United Arab Emirates


United Arab Emirates


United Arab Emirates


Moving to the United Arab Emirates

Moving to the United Arab Emirates

Are you considering the exciting prospect of living and working in the United Arab Emirates? Whether you are just exploring your options or already counting down to when you land, this guide is for you. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of what it's really like to live, work and play in the UAE. From understanding cultural nuances to discovering delicious cuisine – join us as we take an up-close look at all that expat life holds.

  • Overview of the Emirates and its geographical layout

  • Essential tips for expats in the Emirates

  • Essential items for packing when visiting the Emirates

  • Cultural etiquette to be aware of when visiting the Emirates

  • The different emirates

  • Practical advice for staying safe during your travels in the UAE

Overview of the Emirates and its geographical layout

The Emirates is an exciting place with a lot to offer. It sits on the Arabian Peninsula, surrounded by the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai are key cities here. You'll find a mix of old and new, from traditional towns like Sharjah to the modern wonders of Dubai. Beaches, mountains, and deserts are all part of the geographical mix.

Essential tips for expats in the Emirates

As an expat, you might also find the variety of luxurious residential areas and high-quality amenities appealing. The Emirates' year-round warm weather can be overwhelming, so ensure you stay well-hydrated and protected from the sun. When it comes to dressing, modest attire is recommended, especially in the workplace. Embrace the local culture and hospitality, and don't hesitate to engage in traditional customs, such as enjoying Arabic coffee or local sweets. With these tips, your transition to the Emirates as an expat will be smooth and rewarding.

Essential items for packing when visiting the Emirates

Visiting the Emirates is an experience like no other. From the stunning skyscrapers to the vast deserts, there is so much to see and do. To make the most of your move, it's important to bring along a few essential items.

  • First and foremost, don't forget your passport and any necessary travel documents.

  • Respect local laws and customs: The UAE has strict laws, especially regarding behavior in public, dress code, and alcohol consumption. Make sure to adhere to local customs and respect the laws to avoid any legal issues.

  • Language: While English is widely spoken, especially in business and urban areas, it can be beneficial to learn some basic Arabic phrases. This can help in day-to-day interactions and show respect for the local culture.

  • The Emirates can get hot, so be sure to pack plenty of loose, lightweight clothing, as well as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

  • For those planning on exploring the desert, bring closed-toe shoes and a scarf to protect your face from sand and wind.

Cultural etiquette to be aware of when visiting the Emirates

Visiting the Emirates is a thrilling experience, and making a great impression is vital to a successful trip. Understanding the unique cultural norms and customs is key to displaying respect towards the locals. Although the Emirates operates as a modern society, traditions remain deeply ingrained in daily life.

  • Dress conservatively, especially when visiting religious sites, and always ask permission before taking photographs of individuals.

  • In addition, using your left hand for handing over objects or pointing is considered impolite.

  • If you are invited into a local's home, it is customary to remove your shoes and show appreciation for any food or drinks offered to you.

Embracing the cultural etiquette and adapting to the local customs will not only benefit your trip but can also create lasting relationships that will remain with you forever.

The different emirates 

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates, each with its own unique characteristics, culture, and work habits. The seven emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Quwain, Fujairah, and Ras Al Khaimah. Despite their shared history and common goals, there are notable differences among them in terms of culture, economic activities, and lifestyle.

Abu Dhabi:

  • Culture: As the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi has a more traditional and conservative cultural environment compared to some of the other emirates.

  • Economy: It is the wealthiest emirate due to its vast oil reserves. The economy is diversified with a focus on finance, tourism, and government services.


  • Culture: Dubai is known for its cosmopolitan and modern outlook. It has a more liberal and open lifestyle compared to other emirates.

  • Economy: Dubai is a global business hub with a strong emphasis on trade, tourism, and real estate. It has a diverse economy, and its skyline is dominated by futuristic architecture.


  • Culture: Sharjah is recognized for its commitment to preserving the traditional Emirati culture. It is often considered the cultural capital of the UAE, with a focus on art, heritage, and education.

  • Economy: Although it has a smaller share of the oil wealth, Sharjah has a thriving economy, with a strong emphasis on industry, trade, and cultural activities.


  • Culture: Ajman has a more laid-back and traditional atmosphere. It is known for its close-knit community and family-oriented lifestyle.

  • Economy: Ajman's economy is largely dependent on trade and manufacturing. It has been making efforts to diversify its economy and boost tourism.

Umm Al-Quwain:

  • Culture: Umm Al-Quwain has a relaxed and serene environment. It is known for its natural beauty, historical sites, and traditional fishing communities.

  • Economy: Fishing and agriculture have historically been important economic activities, and the emirate is working on developing its tourism sector.


  • Culture: Fujairah has a mix of traditional and modern influences. It is the only emirate with a coastline solely on the Gulf of Oman, giving it a unique cultural and geographical position.

  • Economy: Fujairah is a significant port and has a strategic location for trade. It also has a growing tourism sector.

Ras Al Khaimah:

  • Culture: Ras Al Khaimah has a diverse cultural heritage, with a focus on preserving historical sites and traditions.

  • Economy: It has a diverse economy with a strong emphasis on manufacturing, tourism, and agriculture. The emirate has been investing in infrastructure and industrial development.

Practical advice for staying safe during your travels

If you're considering moving to the United Arab Emirates, take this opportunity to explore all that it has to offer. From its vibrant culture and magnificent landscapes to its unique Emirati cuisine and thrilling experiences, there is something for everyone in the Emirates. So make sure you know where your passport is, respect local laws and customs when traveling within the UAE, carry enough cash in case of an emergency, stay vigilant against pickpockets, drive safely on the roads (respecting speed limits) and follow safe travel miracles advice. By taking these simple precautions during your travels in the Emirates, you can experience every corner of this remarkable land without worry or cost. So start planning your dream trip to the Emirates now – we look forward to seeing your pictures!

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