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Moving To The UAE – What To Expect As A New Expat

The United Arab Emirates has always been popular with expats, and many of them are drawn to places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi because of the lucrative business and investment opportunities available here. The UAE also has a liberal culture compared to its neighbors in the Middle East, and expats find it easier to adapt to the lifestyle here. Here’s what new expats can expect when moving to the UAE.

Tax-free salaries

One of the most popular benefits of living and working in the UAE is the opportunity to earn a tax-free salary. This enables expats to save more, since they earn a higher disposable income. However many expats find that their income can get easily spent on rent, luxury goods and socializing if they’re not careful.Local culture

The dress code of the Emiratis is conservative, and tourists and expats are also expected to dress in a similar manner when in public. It is necessary to dress modestly even when going shopping at the malls or taking a walk. Some malls even display warning signs that people who are dressed inappropriately will be removed. Dressing in a manner that offends public decency may be punishable by a fine or imprisonment, and therefore expats are advised to be mindful and respectful of the local culture.


UAE traffic laws impose strict penalties for violations, which include fines or prison sentences. However road safety can be a problem and the UAE is known to have the highest rate of road fatalities in the Middle East. Some common traffic problems include speeding, unmarked speed bumps and drifting sand on the highways.

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To drive in the UAE, you require a valid driver’s license issued by your home country.

There is a zero tolerance policy towards drinking and driving, and heavy fines or criminal charges can be imposed on those who flout this law.

Public transportation

There is a good system of public transport in the UAE, and it is often affordable and comfortable to get around the place in public buses. There is a separate section reserved for women, just behind the driver.

Travelling by taxi is also very common, and although the charges may vary, it is known to be a cheap mode of travel.


The UAE invests a substantial amount in healthcare, and you can find good quality health services in the form of medical facilities, hospitals and trauma centers across the emirates. Most companies offer their employees some kind of provision for health services. However it is important to be aware of the scope of these provisions and whether they cover you and your family. There are high quality maternal health services available in the UAE and as a result the rate of birth mortality is very low. Medications are more affordable than they are in western countries. But there are stringent anti-narcotic regulations that may also cover certain prescription drugs that

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