Moving to Abu Dhabi in 2021

Moving to Abu Dhabi in 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.

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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.


Sun, sea, skyscrapers – the United Arab Emirates attracts emigrants from all over the world with its oriental flavor and relative safety. What is it – life here, is it as beautiful as it seems to many? Most of those who have moved to the country can already give advice on how to leave here for permanent residence.

If you are planning a move, then it will be useful for you to find out what the expats who have already settled here recommend, we have prepared material on this topic, how you can move to one of the powerful cities of the UAE and where you can start from.

Moving to another country (and in the case of the United Arab Emirates, to another continent) is not an easy step and requires detailed analysis. Psychologists advise: before making a difficult life choice, you should create a list in which you need to describe the main pros and cons of such a responsible step.

Before we start to discuss every step of moving to Abu Dhabi, below is a ready-made list of the advantages and disadvantages of moving to Abu Dhabi. You just have to study it to make an informed decision.

There are many advantages of moving to Abu Dhabi, and the list may differ depending on the purpose for which you are coming to Abu Dhabi (work or play). We have selected for you some of the most characteristic benefits and downsides of immigration to Abu Dhabi.

The main pros of Abu Dhabi life

Moving to Abu Dhabi in 2021

No crime

Despite such an abundance of foreigners living in the UAE, here they put purely symbolic locks on the front doors, leave cars unlocked, and throw things unattended. Probably, the whole point is that even minor offenses, according to the laws of the United Arab Emirates, are severely punished with subsequent life-long deportation of the criminal, and what can we say about serious ones. The UAE has the death penalty, and the police work excellently, so the prowess of the criminals is diminishing.

Excellent business prospects

If you are looking for new business opportunities, then Abu Dhabi will definitely appeal to you. Here you can make a good profit by investing in the oil, tourism, or industrial sectors. Foreigners will have the opportunity to register companies in Abu Dhabi by getting a resident visa. In addition, businesses in the UAE (with the exception of banks and oil-related businesses) are tax-free. All in all, Abu Dhabi is a great place to build a profitable business.

The ability to immigrate with your family

If you founded your own company in Abu Dhabi or got a job in one of the companies operating here for a good position, then legally you will have all the rights to move to Abu Dhabi with your family: wife and children, and the good news is that they will not need a separate resident visa. That is because you are sponsoring them. It will be easier for your wife to get a job in this situation since the employer does not need to worry about obtaining a separate visa for her.

High salaries for good specialists

The Abu Dhabi government is often accused of building its well-being on the slave and low-wage labor of immigrants. Indeed, construction site laborers or agricultural workers receive the minimum wage, but good specialists in the UAE are valued, including in monetary terms.

Good healthcare system

There are really good hospitals in the United Arab Emirates, both private and public. They employ specialists with excellent education and long-term work experience. You will be provided with healthcare services of any complexity, but the prices for them are not too encouraging. You can reduce this expense item by purchasing health insurance.

The main cons of Abu Dhabi life

It would be unfair to say that life in Abu Dhabi is completely devoid of flaws. The main disadvantages, in our opinion, look exactly like this:

Unusual climate

It’s hot in the United Arab Emirates. From May to September in Abu Dhabi, there is heat (up to + 50 ° C) and extreme humidity. Going outside, you find yourself in the sauna: hot and humid. For several years you get used to such a climate, besides, in the UAE, life is greatly facilitated by the abundance of air conditioners, which are even here at bus stops.

Bad real estate market If Dubai, adjacent to Abu Dhabi, is famous for its real estate market, then the prospects here are far from rosy. Accommodation in Abu Dhabi is expensive, even if it is not of high quality. It is not common for foreigners to purchase housing in this emirate because, according to local laws, a foreigner can own residential or commercial real estate, but cannot own land. Most agree to a long-term lease or even buy or rent housing in neighboring Dubai.

Inability to obtain citizenship

The citizenship of the United Arab Emirates is not distributed right and left. The surest way to get it is by lineage. Immigrants have practically no rights to citizenship, even a resident’s child born here cannot apply for it unless only his parents have not been able to find it, then the state takes care of the foundling. The only chance to obtain citizenship is to be naturalized.

An original attitude towards women

On the one hand, women are respected here and local men will never allow themselves to be attached to the ladies. Yes, and a businesswoman with a high level of professionalism in Abu Dhabi will not surprise anyone, the Arabs are happy to do business with them. On the other hand, women in the UAE are constantly faced with discrimination. For example, if a woman holds a high-paying position in one of the companies in Abu Dhabi, then she cannot use her visa to transport her husband and children here. Often ladies complain that they suffer from lustful looks, or even harassment of labor migrants, who are deprived of women’s attention.

6 levels for a successful move to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is one of the richest regions not only in the Middle East but in the whole world. The concentration of 1/10 of all oil reserves on the territory of this emirate of the UAE leads to the fact that the locals literally bathe in luxury, leading an idle life thanks to the dividends received from the oil sale. Naturally, foreigners would also like to join this rich club, which is why many dream of moving to Abu Dhabi.

Fortunately, the government of the United Arab Emirates does not prevent foreigners from moving to their country. To make the change of country for residence as successful as possible, think in advance about the smallest details of this trip. And, of course, don’t forget about the main components of moving to Abu Dhabi. We have selected for you six of the most important components of a successful start to a new life in the UAE.

Visa Only residents of the Persian Gulf countries have the right to come and live in Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. Everyone else will need a visa to legally stay in the country. Since we are talking about moving for a permanent or long time, you can apply for either an investor or a resident visa, depending on what you intend to do in the Emirates.

Resident visas are issued for their employees by company executives. It is issued for 2 or 3 years and then renewed as needed. But to get an investor visa, you don’t need any outside help.

To do this, it is enough to make an investment in the country’s economy by registering a company or buying expensive housing: from 1 million dirhams, that is, about 2,700 thousand dollars. But for a wife and underage kids, you do not need to apply for a separate resident visa.

They can get by with the sponsorship visa of the father of the family if his income is more than 10 thousand dirhams. Unfortunately, only men have the right to bring a family to the UAE, acting as a sponsor for them. If a woman is offered a job in Abu Dhabi or owns a company, the husband will have to apply for a separate resident visa.

Remember that your visa will be canceled if you do not stay in Abu Dhabi for six months or longer, so you should not leave the country for a long time.

Sources of income

If you have already been offered a job and you are moving to Abu Dhabi to take a specific vacancy, which suits you perfectly, then you do not have to worry about the future. But if you are thinking about transferring your business to the Emirates, then first you should register a company in the UAE.

You can turn to a local partner for help by giving him 51% of the company’s shares, if you have such a person in mind, then the authorities of the emirate will allow you to establish a local company wherever you want it. If you do not intend to share income with a partner or do not want to look for a sponsor among the locals, then take a look at the free zones of Abu Dhabi.

In the Emirate itself, there are several free economic zones, the most polar of which are free zones located at the port and airport. If the Abu Dhabi FEZ does not suit you, then register a company in the free zone that you want. For example, you can take a closer look at Dubai, on the territory of which several dozen different FEZs are located. This emirate is just an hour’s drive from Abu Dhabi.


Real estate in Abu Dhabi is a very expensive pleasure. The prices for renting and buying housing in this emirate are much higher when compared with other regions.

Many, not wanting to pay a high price for a fairly average quality of housing, rent an apartment in Dubai, and invest the money they save in a good car (a great car in the UAE can be bought for a pittance), on which you can get everything from home to work in an hour along immaculate roads.

If you do not want to consider this option, then you will have to look for housing for purchase and rent in Abu Dhabi.

Foreigners received the right to purchase real estate in Abu Dhabi only in 2005, but still, they constantly face some restrictions. For example, foreigners have not yet received the right to own land.

These restrictions have led most expats to opt for long-term leases rather than real estate purchases. If you pay for accommodation immediately for a year, then the price will be significantly lower than paying monthly. If you need a city apartment, then you need to look for it in Al Khalidiya or Corniche; for renting a private house, the Bateen and Karama quarters are best suited.

Separately, you will have to take care of the arrangement of housing. The property is mainly rented by labor immigrants, so they don’t care too much about leaving it to the next owner in perfect condition. You may want to do some minor refurbishment before moving in.

Property owners rent out both furnished and completely “naked” residential properties. But for the purchase of household appliances (refrigerator, TV, computer) you will definitely have to spend money. You do not need to bring your own from home, it will not work in the UAE.


Public transport in Abu Dhabi is not very developed, so get ready to buy a car for yourself and for your significant other, if you want her to be able to move around the city.

Here, however, buses and taxis run, but getting around by them is expensive and inconvenient. In addition, the prices for cars in the UAE are very reasonable. For example, you can buy a 2013 Renault Safrane, which has not even covered 40 thousand kilometers, for 40 thousand dirhams, and a 2013 Nissan Xterra with a mileage of 40-45 thousand km for 60-80 thousand dirhams. New cars will cost more: from 100 thousand dirhams, depending on the prestige of the brand.

Even if you have an international license, you will also have to take care of acquiring a license. It is issued to those who have already turned 18 years old and who have a resident visa in Abu Dhabi. To obtain a license, go to the Abu Dhabi Drivers License Department and provide their employee with the following documents:

  • color photo 3×4 cm;
  • copies of passport pages and its original;
  • resident visa;
  • Emirates ID;
  • driver’s license.

You can also not do without scanning the retina of the eyes, after which you can start moving along the roads of Abu Dhabi in your own car, but this must be done as carefully as possible because the locals of the UAE drive quite dashingly and often without observing the rules.

Health insurance

The level of medicine in Abu Dhabi is extremely high, most of the medical specialists working there have a Western-style education, decent work experience, and must speak English at a conversational level.

In addition, both locals and foreigners have an equal right to go to a clinic with health problems, especially when it comes to private clinics. The only thing that can force you to seek medical help in the country of which you have citizenship is the considerable prices that all clinics in Abu Dhabi charge for treatment.

In order to protect your health, you should take care of your health insurance in advance. This, by the way, is one of the conditions for issuing a resident visa. If you come to the UAE to work for hire, then the employer will take care of the insurance for you.

Individual entrepreneurs can purchase a health insurance card on their own. The insurance policy is usually issued for a period of one year and attached to a specific clinic. You can change the clinic if it does not suit you by paying the difference. The insurance policy will cover all minor troubles associated with your health if more global problems arise, then the difference will have to be covered from your pocket.

Arrangement of children

This item will be of interest only to those expats who have babies. Abu Dhabi has enough school and preschool facilities for children of different ages. If your wife does not need to work, then it is not necessary to send the child to kindergarten, the spouse or nanny can provide him with home preschool education.

However, kindergarten is a good opportunity to socialize a child before school and improve his English, because, in order to be taken to school, he will need to pass tests on his knowledge of English.

If your child is of school age, then you need to find a school for him and improve his knowledge of English in advance, since public schools are not available for children of immigrants, and private ones are not enough to accommodate everyone.

Moving to the UAE for permanent residence

To move to live in the United Arab Emirates from X country, you need to apply for a visa of any type from all the ones presented to date, and it is up to you to decide what kind of permissive document to make. So, you can help emigrate:

  • bride or groom who are citizens of the United Arab Emirates (marriage visa);
  • higher education institution (student visa);
  • relatives living in this state (visitor visa);
  • a company operating here (work visa);
  • doing business on the territory of the state (business visa).

In addition, the purchase of a real estate in the UAE in the amount of at least one million dirhams is the basis on which its owners can obtain a resident visa.

To buy a house, for example, in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, it is better to contact a real estate agency, since specialists will guide you in a huge number of objects for sale, help you find apartments according to your requirements, assist in concluding an agreement, and so on.

Accommodations in the UAE for foreigners Expats come to the Emirates for permanent residence quite often, since not many people like the European weather with its hot summers and cold winters, floods during thaws in spring and autumn rainy seasons. In addition, people

come here for a more comfortable life than at home, in order to be able to receive decent wages, be relatively safe, spend more time by the sea and on the beaches.

Today emigrants leave reviews on the Internet about the country, give advice on how to emigrate. Life in this state is becoming a special stage for expats, especially if the migrants buy their own homes and find work to their liking.

Here it is all the information about moving to Abu Dhabi, the level of life, how you can schedule your steps, and in general all the good and bad sides of Abu Dhabi. This is a big city, with good conditions and welcoming potential for expats, you can bring your family with you, get enough high salaries and easily invest in the country.

The only big downside for expats is that they can never get citizenship status in the UAE. But despite that in general, life in Abu Dhabi is worth trying.

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