humid which makes it harder to work outdoors. Moreover, being able to speak the native language here makes things much more easier in every aspect. One must be prepared for the hustle since life in this city is always so busy. However, make sure to always abide by the regulations of the the city since there are heavy fines imposed on even the slightest violation.

Abu Dhabi is a big city with many things to offer. Be sure to have your umbrella with you when walking because the heat of the sun is very itchy to skin. Also, there are a lot of CCTV because the local government wants to make sure the safety of their people and to monitor the traffic. This city is a safe place to live in.

Jayson, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It’s also an archipelago, as it consists of about 200 islands stretching along the coastline. Although officially Abu Dhabi was established in 1790, the archaeologists found the traces of human habitation that date back to more than 3,000 years ago.

Fatima, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the largest of the seven emirates federation. Year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, spectacular sand dunes and pulsating cosmopolitan lifestyle await every guest in Abu Dhabi. This emirate known around the world for its massive oil reserves and majestic mosques with towering minarets. These, combined with the distinct Arabic hospitality and mystique – and world-class infrastructure – make Abu Dhabi an excellent destination both for the experienced and novice traveller.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and it has a hot and humid climate. People who visit should know Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s largest mosque, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. It encompasses a large industry of oil and gas, which is the main industry of the Gulf region. Abu Dhabi is a peninsula, including almost 200 islands.

Leveriza, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is an amazing place. There are amazing malls to visit such as Yas mall. The parks that we have are one of the best in the world which has the fastest rollercoaster in the world and one of the most beautiful, largest mosques too. And there is a recreation of the Louvre that has a good amount of art that should be valued.

Working hours and culture are significantly different compared to Europe or other countries. The start of the working week in Abu Dhabi is Sunday and Friday is considered the day of rest – non working day. In edition, most companies and employers work six days a week. This is now typical when accepting a job contract within the UAE.

Abu Dhabi is a compact city and all residential areas are connected. We have small grocery shops in every community while malls have large hypermarkets. For tourism purposes this city is not highly rated but does have a few hidden gems like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Yas island is 20 minutes of commute from the main city where main amusements parks are located.

Daffnie, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is very hot here. make sure to bring light clothes. Also, since it is usually hot here, you can go to the beach often. Another useful thing to consider is to have a nol card which you can use to travel with bus and it is cheaper than using a taxi.

Abu Dhabi is a city of gold at night. It has many tourist spots to offer including the popular Ferrari World. The most creative and presumptuous architectural buildings offers a lot of amazing experience in indulging the glamour of life. It has a calm and peaceful city where you can live with no hesitation. The more you visit explore the more you love the place.

Elaine, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is one of the safest cities in the world. It is the capital of a developed country, which is the United Arab Emirates. The people/locals have a deep respect for their religion and culture herein. Abu Dhabi is a great place to visit or to reside for employment purposes.

Juwairiah, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi has a specific acceptable dress code in public. There are restrictions on displays of public affection. There is a lot of freedom and respect for all communities, nationalities, and religions. Architectural delights are everywhere. You will be amazed by the pace of development here.

Sukrit, says: 2020

People moving to Abu Dhabi should be mindful of the city’s rich culture and traditional values. For example, the local population is exceedingly proud of Abu Dhabi’s early tribal history and values close familial ties. Newcomers to Abu Dhabi should know these values permeate the world of business, and it is often crucial to be respectful of the city’s traditional family-focused weekend time.

Siriya, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is a rich country. A lot of Filipinos, Indians, Pakistani, Italians are living here for work. Professionals have a good salary. You must know the government rules before going here to avoid high-pay fees. There are a lot of places to stay and sometimes a company provides it already for its employees.

If someone moves to Abu Dhabi, they should know that the city has amazing summer weather all year long. The city is full of leisure, at is it filled with many attraction parks, a Formula one racetrack, and several historical landmarks.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. It is the best place for family. The best climate starts from October till April and rest of the months are summer. There are a lot of free parks to enjoy your weekends and a lot of malls for shopping. and expat supporting government.

One thing a person moving to Abu Dhabi should consider is the cost of living. Some apartments here are quite pricey, especially if one is just starting to work here. Another thing I think people should consider is the weather. It is hot in the UAE, reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius sometimes. Some might be used to cold weathers, so moving here would be a difficult adjustment for them.

Perviz, says: 2020

Anyone who comes to Abu Dhabi must know that it is a warm and welcoming place. It has many places to visit, even though it is a family oriented place. It is also the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It has many tourist spots and is a gemstone in the making. It is ideal for adventure and to build a home.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, although, many people actually think that Dubai is the capital city. Abu Dhabi is family oriented and had a very welcoming atmosphere. Currently, it is summer in the UAE where temperatures are reaching 40 degrees plus; it is extremely hot and we have to avoid going outside in the strong sun and heat.

Lovely, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi City is one of the safest place, peaceful where you can stroll along corniche, relax on some beaches. People here are religious and well mannered. Offered a lot of work in regards to Health care and Engineering and Informatics Technology. The most convenient means of transportation in the city center is the taxi or public bus. Adjustments in living and working here is very easy.

Abu Dhabi is known for its rich culture, vast golden deserts, flavorful food and beautiful cities, but one thing that stands out is the hospitality of the locals. You feel at home everywhere you go and welcomed regardless of your race or social status. We are all equals in front of God, so we are equals among one another too is their principle saying.

Abu Dhabi comprises around 90% of expats. But despite outnumbering the locals, residents have always adhered to the strict laws of the country. Moving to Abu Dhabi, one has to consider that the country is Muslim, and although it is an open city, the utmost respect for their religion is expected from all citizens and residents.

Definitely know about the Formula one races! It is an extraordinary auto event that gathers participants and spectators from absolutely all over the world! It happens once a year, on the 29th of November. There are more attractions though, most prominent of which might be the Louvre of Abu Dhabi. Those who appreciate art will find it remarkable!

Abu dhabi is a very nice place. For those who wants a better job I recommend my city. There is so many place here you can stay. Many affordable and convenient rooms for rent. The people here was nice and friendly and there’s so many groceries and supermarkets and no traffic.

Abu Dhabi is a well-disciplined city. Although It’s rules are strict, Citizens and Residents in this city are polite especially the government. They are helping the city and the citizens to make this country not only the city a better place.

Abu Dhabi is a modern, beautiful, and vibrant city that offers something for everyone. There are pros and cons to living in any city around the world. Abu Dhabi too has its cons. The cost of housing is very expensive in the city which is why it is one of the five most expensive cities to live in the world.

Iuliana, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is where 2nd largest mosque is. Everyone is allowed to explore this wonderful mosque which is embezzled by gold but should be appropriately dressed by Abaya. It is also where the famous Ferrari World is where you will find the fastest roller coaster in the planet and the Formula 1 track, the Yas Marina Circuit.

Najdah, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It has several points of interest such as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Ferrari World, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Corniche, Saadiyat Island, among many others. It is about an hour and a half away from Dubai, which is famous for having the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Jhasper, says: 2020

What most people do not know about Abu Dhabi is that, it is not only a City, but also an Emirate which is part of the United Arab Emirates (Country). Abu Dhabi is the largest among the seven Emirates even though Dubai is more of a well-known tourist destination.

Of course, Abu Dhabi is a melting pot for lots of different nationalities. you will never feel yourself out of place or “the odd one”. But if you do, please read your papers and contracts carefully, as there are a lot of rules and casual laws which are not set in stone, but rather are a subject of discussion every time they arise. I would also recommend to have quite a time on your hands, as all official documents take quite a bit of time to be prepared.

Zulfiya, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It is a very conservative place so therefore you should be ready to abide to a lot of there laws. it is quite a hot and humid area but you will enjoy your experience.

If moving to Abu Dhabi, know it is a bit expensive. You must behave and avoid troubles as the laws are strict. Avoid taking pictures in public if there are people in the background.

Arlene, says: 2020

I’m always happy to share my experiences of living in Abu Dhabi, I feel qualified to share what I know about coming to Abu Dhabi for people moving.

This will probably be shocking at first. Although weekends in a lot of countries in the world take place on Saturday and Sunday, this is not the case in the UAE. The working week starts on Sunday and weekends are on Friday and Saturday.

Those moving to Abu Dhabi have probably already heard how hot the city is. However, people can’t understand just HOW hot it really is until they move to this Emirate. With summer temperatures often hitting the high 40 degree Celsius.

With all this being said, it’s vital to know life in Abu Dhabi will never include a boring day. Whether hustling around the city trying to get things done, meeting people from all over the globe or desperately trying to be cautious not to break any rules life in Dubai means a new adventure daily.

Chandana, says: 2020

As far as my knowledge about this city goes, it is one of the most, if not, the best city I have been. It has everything I could ask for, and it has a really good neighborhood, not that crowded, nor it is underpopulated. The rules are also amazing! Everyone seems to follow and respect it, just what I expected from a first world country!

Abu Dhabi is a vibrant city, filled with numerous parks, shops, and skyscrapers. Being the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi is a social and cultural hub. People of many nationalities come together to live in peace and harmony. Home to many architectural wonders such as Yas mall, and Ferrari world, Abu Dhabi remains an extremely popular tourist destination.

Frances, says: 2020

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Anyone contemplating a move to the city for residency purposes must check if his or her employer can provide suitable accommodation close to the office. Another important thing to remember is to be in a zone with lots of free parking slots any time of the day.

Katharine, says: 2020

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