Relocation to Abu Dhabi
Job hunters will find a treasure chest of career opportunities in Abu Dhabi since it is the base of one of the most powerful economies in the Middle East. Like many expats who travelled to this land, you will also be enticed to seek employment in its leading sectors such as technology and tourism. This city is also more laid back and less frenzied compared to its neighbour Dubai though they are similar when it comes to having high-rise buildings and state of the art architectures. Abu Dhabi is known for having a massive expat population, safe environment, active nightlife and lots of exciting activities. Here are some tips that’ll help you relocate in the oil-wealthy city of the emirates.
Sunscreen shawls and other garments that will protect you from the city’s desert climate and sandstorms are a must. Since it is the second largest city of the UAE, it is best that you start your housing search a few weeks before you relocate. Many websites post real estate properties in Abu Dhabi including their photos, locations and prices. You can check these online portals and create a list of potential accommodations in the city. Once you arrive, you can contact and hire a local broker to assist you in you. Agents are very familiar with the suburbs and have many options in the housing market which can speed up your search.
Most rentals do not include the cost of utilities like water, gas, electricity and garbage collection in the rental pay. In Abu Dhabi, you need to budget around €70 monthly to cover the bills for these necessities. There is also unlimited internet connection in the city which is going to cost you about €80 per month and mobile service where local prepaid calls are charged €0.15 per minute.
House and Apartment Hunting
Accommodations in Abu Dhabi are expensive especially in the central neighbourhoods such as Al Zahiya and Al Markaziyah where there are many tourist attractions. Housing in these areas is more of high-rise apartment buildings where a majority of expats are living because of its proximity to the business hub and several amenities. You can also negotiate with the landlord when it comes to your rental agreement whether you prefer a short term or long term lease. The price of a one bedroom flat in the metropolitan starts at €1700 per month and €3200 for a three bedroom unit. Some expats are also residing in the outskirts where the travel time to the city centre is ten to fifteen minutes on a quiet day and thirty to forty-five minutes during rush hour. A one bedroom apartment in neighbouring districts usually costs €1300 per month and a three bedroom unit is around €2500 monthly.
International and Local Schools
Several private and international schools cater to the educational needs of the growing expat community in Abu Dhabi. You can choose to enrol your children in one of these institutions like the Abu Dhabi International School, which follows the British, American and International Baccalaureate Program (IB) in their curriculum.
Expats admission to public schools in the city depends on several terms and conditions that you can read here. Abu Dhabi is also the home of many prestigious local schools that provide quality education. One of these state institutions is the Abu Dhabi University, founded in 2000.
Moving Your Belongings
"We always call for “Patan Movers” when we need shifting helpers. They are strong, fast & the cheapest movers in the city (Pakistani guys with white trucks)." - Dianne Villalobos, Expat in Abu Dhabi
You can find furnished apartments in the city, but you should expect that these units come at a very high price. If you are going to move into an unfurnished unit, then you have to ship your furniture, appliances and belongings from your home country to fill up space. It's best that you call international shipping and removal companies to ensure an efficient delivery of your packages to Abu Dhabi. The average transit time for the containers to arrive in the Port of Jebel Ali is 22-41 days where local customs officials are stationed to conduct an inspection of the cargos. To learn about the city’s import regulations, click here.
All pets entering Abu Dhabi should have a microchip which is the only form of identification accepted in the city. If you want to take your pet, you must get an Import Paper from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment thirty days before arrival. You should also provide the original copies of the Rabies Vaccination Certificate and International Health Certificate (endorsed by the government of your home country).
Buses and Taxis are the two types of public transport in Abu Dhabi. Driving is also a common way of travelling in and around the city. If you prefer this method, you have to prepare yourself to encounter many reckless drivers since it is a general reputation of many drivers. You should also know that the traffic law enforcement implements zero tolerance to those driving under the influence of alcohol where those who are found guilty, even with the smallest amount of alcohol found in their blood, will spend time in jail. Here are some of the documents that you need in case you’re planning on bringing your car with you:
- Original Title and Registration
- Purchase Invoice
- Certificate of Origin
- Insurance Policy
- Residence Permit or Visa
There is more to this Abu Dhabi than just its thriving metropolitan; this is a place where nature blends perfectly well with modernisation and you are about to witness its many green pastures and pristine bodies of water that both deserve a visit during your weekend.
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