Abu Dhabi FAQs

What is it like to live in Abu Dhabi

What is it like to live in Abu Dhabi

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What is it like to live in Abu Dhabi?

That's a question that is often googled! So here we have a series of interviews with our readers who live in Abu Dhabi sharing their advice and top tips with you!

EXPAT INTERVIEW… HANA

Joyce interviews HanaTell me a little about yourself
My name is Hana, I am from Jordan. I moved here 8 months ago, I’m a physical education teacher

Why did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
When I got married - 8 months ago ( last September )

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
My husband found us somewhere to live

Where are you living and what’s it like?
Marina square - Reem Island, its a nice community has a lot of facilities

How are you finding Abu Dhabi?
Very nice city

What do you like most about living here?
I always can find something to do and somewhere to go

What do you like least about living here?
It is very hot in the summer

What do you do with your free time?
Going out to the Corniche or to the mall

What are your favourite things you’ve done so far and why?
Abu Dhabi cinema and Abu Dhabi festival

Is there anything you have found hard so far?
Find a job … im still looking.

If you had one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
Every Wednesday in Costa Coffee in Al Wahda Mall, the Expat Woman Coffee Morning, go along, it will help you a lot to make nice friends

What is your favorite restaurant/food that you have tried here?
Meat Company, abed al wahab , nodels house and Johnny roket

What is on your iPod?
Arabic songs :)

EXPAT INTERVIEW… NURAY


Expat interviewsTell me a little about yourself.
My name is Nuray. I came here from Canada but I'm originally from Turkey. I’m married and a teacher.

Why did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
I have been here for three months. We moved here for my husband’s job.

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
When we decided to move here my husband came directly from Canada I went first to Turkey for vacation so he found a flat from an estate agent and sent videos to me about the flat. That's how we decided.

Where are you living and what's it like?
I'm living in a tower on Al Reem Island, we like it.

How are you finding Abu Dhabi?
I like AD especially because of the sun. When I lived in Canada I missed the sun so I 'm happy now. Also it is close to my country.

What do you like most about living here?
It's very safe here.

What do you like least about living here?
Until now I like the weather but I think after this month I'll not like that. I heard it would be hot and humid. Also I don't like the traffic because people drive cars very fast.

What do you do with your free time?
I meet friends, read a book, go on a walk , swimming and watch movie .

What's your favourite things you’ve done so far and why?
I went to Dubai and I saw the amazing Burj Khalifa !

Is there anything you have found difficult so far?
No I have not found anything hard so far.

If you had one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
I can say here it is a safe and easy life and you don't pay tax so you can save your money.

What is your favorite restaurant \ food that you have tried here?
My favorite restaurant is Sofra Istanbul when I go to in there I feel like I am in Turkey .. so of course, it has delicious food.

What is on you Ipod?
My ipod has pictures , music and video. I like to listen to Turkish music, and other stuff. At the moment I like Pink and Bruno Mars.

We met Elize... an Abu Dhabi Newbie.. 2 weeks in!

elize krugerTell me a little about yourself...
I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and have lived there all my life. I am a qualified Jewelry designer and have worked as a Fashion designer for the last two years. Currently I am not working and am looking at it as a great opportunity to have a long holiday and then perhaps start a new creative project of my own. On the 16th December last year I got married to a wonderful man named Chris. We do not have any kiddies yet.

Why did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
We moved here as my hubby got a very good job opportunity. It was a tough decision to make and we thought long and hard about it. I know many people prefer to live in Dubai but as my husbands offices are here in Abu Dhabi we are happy to explore the city and then decide where to live. We like the Corniche and all the parks. We moved here mid March.

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
The company my husband works for arranged the hotel for us and as we like it so much we have decided to stay here for a little while until we have explored some more and found a place that we would like to live in. We are enjoying the city life and being within a few minutes taxi ride of most places.

Where are you living and what is it like?
We are living in the Grand Millenium Al Wahda. We have an apartment with a kitchen and a living room. The apartment is very nice and looks out over the city. We have a nice big bedroom with an ensuite and a bath and walk in shower. We even have a guest loo. The hotel health club (gym) is very nice as well as is the swimming pool on the 31st floor. There are a couple of restaurants here and we really enjoyed the tepenyaki buffet at Toshi. The hotel is very centrally located and the Al Wahda mall is only a 5 minute walk away.

How are you finding Abu Dhabi?
It is an interesting melting pot of different people and cultures. Making living here very interesting as well as difficult sometimes. With so many different cultures I find that a lot gets lost in translation and have experienced some frustrating situations. But looking back at them you have to laugh. I once asked housekeeping to bring me a salad bowl and they arrived with a flower vase.

What do you like the most about living here?
I love the fact that you can see the ocean from most places and that it is so close by. In Cape Town you are never that far from the sea so it makes me feel a little bit more at home. It is also very convenient how the shops are open so late and that there are so many taxis to take. I am enjoying tasting new food and seeing new things in the city. Not to mention the shopping...

What do you like the least about living here?
Being away from home. It sounds a bit obvious but I miss my family and the little familiar things about home. I am also very aware of the fact that I cannot just wear anything and need to make sure that I am "decent".

What do you do with your free time.
I exercise in the gym and read. I have started to practice yoga again and will be starting classes in the next couple of weeks. I am also starting to experiment cooking with some of the new ingredients and spices that I find in stores.

What is your favourite things you have done here so far and why?
We had a long walk and a bicycle ride on the Corniche that I really enjoyed. It is a spectacular walk and as beautiful during the day as it is at night with all the city lights.

Is there anything you have found hard so far?
Apart from the normal homesickness, communicating seems to be very hard and it takes some getting used to knowing what the right words are and how to describe things to get what you need. You also need patience and have to ask a couple of different people to get what you need.

If you have one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
Join Expat Women even before you move and find out when the group activities are so you can go to the meetings as soon as you arrive. It makes you feel so much better to know that you are not alone in your feelings and the ladies are a wealth of information. Another tip is to not be shy to ask for help and be patient with yourself and others. Most people are very kind and will help where they can.

What is your favourite restaurant/food that you have tried here?
I really enjoyed the macaroons at the buffet Sofitel all day dining restaurant. I could have made a meal of them! There are still lots of new flavours to try though and I am enjoying the Indian food too!

What is on your iPod?
Anything from David Guetta to Goldfish. Anything that puts a hop in my step and a smile on my face :)


Naghisa

Joyce interviews NaghisaTell me a little about yourself
I'm originally from Japan. I’d lived in the United States for 10 years and Qatar for 2 years before moving to Abu Dhabi. I love chatting with friends, watching sports, and cooking.

Why did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
My husband works for an oil company, and we moved to Abu Dhabi in December 2011

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
My husband has to live somewhere close to his office, and our apartment was recommended by a colleague.

Where are you living and what’s it like?
We are living in Khalidiya, its very nice, close to the office and close to the Corniche.

How are you finding Abu Dhabi?
Abu Dhabi is a modern city, there is lots of greenery compared to Doha where we used to live

What do you like most about living here?
Meeting new people with different cultural backgrounds, I love walking along the Corniche with my friends

What do you like least about living here?
There are so many reckless drivers. The heat in summer drives my crazy !!

What do you do with your free time?
I go shopping. ON the weekends my husband and I play basketball.

What’s your favourite things you’ve done so far and why?
I went to Dubai alone by bus, and explored all the souqs and the creek area.

Is there anything you have found hard so far?
During Ramadan there is nothing much to do especially during daytime. All the restaurants and cafes are closed.

If you had one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
Bring with you some traditional recipes from your country, cooking is a very good way to make good friends.

What is your favorite restaurant/food that you have tried here?
TOKI - Japanese restaurant in Hilton Corniche (Khalidiya), I go there when I don’t feel like cooking.

What is on your ipod?
ABBA – my dad definitely influenced me.

Gavin

gavinTell us a little about yourself...
I am almost 40, have worked abroad for the last 7 years starting in Bermuda, Ghana, Cambodia and now Abu Dhabi. I have spent just over 22 years in catering. I'm the Executive Chef at Slices Abu Dhab and Head Chef at Slices Brighton College.

Why did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
January last year to work for Jones the Grocer

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
I used Dubizzle

Where are you living and what’s it like?
Khalifa A nice, quite close to work

How are you finding Abu Dhabi?
Nice I like the heat

What do you like most about living here?
The sun!

What do you like least about living here?
Trying to get anything done in a hurry

What do you do with your free time?
Normally sleep lol........... I relax with friends watch movies talk to my kids on Skype

What’s your favourite things you’ve done so far and why?
Food Demo at Taste of Dubai

Is there anything you have found hard so far?
Anything to do with goverment paperwork is very hard

If you had one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
Relax! it will happen. there is no point in stressing about it or shouting about it.

What is your favorite restaurant/food that you have tried here?
First floor at the park hotel expensive but very good

What is on your ipod?
Don’t have one and don’t really keep music on my iPhone either. In the kitchen I have 70s 80s 90s music and right up to date on, in the car Radio 2.

RoseMarie

rosemarieTell us a little about yourself...
I am from the UK, a mother of 3, I started my business Beautiful Brows a year ago.

Why did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
My husband works for the government and we’ve been here on and off for 19 years!

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
I put the kids in Brighton College, and drew a perimeter around the school and asked my husband to find me a villa close by.

Where are you living and what’s it like?
Oryx Gardens at Khalifa Park, it’s a lovely spacious villa.

What do you like most about living here?
I love it – love the outdoor/sunshine lifestyle

What do you like least about living here?
Being away from family and close friends back home.

What do you do with your free time?
Do not really have much free time during the weekdays as between being a mum and running my business takes up quite a lot of time, however I do like to go off to one of the islands with the family at the weekends

What’s your favourite things you’ve done so far and why?
For my 40th birthday, we went to The Banyan Tree in Ras Al Kaimah, took a sunset horseback ride over the dunes. It was spectacular.

Is there anything you have found hard so far?
Saying goodbye to good friends, living this expat life, you are always going to make friends, then either you leave, or they do.

If you had one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
Have an open mind and realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day!

What is your favorite restaurant/food that you have tried here?
Trader Vics (a long time favorite).. They have the best steak in town!

What is on your iPod?
Mumford and Sons


Andrea

andrea abu dhabiWhy did you move to Abu Dhabi and when?
We moved here at the end of May 2012, with my husband’s job

Tell me a little about yourself...
I am Canadian, I love animals, I love reading, I have 3 grown children.

How did you find somewhere to live and how did you make the decision?
We used Pure Real Estate, they were recommended by a collegue.

Where are you living and what’s it like?
We live in an Apartment on Reem Island, we have a great layout and fabulous view, its quiet, we like living here.

How are you finding Abu Dhabi?
I really enjoy living here, it has a real heart and soul to it.

What do you like most about living here?
The ocean and beach – it always feels like you are on vacation

What do you like least about living here
The heat and humidity in the summer, and the way people drive here.

What do you do with your free time?
Not a lot, read, walk, shop

What’s your favourite things you’ve done so far and why?
Went to the western part of Abu Dhabi, Al Gharzia for a Camel Festival.

Is there anything you have found hard so far?
Finding things to do during the week.

If you had one top tip you could share with others moving here what would it be?
Be ready for the heat, and to have everything done for you.

What is your favorite restaurant/food that you have tried here?
Really like Lebanese food.

What is on your ipod?
A big mixture, Enya, Indian, Dijierdo, Bowie, Rod Stewart…. Just about everything!

Harman

harmenI qualified from Bristol Dental School in 2005. After completing Vocational Training I worked as a Senior House Officer in Oral Surgery at Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. During my time there I completed the Royal College of Surgeons examinations. In 2011 I took a year long certcificate course in Cosmetic Dentistry and aesthetic dentistry run by Chris Orr in London.

Before coming to Abu Dhabi I was practising in Surrey for 4 years and had built up a large patient list. I really enjoyed my time there as I treated a variety of people, I particularly enjoyed treating nervous patients and helping them to overcome their fears of the dentist! I enjoy treating children and am focused on preventive dentistry. I am also committed to continual professional development and attend courses to keep abreast of new techniques and materials.

Only a few months ago the opportunity to practice dentistry in Abu Dhabi arose at the Maher Dental and Medical Centre and I had no second thoughts about taking the job. I am relatively young and decided that this is an opportunity not to be missed. I came over in September to have a look at the clinic and I met the staff who were all extremely friendly. I have been here only for a few weeks and am enjoying every minute of it. I like the culture the people and everyone here is so friendly.

Since I have been here I have looked to online websites to make friends and see what I can get involved in as a new expat. EW coffee morning in Al Wahda Mall was a good place to start and I met so many wonderful people all in the same boat as me.

I am looking forward to finding a good yoga class to go to stretch my muscles after a week of work! In my spare time I enjoy dining out with friends, going to the cinema and I am now hoping to get involved in more outdoor activties like scuba diving.


 
 
 
 
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