Ever since the United Arabic Emirates went through an evolutionary boom, the country has become the embodiment of a little paradise on earth. Their modern cities, famously known for their sky-scrapers that are beautifully illuminated at night, became a popular destination for tourists and expat workers from all over the world.
So, if you got a new job that requires you to move to the UAE, you should know that big opportunities await you there. A life of luxury can be one flight and job opportunity away from you. Of course, it’s not advisable to do it without balancing out the pros and the cons, especially if you’re making a life-changing decision.
The pros of living in the UAE:
To give you more confidence in yourself and decision, why not learn about the pros of living in the UAE first?
1- It promotes religious tolerance:
This may not be of big importance to you if you’re not religious, but it’s a good thing to know. The majority of people who live in the UAE are Muslim and practicing. However, if you’re not Muslim, no one will force you to adhere to this or any other type of religion or faith.
As long as you respect the ones who are religious and let them practice their religion in peace, no one will bother you. But if you do practice a religion of your own or that’s different from the common ones or country’s main one, that’s okay too.
And, the same rule applies to you, you’re not allowed to force your faith on unwilling people.
2- Great professional opportunities:
Since they have big growing cosmopolitan cities, the UAE is also in need of new workers to fill new job vacancies. And these, are very appealing job positions too.
Some of the job positions that are in high demand at the moment are in the fields of construction, healthcare, information technology, and finance. Perhaps this is the place where you’ll be able to progress in your career.
3- Good knowledge of English:
One of the most stressful things about moving to a new country permanently is that you will have to learn the local language. Otherwise, you will find yourself isolated, lost and find it difficult to make new friends and be part of the community.
Fortunately, many countries have a good level of English, which eases things for the first months when you still haven’t learned the first language spoken there. The UAE is one of these countries.
If your knowledge of English is good, you will find it easy to go about your day, be it going to a coffee shop or buying groceries. Although people in the UAE speak English, their official language is Arabic and it’s advisable to learn it.
4- Very good infrastructure:
This may not be surprising, coming from a country where the cities are relatively modern, newly built and very futuristic. Hence, you should know that the healthcare facilities and the public transportation are very well established.
The cons of living in the UAE:
No country is perfect and, as much as we would like to believe it, the UAE is not so perfect either Now, that you got excited about the pros of moving to the UAE, you should be prepared to know about a few cons too.
1- A different culture to adapt to:
The UAE has a culture that was greatly influenced by Islam. That doesn’t automatically make it bad, just different from what a westerner who lived in a country influenced by Christianism is used to. For example, weekends are Fridays and Saturdays rather than Saturdays and Sundays. Plus, there’s the month of Ramadan when the workflow changes and becomes slower.
One thing that can be shocking at first is that Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are completely normal workdays. Of course, nothing stops you from celebrating; but there won’t be a Christmas atmosphere around that period like you may used to.
2- The bureaucracy is slow:
This is not an exclusive thing to the UAE, so maybe you’re used to experiencing this in your own country.
The truth is, paperwork and random administrative things can take a while to get done and the same goes for any type of subscription or lengthy process. You just need to be patient and prepare in advance that you may have to wait for longer than you initially thought.
3- Quality healthcare is expensive:
Even though the UAE has very modern healthcare facilities, they can come at a great cost. Some people have found that the more you spend, the better a healthcare service will be.
So, if you find it necessary to get a medical treatment prepare to spend more money than you intended; if you want to see the best results. Either way, most companies provide this for their employees at literally: No cost!
4- It’s hard to adjust to the hot weather:
While other seasons are easy to tolerate, summer in the UAE can reach extremely high temperatures. The people who live there are already used to it and know exactly the precautions they have to take to stop themselves from feeling unwell, but for newcomers, this can be a challenge.
You need to stay hydrated all the time, because it’s hard to notice if you are getting dehydrated. And, if you’re not used to sun exposure, don’t overdo it and simply stay in the shade.