Don’t let the hype of Western media outlets fool you—living in a Middle Eastern area like Dubai is one of the best things you can decide to do, especially if you love to travel, love adventure, and love a hot desert climate. There are some things to take into consideration, however, should you choose to begin living and working in this cultural gem of the United Arab Emirates. Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you have not only made the right choice, but that you can do more than merely survive in one of the most bustling and culturally rich Middle Eastern city in UAE.
In order to receive a work visa, you need to make sure your résumé is up-to-date. If you need college transcripts, health records, a copy of your birth certificate, or any other important documents in order to secure a job, housing, or insurance, make sure you have everything before you leave for your trip, and make extra copies as a precaution.
Learn Some Arabic
Though many people in Dubai speak fluent English, Dubai is a multi-cultural bastion of friendship and respect, with expats from all over the world. Because you are in a Middle Eastern region, it is considered polite to know at least a few phrases to help make life easier with the locals. Learn to say words such as “please,” “thank you,” “hello,” “good-bye,” “May I…?” as well as other polite words and phrases so that you won’t offend anyone or seem out-of-place.
Though Dubai is much more liberal than other Middle Eastern regions, it is still considered polite to keep your shoulders and upper chest covered. When out in public, err on the side of conservatism and keep your upper and lower body covered, at least to the knees. Because this bustling desert city is extremely hot, a wardrobe of cotton and linen in light colours may be your best option.
Dubai is a multi-cultural city, with residents from all over the world who celebrate and practice a number of religions. It may be in your best interest to be mindful of major Muslim holidays such as Ramadan and ‘Eid, and to be respectful during calls to prayer.
Dubai is much more liberal in comparison to other Muslim areas, but don’t be a typical Western loud, obstreperous drunk. No one likes that, no matter where in the world you are.
Dubai is a wonderful place to work, play and live!