Living in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi which means ‘Father of the Gazelle’ in English is one of the Seven Emirates that comprise the UAE. As the country’s thriving capital, Abu Dhabi is known across the world for being a highly successful alpha global city that attracted expats that are in search of a prosperous future and a great life.
The city initially had a reputation for contributing to the pearl trade industry, but Abu Dhabi grew and developed once oil was discovered in 1958. Today, Abu Dhabi is the 13th richest country in the world and is known to house several government offices, number of high-rise buildings and well-developed parks, gardens and tourist entertainment areas. Abu Dhabi also boasts a high quality of life and in 2016, it was hailed as the safest city in the region and the 23rd globally.
Exciting Activities for Everyone
Aside from the plethora of hotels that have swimming pools, Abu Dhabi also houses miles of picturesque beaches. Those who want to beat the city’s scorching heat can head with their family at any private resort or particularly at The Club, a private members’ club that was founded by a group of expatriates in 1962. Another spot-on destination for those who love the water is the Yas Water world whereas it will only cost AED 185 per person to enjoy its multitude of rides, pools and restaurants.
Expat parents who have kids will also enjoy Abu Dhabi’s outdoor. There is the Al Safa Park which is a great place not just for the children but also for adults who love to play volleyball, soccer and tennis. Last but definitely not the least is the Al Ain Zoo, a 900 hectare park that houses over 4,000 animals with at least 30% of the 180 various species are considered endangered.
A City of Muslims
Islam is the official religion in the United Arab Emirates, and a huge majority of Abu Dhabi Emirates are Muslim. Although it is illegal to preach any other religion aside from Islam in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE, non-Muslims can advertise religious activities such as fundraisers and celebrate holidays like Easter, Christmas or Diwali. It is extremely important for expats to note that during the month of Ramadan, expats will need to refrain from eating and drinking in public or in front of other Muslims.
Though Islam has an undeniable influence in Abu Dhabi's societal norms, but expats will still be glad to know that the locals have deep respect for other culture or religious practices.
The Shopper’s Paradise
Expats who love to buy just about anything will enjoy living in Abu Dhabi. This city has an impressive selection of malls that sell local and international products. One of the most famous shopping spots is the Abu Dhabi Mall. Also referred to as the ‘Heart of the City’, this three-storey shopping centre has over 200 shops and it conveniently located in the Tourist Club Area next door to the Beach Rotana Hotel.
The three leading supermarkets in Abu Dhabi are Spinney's, Carrefours and the Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society All of these major grocers don't just shelf a variety of Western goods but also offer quality products at an affordable price. Newcomers in this city should also watch out for the general discount season which is either at the middle or end of the year.
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