flag United Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates: Living

In this page: Communities of Expatriates | Ranking of Cities | Renting an Apartment | School System | Health System | Tourism and Culture | Individual and Civic Freedoms | Religion


Communities of Expatriates

The Number of Expatriates
The expatriate community represents 78.1% of the total population of the UAE. These immigrants are mainly of South Asian origin (Pakistan and India), as well as from Iran, Afghanistan and other Arab countries.
Blogs For Expats
Forum on life in the Emirates
Hotel reservation websites
Emirati society
Immigration Authority
Emirati Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Transportation Companies For Moving/Removals
Choose & Move
Crown Relocations

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Ranking of Cities

Cost of Living
According to the latest available edition of the Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings Survey by Mercer, Dubai and Abu Dhabi are ranked 18th and 43rd respectively out of 227 cities worldwide in terms of cost of living.
Quality of Life
The latest available edition of Mercer Quality of Living Survey ranks Dubai and Abu Dhabi 74th and 78th respectively out of 231 cities worldwide.
Hotel reservation websites
Quality of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)
Cost of Living Worldwide City Rankings (Survey by Mercer)

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Renting an Apartment

Average Lease Term
Generally the leases are made for a period of one year and are renewable.
Average Rental Costs
The annual rent must be paid in advance in most cases. It should be verified that maintenance and air conditioning costs are included in the rent. It is further necessary to subscribe to civil/fire/water damage liability insurance (cost: around EUR 240).
Rental Agency Websites
Cluttons Abu Dhabi Rental Agency
Hotel reservation websites
Website for expatriates

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School System

The Education System
Enrolling children in public schools can be difficult. Teaching is mainly in Arabic.
International Schools
International schools (e.g. teaching in English or French) are numerous in the Emirates. They are recognised and offer good quality education. School hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. from Saturdays to Wednesdays.
Hotel reservation websites
Ministry of Education

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Health System

The Healthcare System
Public hospitals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi offer good health care services and can treat most injuries. Most hospitals have the latest equipment and qualified staff.
International Hospitals
Most expatriates opt for treatment in private hospitals.
Health System Insurance Body
Emirati General Pension and Social Security Authority
Health Ministry
Ministry of Health

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Tourism and Culture

Different Forms of Tourism

Dubai Museum, mosques and old forts of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
There is a partnership with the Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi, which plans to open a branch of the museum there. This project has been repeatedly postponed but is expected to open at the end of 2016
4x4 tours of the desert.
There is little religious tourism, except maybe at the huge Sheikh Zayed mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Beaches around Dubai are very beautiful and the hotel complexes developed around them are high-class. Women are formally recommended not to wear bikinis on public beaches. Being topless or naked is prohibited on all beaches of the country.
Winter Sports
There is an artificial indoor ski station in Dubai.
Outdoor Activities
It is possible to play golf in Dubai, which is a famous destination for this sport. Diving has much to offer due to the rich marine life. Fishing is also practised as a sport. Finally, the UAE is reputed for horse riding.
The gold market offers a good price level and shopping malls are tax-free.

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Individual and Civic Freedoms

Civil Liberty
World Ranking of Freedom of the Press According to "Reporters sans Frontières", 2021 report : 131/180

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Official religion: Islam.
Muslims: 76%; Christians: 9%; other (mainly Hindus and Buddhists): 15%

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Latest Update: April 2024