The largest emirate and federal capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi is a vibrant archipelago of 200 islands with a versatile landscape, a centre for illustrious sporting events and home to world-class cultural institutions. Renowned for its abundant oil and natural gas reserves and boasts one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.
Fueled by visions of becoming a pioneer in technological advancements and sustainable living with ambitions of ranking first on the world’s Happiness Index through cultural development and diversity, the future of the UAE is promising to say the least. Because when the nation’s leaders set their mind on something, you can be sure they will get it done, and that success and security is what your future could look like.
What You Can Find in This Guide
- Abu Dhabi: A Regional Powerhouse
- What You Need to do When Preparing to Move
- COVID-19 Regulations
- Working in Abu Dhabi
- Setting Up Home & Cost of Living
- Popular Places to Live in Abu Dhabi
- Finance, Health & Education
- Getting Around Abu Dhabi
- What to Do in Your Leisure Time
- About the UAE
Abu Dhabi: A Regional Powerhouse
Ruled by the Al Nahyan family, the emirate of Abu Dhabi occupies 84% of the UAE’s landmass comprising three main regions – Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain (Eastern region) and Al Dhafrah (Western region). Boasting a 700km-long coastline and 200 islands, the nation’s capital is located on the island of Abu Dhabi and is connected to the mainland by four bridges.
The emirate has witnessed a burgeoning of its economy over recent decades thanks to its bountiful oil and natural gas reserves. However, with a keen eye to the future, the emirate is striving to reduce its hydrocarbons reliance by diversifying its economy and focusing on business investment, infrastructure, tourism, transport, health and education, in line with the government’s 2030 economic plan.
Abu Dhabi has also become a popular tourism destination, with major investments in luxury resorts and business hotels underway. It is home to the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge cross-country rally and the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to follow, the city will soon house the world’s largest concentration of premier cultural institutions.
Rich in natural wonders, the towering sand dunes of Liwa Oasis, rocky outcrops of Jebel Hafeet, the lush garden city of Al Ain, the mangrove enveloped islands and lively reefs make this dynamic and wondrous city a delight to explore. All of this and more can be experienced with a hearty helping of Arabian hospitality and heritage that is an indelible mark of a city that takes pride in its past and its future.
What You Need to do When Preparing to Move
Should you decide to make this your new home, you are sure to receive plenty of support from your employer to help make the transition process as smooth as possible. Most companies have onboarding processes in place dedicated to supporting expat relocation. The following is a list of considerations and documents that will allow you to better prepare for your move.
Required legal documents & supporting materials
- Copies of your passport and your accompanying family members’ passports must be sent to the HR department for us to arrange for your work permit and residence visas.
- All passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of entry.
- Prospective employees applying for a skilled visa must also present educational degrees attested by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their home country.
- You will need coloured scanned copies of your tourist visa/ visit visa (Last entry date stamped).
- You will also need coloured scanned copies of a passport photo – white background, no jewelry, no teeth showing, no spectacles, no light-coloured shirts.
- Medical insurance is mandatory in the UAE. In the case that you arrive on a tourist visa, you are covered by travel insurance, which insurance is valid cover for the duration of the residence visa stamping process. After residence visa stamped, your employer will need to provide the insurance – Its mandatory for the employer to apply for new insurance under company policy.
- Once you have qualified for residency, you will be issued with an Emirates ID card which needs to be always carried. This facilitates the process of hiring cars, visiting doctors, checking into hotels, etc.
- Current COVID laws and regulations state the following. However, these are subject to change.
- From August 1, unvaccinated people are not allowed to enter a federal government department without a negative PCR result received within 48 hours.
- Vaccinated and non-vaccinated people seeking to enter to Abu Dhabi from another emirate must present, at the border, a negative PCR result received within 48 hours of entry, or a negative DPI result received within 24 hours of entry.
- A nightly public space disinfection programme was reinstated from July 19, requiring residents to stay home between 12am and 5am unless “absolutely necessary”.
- Quarantine rules have been updated for travellers flying into the capital.
- People who have come into contact with a positive Covid-19 case must under go the following procedures.
- Abu Dhabi will restrict access to many public places for unvaccinated people from August 20.
- Family members can sit together at restaurants and cafes in Abu Dhabi, with no limit of numbers.
- Only vaccinated people, with an active E on Al Hosn, can attend live events from June 6.
- Diners are limited to just four per table if they are not members of the same family living in the same home.
- Malls are limited to 40 per cent capacity.
- Restaurants, cafes, hotels and public beaches and parks cannot have more than 50 per cent of their typical visitors to avoid crowding, down from 60 per cent.
- Gyms as well as private beaches and swimming pools cannot be more than half full.
- Cinemas are open but with a 30 per cent capacity cap.
- Private sector employees in vital sectors and service industries must undergo a compulsory, free PCR test every two weeks.
- Public transport, including buses and public ferries, is limited to 50 per cent while a maximum of three passengers are permitted in a five-person taxi and four passengers in a seven-person taxi.
- Up to 10 family members can gather but they must wear face masks and remain at least two metres apart.
- Parties and other social gatherings have been banned.
Working in Abu Dhabi
In the UAE, Sundays are the start of the working week, so it may take some time to adjust to the Friday-Saturday weekend and calling Tuesdays your new Hump Day. A typical workday is from 8:30am to 5:30pm, while during the holy month of Ramadan, working hours are reduced to five hours for fasting Muslims and schools, and six hours for non-Muslims, with a later start to the day.
You are entitled to a sick leave of not more than 90 days per year, only after a period of three months’ continuous service following your probation period. The 90 days sick leave can be continuous or intermittent, and the salary is paid as follows: full-pay for the first 15 days and half-pay for the next 30 days. The remaining 45 days would typically be unpaid.
As per UAE labour law, your probationary period may not exceed six months, during this time the employer may terminate the contract without giving notice or end of service remuneration.
End of Service Benefit (Gratuity) & Pensions
If you have served for more than one year at a company but less than five, you are entitled to full gratuity pay – also known as an end-of-service benefit (EOSB). This is calculated based on 21 days’ salary for each year of work. If you have served more than five years at a company, your gratuity is calculated at 30 days’ salary for each year of work following the first five years.
Although pension schemes are not mandated by the Government, progressive companies are beginning to introduce Employer Sponsored Retirement and Workplace Savings Plans, which are designed to maximise your end-of-service benefit (EOSB) entitlement.
Public Holidays & Religious Observances
With the exception of New Year’s Day on December 31st and UAE’s National Day on December 2nd, public holidays are scheduled according to the Islamic Calendar. Time off for the Public and Private sector can be generous and often results in benefitting from several long-weekends in the year.
Two of the most significant Islamic holidays are Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, and Eid-Al-Adha, which marks the culmination of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice.
Codes of Conduct & Emirati Custom
UAE Emiratis are predominantly Sunni Muslims and all social and political matters are driven by Sharia (Islamic) law. However, the UAE is tolerant of other religions and affords religious freedom to the expatriate population. These religions primarily include Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism.
- Although the UAE is quite liberal in comparison to other Gulf countries, it pays to respect the local laws and customs.
- It is not mandatory for women to cover their head, face or hair in public except when entering a mosque.
- Modest clothing is appreciated, overly revealing garments are frowned upon and public nudity is strictly prohibited.
- Overt displays of affection, such as amorous kissing are not tolerated and sexual intercourse in public will result in jail time and deportation.
- Cohabitation of unmarried couples has been decriminalized and no longer constitutes as an offence. However, no legal reform has been announced with respect to the legal status of a child born out of wedlock. You shall be required to present a valid marriage certificate for the issuance of a birth certificate, if you are unable to do so, a birth certificate may not be issued for your new-born child.
- Taking a photo of someone without consent is considered an invasion of privacy and disrespectful comments or defamation on social media can get you into trouble.
- Recreational drugs are strictly prohibited in the UAE. The law also extends to certain pharmaceutical narcotics; hence it would be best to check if you can travel with your prescription drugs.
Setting Up Home in Abu Dhabi & the Cost of Living
Most homes across Abu Dhabi are relatively newly built and enjoy 24-hour security on site. Air conditioning is a standard feature across all homes and some even come with built-in kitchen appliances. The spacious living spaces, high quality finishing and amenities, that usually include a shared pool, private parking bays and maids’ quarters, have the makings of a safe, comfortable and luxurious home.
Rental Costs in Abu Dhabi
Most landlords will require you to pay a year’s rent upfront. Depending on your negotiation powers, your rent cheques can be split into quarterly or bi-annual payments. Real Estate Agent commissions are typically 5% of the property’s annual rental value which must be paid in advance together with a security deposit of 5% of the annual rental value.
You will usually have to take responsibility for connecting your water and electricity with the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC), your air conditioning with Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) and your home phone and Internet with either one of the two telecommunications providers in Abu Dhabi, DU or Etisalat, depending on the area in which you live. Each service provider will require a deposit of up to AED 2,000, which is refundable when you move out.
Family of four estimated monthly costs are 10,516.84AED without rent. A single person estimated monthly costs are 3,048.48AED without rent. Abu Dhabi is 6.75% less expensive than Dubai. Rent in Abu Dhabi is, on average, 7.51% lower than in Dubai.
Typical costs for property per month (from)
- Apartment (Studio) AED 1,666
- Apartment (1 bedroom) AED 2,083
- Apartment (1 bedroom) AED 3,333
- Apartment (3 bedrooms) AED 7,450
Average cost for services per month
- Utilities (water, electricity, air conditioning) AED 600
- Broadband AED 360
Fuel & Travel
- Fuel (per litre) AED 2.58
- Monthly car hire (from) AED 1,1000
Keeping Pets & Pet Relocation
The UAE is becoming more pet-friendly by the day, with most landlords allowing pets on the premises, while more and more restaurants are opening their doors to fur babies. Although, beaches in Abu Dhabi are off limits for dogs, there are several indoor and outdoor dog parks, kennels and catteries dotted around the city.
If you wish to move your pets to Abu Dhabi, they would have to be shipped in manifested cargo as per International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations. Pets cannot travel with you as added luggage or in-cabin. A maximum of two pets is allowed to travel to the UAE per person, with each pet requiring an import permit.
This should be accompanied with a veterinary health certificate or a vaccination document which shows that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies. There are some breeds of dog that the UAE does not permit the import or transit of, such as Bull Terriers, Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers.
Pet shipping costs vary widely and depend on several factors. As a rough estimate, it could cost USD 3,000 to USD 9,000.
Popular Places to Live in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi has plenty of charming self-contained residential areas, and even islands, to call home, complete with community malls, supermarkets, clinics, leisure centres and even schools. Some of the most popular areas listed below.
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Situated 20 km east of the city centre and just 15 minutes from the airport, Yas Island is home to some of Abu Dhabi’s most popular theme parks, including Warner Bros. World, Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld, while Yas Marina Circuit’s famous Formula One events draw huge crowds from all over the globe. Popular among families with children, Yas Beach, Yas Mall and the numerous hotels and restaurants in the vicinity offer plenty of entertainment, while nearby supermarkets, schools and hospitals make it a self-contained community. Due to the high number of tourist attractions and luxury amenities, accommodation in this area is on the expensive side.
Al Reem Island
Nestled on a natural island, this residential area is ideal for those looking for modern waterfront views as a backdrop for their home. The high-rise commercial and residential towers offer luxury amenities with pedestrian friendly walkways leading through parks and past cafés to the beach. Suited to families, Al Reem Island is also home to schools, shopping centres and health clinics for your convenience.
Located to the north of the city centre and just a 20-minute drive from Abu Dhabi Airport, Saadiyat Island promises the picture-perfect luxury suburban lifestyle. Dotted with five-star hotels, expansive villa complexes and beachfront properties, it is not only the place to be seen but also the cultural hub of the city. Home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Manarat al Saadiyat, it is also boasts lavish entertainment venues such as the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Monte-Carlo Beach Club and Saadiyat Beach Marina Village.
This up-and-coming area has become quite popular in recent years with young couples and families. Located outside of the city centre, it is an ideal destination for a tranquil life away from the bustle of the city, while still remaining close to several attractions. Large sprawling parks, beautiful homes, boutique shops, restaurants and a large number of schools and nurseries make up Khalifa City. The rent is relatively lower here than in other parts of the city, but is slowly increasing due to demand.
Overlooking Abu Dhabi’s main beach, the apartments that flank this popular and pristine boulevard enjoy uninterrupted views of the Arabian Gulf. Bustling cafés and restaurants line the beach providing plenty of opportunities for leisure and entertainment. Residents also enjoy public access to the turquoise waters and white sand beaches of the corniche. The area is also home to some of the best hospitals and schools in the city, making it a popular choice among families and young couples alike.
Mohammed Bin Zayed City
One of the most affordable areas to live in, Mohammed Bin Zayed City is a quiet and comfortable residential community with great amenities. A safe haven for families with children, it lies on the outskirts of the city with its own entertainment venues, supermarkets, malls, schools and hospitals. If you’re planning on working in Mussafah, then living in Mohamed Bin Zayed City is the ideal choice as it neighbours the community.
Made up of two sub communities – Al Reef Villas and Al Reef Downtown – this community’s close proximity to Dubai makes it one of the most popular residential areas in Abu Dhabi, especially for people who need to regularly commute to the neighbouring emirate. The affordable prices are a second reason why this community is so desirable. With a variety of home styles to choose from and an abundance of facilities including spas, gyms, malls, and restaurants, you can easily make Al Reef your home away from home.
This beautiful residential area in the heart of the city is filled with lush, green spaces. If you like to be in the thick of it, this is the place for you. Popular across the board, there are a host of diverse living arrangements available for families, young couples and bachelors alike. Home to reputational schools, hospitals, shopping malls and Al Mushrif Palace, a popular tourist attraction, every convenience you desire is right there on your doorstep. Best of all, rent in the Al Mushrif area is very reasonable.
Tourist Club Area
Located in the northern corner of Abu Dhabi, the Tourist Club Area lives up to its namesake. A haven for tourists and expats new to the city, this lively and dynamic area with its host of shopping malls, artistic developments, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues is not for those seeking peace and quiet. Comprising rows upon rows of high rises overlooking the corniche, you can cycle along the waterfront before you set off to work, come home to stunning sunset views.
Finance, Health & Education
Currency: Dirhams, also symbolised as ‘Dhs’ or ‘AED’
VAT: a rate of 5% is payable on all items excluding basic food items, healthcare and education.
Banking & Money Transfers
In order to open up a bank account in Abu Dhabi, you need to be a resident of the UAE. The bank will require your original passport, a salary letter from your employer and your Emirates ID card to begin the process. Most banks have Smart banking services and will provide you with a Debit card. Debit and Credit cards are readily accepted everywhere, even at utility payment machines. However, cheques and bank transfers are the preferred payment methods for housing rent. The UAE has a credit scoring and reporting bureau mandated by the government to keep a record of all residents’ payments and credit history.
Abu Dhabi has been at the forefront of healthcare offerings and medical technologies in the region and is home to 39 hospitals and abundance of medical centres. To provide better healthcare services and to ease access to health facilities, the UAE has opened healthcare cities. Its public hospitals offer free or very low-cost services to residents, but healthcare is largely private in the emirate which can be quite expensive if you are paying out of pocket. Abu Dhabi employers are required to provide health insurance coverage for their employees as per the labour laws, and sponsors are required to get insurance cover for their resident dependents.
Schools as fee-paying students; however, most expats opt for the more outstanding, albeit expensive, private schools. Due to the multicultural nature of the population, the private schools offer a variety of curriculums – from British and American, to French and Indian and a combination of some. There are also numerous universities and colleges in Abu Dhabi offering a variety of courses. When selecting a university, be sure it is internationally accredited so that credits can be transferred to a university back home should the need arise.
As of 2017, there were 192 private schools in Abu Dhabi. School fees in Abu Dhabi range from AED 2,200 (USD 600) to AED 96,333 (USD 26,300) per annum. This excludes additional fees for admission, transportation, school uniforms, and books.
The cost of nursery education fees range between AED 3,600 (USD 1000) to AED 40,000 (USD 10,800) per annum.
Getting Around Abu Dhabi
Driving in Abu Dhabi
You might be tempted to ship your car over to Abu Dhabi, but it is probably good to note that people drive on the righthand side of the road here. Cars are also much cheaper to buy than and petrol prices are a dream. Personal cars will need to be insured and registered every year and you may be able to use your home country driving licence until your residence permit is issued, after which you can apply for a UAE driving licence.
Due to the number of different nationalities using the roads, driving standards can vary so it is wise to drive with caution and high awareness. It is a criminal offence to drink and drive. It pays to note that flashing your lights here can mean a driver is coming through, rather than giving way. Car accidents need to be reported immediately. A minor accident may be reported and resolved within 15 minutes using the SAAED phone service, which automatically alerts your insurance company. If there is a disagreement on liability, you will be requested to attend the police station.
The most convenient mode of public transport in Abu Dhabi is the RTA taxi service. Thanks to low petrol prices, it is very affordable and, like Uber, can be ordered using a dedicated app called Careem, with waiting periods that rarely take longer than 6 minutes. Abu Dhabi also has an extensive fleet of fully air-conditioned buses with more than 95 bus routes throughout Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain.
What to Do in Your Leisure Time
During the Winter
In the cooler milder months, Abu Dhabi is a haven for outdoor activities. The towering dunes of Liwa Oasis challenge you to conquer them on sandboards and quad bikes. Thrill seekers can enjoy dune bashing in 4X4s, while the numerous camping and glamping sites enjoy full occupancy for families looking to enjoy the great outdoors.
Residents also head out to the verdant city of Al Ain, the birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to climb Jebel Hafeet, the highest peak in the emirate. Hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing are in order here, or you can simply drive to the top and enjoy the panoramic views. Milder climes also allow golf enthusiasts to spend their every waking moment on Abu Dhabi’s championship golf courses.
During the Summer
During the warmer months, the beaches are packed with kite-surfers, wakeboarders, paddleboards and kayaks, while beneath the sea scuba divers explore the wrecks, reefs and colourful marine life. There are indoor, air-conditioned facilities that cater to football, cricket, basketball and tennis fans to name a few, and of course in neighbouring Dubai, skiers and snowboarders can flex their moves on the region’s famous indoor slope, Ski Dubai.
Unique and diverse: An emirate of holistic experiences
Abu Dhabi offers unique attractions based on which direction you choose to follow on your compass. Towards the Eastern region of Al Ain lie ancient forts and UNESCO World Heritage Sites where you can immerse yourself in bygone Bedouin life. Venture into the Western region of Al Dhafra in search of five-star resorts in the middle of the Empty Quarter, where dunes can tower over you like mountains until they meet the sea. Then board a seaplane to embark on a wildlife safari on Sir Bani Yas Island just off the coast.
Adrenaline junkies will need to be pried away from the action-packed offerings of Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Warner Brothers World Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Hili Fun City amusement park. While Lewis Hamilton wannabes live out their Formula 1 dreams on the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, a mammoth theme park, spanning 37 acres with 40 rides becomes a thrill seekers respite from the heat in the summer months and the world’s tallest indoor climbing wall and indoor skydiving chamber at Clymb draw enthusiasts into their exciting, air-conditioned quarters.
Over the years, the dining scene in Abu Dhabi has undergone a transformation. Food lovers have a huge array of options from around the world to choose from. Restaurants in the capital are matching up with Dubai’s popular culinary scene, with pop-ups, culinary festivals and food trucks sprouting up all over the city. Pork is served in licenced restaurants and can be bought in local supermarkets such as Waitrose, Spinneys and M&S. Alcohol is also served in licenced establishments and non-Muslims can buy alcohol from numerous off-licences with an alcohol permit.
Art, Culture & Heritage
Abu Dhabi takes great pride in its heritage, which is why you can find a host of historical and contemporary cultural attractions throughout the city. Discover the Islamic faith and architecture with a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This architectural marvel can house up to 55,000 worshippers and visitors every day and welcomes people of all beliefs.
Venture into the Heritage Village on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche to learn more about Bedouin traditions and witness pottery, weaving and metalwork being made. For a true trip back in time, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Al Ain and where 5,000-year-old Jebel Hafit Tombs have been uncovered and archaeological remnants of the Neolithic period from 8,000 years ago are evident.
For an immersion into the arts, head to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and take in contemporary and timeless art exhibitions from the global masters or wander into the Warehouse 421 cultural space where local and regional arts, culture, design, performance and music come together.
The Galleria is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Abu Dhabi, with Marina Mall and Yas Mall on Yas Island trailing behind. From high street to haute couture, you can find all your favourite name brands here. The World Trade Centre Souk in downtown Abu Dhabi showcases a contemporary interpretation of a traditional bazaar, while the Gold Souq inside Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre is the hub for gilded and bedazzled jewels. Avenue at Etihad Towers is a luxury lifestyle hub for all fashion aficionados and a one-stop-shop for all your trendsetting needs.
Malls are not just a shopping destination for residents, but also an escape from the heat in the hotter months and a place to socialise and reconnect with family and friends. Often, they are equipped with entertainment complexes the likes of multi-screen cinemas, arcades and children’s play areas. Hypermarkets, department stores and cafés are a given, while some even house designer labels, clinics, hotels and licenced restaurants so you have no reason to leave.
With two major shopping festivals every year, the Abu Dhabi Shopping Season in the summer and the Abu Dhabi Winter Shopping Season, the malls draw an even bigger crowd than usual with international acts, outrageous giveaways and mega sales.
Many expats sign up for private beach clubs, gyms and hotel memberships when they arrive and spend much of their downtime enjoying the facilities. With alcohol licencing restricted to mainly hotels, residents naturally gravitate to such establishments for beach, dining and nightlife entertainment. Brunches are a timeless tradition and one that is especially popular with expats.
Abu Dhabi has festivals and events lined up all year round to ensure you can witness its cultural diversity and rich heritage. Undoubtedly one of the most thrilling Abu Dhabi events is the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Abu Dhabi Golf Festival alongside the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship are eagerly awaited dates by golfing enthusiasts and professionals. A recent addition to the calendar is the UFC Fight Island series, as well as international boxing bouts that are hosted on Yas Island.
The Mother of the Nation Festival and Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival are the perfect events at which to immerse in Emirati arts, crafts, food and customs. The annual Abu Dhabi Festival showcase various facets of Arabian culture through a myriad of events and performances.
For petrol heads, the Liwa International Sports Festival is an exhilarating affair where you can watch drivers, bikers and more take on the terrifying Tel Moreeb dune standing at over 300 metres high with a 50-degree incline.
Sports & Lifestyle
From scaling mountains to plunging into the deep blue sea, there are a variety of sports for the active family. Sand boarding, camel trekking and dune bashing are unique to the region with the Empty Quarter containing the largest sand dunes in the world. You can also enjoy rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking through wadis. Over at the Arabian Gulf side of the emirate, the abundance of water sports will blow you away. From jet skiing, kitesurfing, wake boarding and paddle boarding to kayaking through mangroves and scuba diving with manatees. Closer to home you can go cycling or racing at Yas Marina Circuit, jog on the Corniche, do laps at your local pool and workout at the gym or simply laze on a sun bed and soak up the rays.
What’s great about a city that is made up of 200 islands are 200 excuses to explore them all. Head to Al Maryah Island for a taste of the finer things in life, five-star resorts and designer shopping is the order of the day here. One of the oldest known permanent settlements in the UAE, Delma Island offers an interesting insight into the history of pearl diving and life here some 7,000 years ago. If ultra-luxury is what you are after, then hop on a boat to Zaya Nurai Island for a stay at a secluded sun-drenched paradise and enjoy fine dining at its best. That’s just scraping the surface of islands out there to explore.
Get a snapshot of what’s happening in Abu Dhabi right now.
About The UAE
Founded as a nation of seven emirates on December 2nd 1971, the United Arab Emirates has come a long way in its short 50-year history. Strategically located between the East and the West, the young nation relied on oil to put itself on the map. Today, it is not only a thriving business hub and renowned luxury tourism destination, but a pioneer for sustainability in the region, with the largest single-site solar park in the world, and in space exploration, with the successful completion of its Hope Probe mission to Mars.
Not a nation to rest on its laurels, the UAE’s plans for the future include Autonomous Transportation by 2030 and the implementation of an Urban Master Plan by 2040 with the objective, among many, to develop vibrant, healthy and inclusive communities, foster greater economic activity and enhance environmental sustainability.
Despite its rapid growth over a short five decades, the UAE has steadfastly held on to its proud heritage, while celebrating tolerance and diversity. Showering visitors with renowned Arabian hospitality and charm, today it is one of the most coveted and aspirational destinations in the world and home to a uniquely multicultural population.
With a total population of 10 million inhabitants, close to 90% of which are expatriates, the UAE is home to over 200 nationalities who have chosen to relocate here. The absence of income and personal tax is an undeniably attractive incentive for those looking to boost their earning power. Coupled with high levels of personal security, accredited international education systems, unparalleled conveniences, and a vibrant and elevated lifestyle – it is no wonder that most who arrive here find it so hard to leave.
The weather from November to March is mild and pleasantly warm with maximum temperatures ranging from 24 °C to 26 °C (76 °F to 80 °F). Sometimes, especially in January, cool air masses from the North bring with it cooler windy days, during which temperatures can drop to around 10/12 °C (50/54 °F) at night and around 16/18 °C (61/64 °F) during the day. Sandstorms are a common occurrence, especially during Spring where widespread dust and strong winds can suddenly flare up and just as suddenly die out.
From April onwards it gets increasingly hot and humid, with daytime temperatures ranging from 38 °C to 42 °C (101 °F to 108 °F) between May and September. Winds from the Arabian Gulf carry moist air from the sea, making the heat sweltering. April and October are also hot months, with highs around 33/36 °C (92/96 °F). During the hottest days, temperatures can reach highs of 47/48 °C (117/118 °F) on the coast, and soar even higher inland. Thankfully, all the buildings in the UAE are air-conditioned and equipped to handle the heat.