So you're moving to The United Arab Emirates

A recent HSBC survey ranked the UAE as the third best place in the world for expatriates. High scores given for financial opportunity, lifestyle, and children's successful integration contribute to the UAE's place as a comfortable place for foreign assignees and their families.

Well, before you start here are our 10 top pieces of information for expats:

  1. Despite higher living costs, tax free salaries and the vast oil wealth are a huge pull on expats with 65,000 British expats and 45,000 Americans living in the Middle Eastern State.
  2. The UAE is a sub-tropical desert climate. It gets extremely hot in the summer with daytime averages above 40°C (113 °F)
  3. A valid passport and visa are required for almost all visitors to the UAE. Business travellers must hold a passport that is valid at least six and tourists' passports must be valid for a period of at least three months from date of arrival. There is no information on immigrant visas
  4. As a major expat hub there are many languages spoken in the UAE; English is widely spoken among business people and in expat areas but the official language is Arabic.
  5. The Muslim calendar follows the lunar cycle, and is 10 or 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar. Year One is based on the Hegira, Mohammed's flight from Mecca to Medina, rather than the birth of Christ. Therefore, 2013 on the Western calendar equals the end of 1433 and the beginning of 1434 on the Muslim calendar.
  6. The UAE is a federation of seven autonomous Emirates. Its estimated 2014 population was nearly 9.5million of which 87% are expats, making UAE nationals a minority.
  7. The Burj Khalifa, in Dubai is the tallest man-made structure in the world, at 829.8 m, however it will soon be over taken by the Kingdom Tower in Saudi+ Arabia which is due to measure 1,000m.
  8. The UAE’s currency is the Dirham (Dh) which is made from 100 fils.
  9. The UAE is extremely rich in oil and the majority of its economy is based around exporting oil and gas.
  10. The UAE has experienced a greater level of civil unrest since the Arab Spring, however this is usually contained within the residential districts of natives.


Once you are settled, explore the wonders of the UAE it is a unique country and a great place for friends and family to visit! 

Register with us FOR FREE to access comprehensive information about The UAE, including the following:


Moving to The UAE: Passports and Visas
A valid passport and visa are required for almost all visitors to the UAE, with some exceptions for citizens of certain countries…

Moving to The UAE:  Buying a property

Foreigners are not permitted to buy property or buildings in Abu Dhabi, but may do so in Sharjah, Ras-Al-Khaimah, and a section of Dubai…

Whether renting or buying, using serviced apartments can give you time to find the right property. 

The World of Expats Property Search tool gives access to over 37,000 properties available to buy in The UAE.

Moving to The UAE:  Choosing a school

There are a number of schools in the three principal expatriate living areas - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah - catering to the international student…

Moving The UAE: National Healthcare

Medical care is free for UAE citizens, and the fees for expatriates are reasonable, although doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment…

Moving to The UAE: Everyday living

Native cuisine is of a Persian derivation, consisting of carefully prepared poultry, lamb and beef, often served with rice and fresh herbs. Fresh fish and seafood are also plentiful…

Moving to The UAE: Social Environment

The climate and extensive beaches allow expatriates an opportunity to enjoy the slower pace of life and the sun and sand. There are many clubs with private beaches, fitness centers and a variety of sports facilities…

Moving to The UAE: Social customs

The traditional greeting in the UAE is a handshake while saying ‘Salaam Alaykem’ – peace be with you. ‘Wa Alaykem Salaam’ – and peace be with you is the response…


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