Uprooting one’s life to move to the Middle East is often a decision taken by the demands of work: with international offices opening up in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the UAE – a useful middle-ground for business between East and West – plenty of jobs are relocating to the shining metropolis in the desert sands in the modern era. It’s nothing to be daunted about – you’ll lead a comparatively luxurious and enjoyable lifestyle to that which you lived at home – but there are some tips that’ll be useful to take over with you for your exciting new move.
As with any move to any new area of the world, the expat should make a huge effort to understand the culture they’ll be living inside and to get at least a basic grasp of the language spoken there. The international language of business remains English, but that’s not to say a little Arabic won’t get you a long way. When it comes to Middle Eastern culture, research their customs and pleasantries, so you are familiar with their customs and their views on alcohol, sexuality, and gender, so you’re not caught out while away.
Many successful states in the Middle East have built gleaming and impressive cities. For some, this translates into believing countries such as Qatar have little more to offer than urban life. This isn’t the case, however, as there are Bedouin communities as well as plenty of desert exploration to enjoy in these countries which may involve surfing down sand dunes or hopping over them on a dune buggy. Look up all tourism activities so that you make the very most out of your time exploring there.
Middle Eastern cuisine is very much unique – and delicious – and one of the main objectives anyone living there should hold close is to learn how to make the many mouth-watering dishes that have pleased the Arab palette for centuries. There’s fusion food too, of course, in the international centres of commerce, trade, and business, but sometimes it’s the smaller local eateries on the edge of town that pack the most authentic punch of spice, herbs, and flavours you simply won’t find anywhere else in the world. Cooking classes are offered in every city; get stuck in your free time.
Alongside the business side of these cities is their huge shopping districts and new-build malls – constructed to dazzle and amaze. Do check these out while staying in places such as Abu Dhabi, but remember also that the prices at these malls are many times inflated. With a little local knowledge, you can check out the online shopping in UAE, meaning you’ll save money and have your very own speedy service for furnishing your house, supplying your hobbies, or finding clothes and other fashion items without having to leave your home. A move away from your home country doesn’t mean a move away from valuable commodities.
A move to the Middle East can be incredibly exciting, and bearing the above tips in mind will make your stay that bit more comfortable and special.