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Abu Dhabi- A Life In The Capital

Abu Dhabi- A Life In The Capital

by Lauren Yates

Abu Dhabi

Stunning architecture of the modern world- ✔️ 

A charismatic culture- ✔️

A large thriving multicultural expat community- ✔️

Abu Dhabi- the list doesn’t stop there…

One of the richest, most opulent cities in the world, Abu Dhabi spans across 200 islands making it the largest Emirate in the territory. Voted the safest city in the world this year and many previous, this city is a cool combination of old meets new, culture meets technology, extravagance meets innovation.

Abu Dhabi certainly holds its own against some of the great places to visit in the region- here are a few reasons why you should consider relocating to the UAE capital.

The Islands of Abu Dhabi 

What was once a modest settlement, mainland Abu Dhabi, has since become a cosmopolitan city with bridges connecting to other islands including Yas, Saadiyat and Zaya Nurai Island to name just a few of the most popular. These islands are home to some of the most beautiful landscapes, luxurious hotels, wildlife and activities both on land and sea.

Yas island

There's just so much to do on this Island, where to start?

  • Yas Marina has a vibrant waterfront with plenty of options for dining and drinks complete with entertainment, perfect for any occasion.
  • Theme parks including Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld and Warner Bros World are easily accessible for the whole family to enjoy a day out. You can even buy a yearly pass to access the parks anytime you’d like- a great one for the kids (and the big kids too)!
  • The Etihad Arena located on Yas Bay Waterfront holds 18,000 and is the largest indoor entertainment venue in the Middle East. From the most famous performers around the world live in concert, music festivals, Disney on Ice, and comedian shows to UFC Showdowns and NBA Abu Dhabi Games 2022
  • Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix- this is a legendary event held annually between F1 teams as they compete for the World Championship Title- absolutely not one to be missed!
  • Fancy a staycay? There are ten hotels to choose, from family-friendly to five-star luxury.
  • Yas Mall- Spend the day (or two) at Abu Dhabi’s largest mall offering over 300 branded shops, top dining options and a 24-screen cinema.  
  • Yas Links- the UAE’s top golf course, where you can follow in the footsteps of the world’s top golf players. 
See here for more details on Yas Island.

Saadiyat Island

What a beautiful island to explore. With two white sandy beaches, a huge golf course, fabulous hotels and the famous Louvre this is one island not to pass by. It’s proving to be an upcoming culture hub, with Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi following the Louvre in the near future. 

Take a look here for more island vibes 

Life as an expat

A massive 89% of the population of the UAE are expats. The quality of life and opportunities here are one of the main reasons people relocate to the UAE and enjoy a high-quality lifestyle.

People find Abu Dhabi to be a very calm, safe place to live with a great sense of community/ family feel.

Here’s a list of useful websites/apps that will come in handy when relocating:

Propertyfinder- the largest property portal in UAE- Over 9500 new units are expected in Abu Dhabi this year mainly in Al Raha Beach, Al Maryah and Reem Island.

Each area has its own qualities with lots of options. Yas Island, Raha Beach/Gardens, Khalidiya, Golf Gardens, Mangrove Village and Al Reef are all popular locations to suit various budgets. For more space, you can opt for a villa on Saadiyat Island (complete with a large garden).

Rent for a one/two bedroom in Abu Dhabi is roughly between 1-2K USD per month depending on the area in comparison to more expensive cities such as New York coming in at 3-4K USD, London between 2.5-3.6K USD and 2.5K per month in Geneva.

Etisalat/Du-the two internet service providers covering Abu Dhabi

The Entertainer- 2 for 1 offers all over Abu Dhabi (and Dubai for that weekend road trip) a must-have app.

Privilee- the UAE’s ultimate lifestyle membership, enjoy unlimited beach clubs, resorts, fitness classes and more.

What’s On- keep up to date with the latest events, reviews, happy hours, ladies' nights and more.

Schooling and healthcare

Abu Dhabi is a leading education hub in the region and further afield, offering top-class private schools, public and world-class universities regulated by several different governing bodies (MOE, ADEK and KHDA). Schools follow a range of systems using curricula based out of the UK and US but also French, German, Indian, Irish and Canadian systems too. Here is a list of schools for 2022.

The city boasts modern world-class hospitals (like the Cleveland Clinic) and healthcare facilities, easily accessible to expats. The level of care at both the public and private healthcare centres is highly commended across the board.

By law, all employers are required to finance their employees' health insurance which will cover most medical costs. Service is said to be prompt when contacting for medical assistance and pharmacies in the region are usually open 24 hours a day for advice on minor concerns/medicines.

Climate

Expect sunshine all year round in Abu Dhabi, with cooler months ranging from October to April. The latter months are the perfect opportunity to spend time outdoors, beach clubs, cycling, outdoor dining, desert picnics and of course kayaking around the famous mangroves.

Expats are free to dress however they like for the weather, but I’d suggest packing a light jacket for the very air-conditioned malls!

Take a look here for some great outing ideas.

Travel

The world is literally your oyster. Abu Dhabi is home to Etihad Airways, flying to destinations in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Australia and North America you can access hundreds of destinations at the click of a button. The world awaits!

A less expensive option, Whizz air is a low-cost airline with 25 destinations to travel to from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Travel in the city is mainly by car or you can order a taxi through the Abu Dhabi Taxi app or Careem which will usually arrive in minutes.

Final Thoughts

Abu Dhabi is an excellent place to work, invest and not only live but thrive. The passion and commitment of this city to boost the economy and enhance its residents' lives through technology and innovation is outstanding. The country is in a perfect economic position to continue to grow and flourish long-term. Aside from this, the sense of community and togetherness makes this city feel like a home.

Plus who else can say they watched live camel racing on their day off?