30 March 2017

Farida Israil - Expat in Abu Dhabi, UAE

Farida Israil  - Expat in Abu Dhabi, UAE

We’ve had the chance to talk to Farida Israil, 29, an Indian expat who has moved to UAE alone. Ms. Israil who has been living there for almost four years, now works as a dentist. 

Read more about her experiences in the full interview below.


Q: Where are you from originally? 

A: Mumbai, India.


Q: What made you move out of India? 

A: I've always loved traveling and had been to many places but I've never had the opportunity to live outside my home country. I've heard rumours about how the UAE was so great for expats in terms of work and quality of life so I decided to try for myself. 


Q: Where are you living now? How did you come to choose this new country of residence? 

A: Abu Dhabi since this past summer, but I lived in Dubai for a few years.  


Q: How long have you been living in Dubai?  

A: Since 2013.


Q: Are you living alone or with your family? If yes, how are they adjusting to the Expat Lifestyle? 

A: Alone.


Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness? 

A: Yes, of course, I miss home and keep in touch with family. But there are plenty of things to do in the UAE to keep expats entertained and busy. 


Q: What do you think about the locals? 

A: The locals are great, they're very friendly and very hospitable. 


Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialise with other expats in Dubai? How did you manage to find a social circle there?    

A: It's surprisingly easy to meet new people and make friends here. It's easy to gravitate towards expats from one's home country, but this country is just so full of expats from all over the world who are looking to make new friends and expand their social circles. 


Q: How does the cost of living in Dubai compare to your home? 


  • Q:How much is a cup of coffee? 

A: Much more in the UAE, about 15aed.

  • Q:How much is a meal in an inexpensive restaurant? 

A: Higher in the UAE, about 30aed.

  • Q:How much is a meal in an expensive restaurant? 

A: Usually higher in the UAE, about 300aed.

Q: Do you have any tips for future expats when it comes to opening a bank account in Dubai?

A: It's fairly easy as long as you have the proper documentation.


Q: How will you describe your experience with government paperwork such as applications for Visa and work permits? Why is that so? 

A: Dubai seems to be faster than Abu Dhabi for processing paperwork. One tip would be to check up on it regularly.


Q: Would you say that healthcare in Dubai is reliable? Any preferred clinics or advice for expats? 

A: The healthcare is good, but can be expensive compared to India. 


Q: Did you secure a health insurance in India or Dubai?  What should be the essentials in the coverage for expats, in your opinion? 

A: Local insurance is fairly good, however, there have been some recent changes that reduced the coverage.  


Q: What was the most memorable about the packing and moving process to Dubai? 

A: The most memorable thing was to be able to freshen up my wardrobe. lol


Q: What is the biggest challenge that you have faced as a new expat? 

A: Strangely enough, there weren't really any major challenges about living in the UAE, it's a country that's really geared toward expats. But if I were to pick one thing, I would say that it's getting used to the work week. 


Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Dubai?

A: Pros: High standard of living, great selection for shopping, multiculturalism, it's a great hub for travel to so many destinations and it never rains. 

Cons: Housing is costly and it never rains.


Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Any particular recommendations for future expats? 

A: Brunches, shopping malls, and amusement parks. Eating in the sea at Ossiano, going on a desert safari, enjoying a golden high tea at Emirate's Palace, skiing at Ski Dubai and lounging on the beautiful beach at Saadiyat Island, there are so many things to do! Plus there is a ladies' night almost every night! 


Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future? 

A: I haven't decided yet, but I'm enjoying my time in the UAE. 


Q: What tips will you give to expats living in the country? 

A: Get an entertainer subscription, use Groupon’s and you'll be able to save a lot of money while experiencing all the most interesting places the UAE has to offer. 


Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Dubai? 

A: www.timeoutabudhabi.com is great for discovering new places and ready about places you want to try!