ExpatWoman's Top Ten Settling In To Abu Dhabi Tips
Starting a new life is an adventure- it can be scary but it can also be amazing! Over the years we’ve offered advice to 1000’s of women and families moving to the region to help them settle in. Here are EW’s top ten tips to help you settle in and start to enjoy your new life as soon as possible.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff- it’s so tempting to try and get everything done at once- your head will explode if you try doing this! Give everything time and focus on your main objectives. It’s not a race and some things will take longer than others- be realistic in your goals.
2. Get listing- write yourself lists to keep control of all the tasks you need to do and give yourself enough time to achieve the tasks- it will take you up to 6 months to be properly settled with everything from curtains to spoons sorted.
3. Don’t forget about yourself- a lot of women spend all their time making sure their family is all settled and ok and don’t even think about themselves- you need me time too. Take at least an hour a week to do something nice just for you- a massage, a mani/ pedi etc.
4. Ever so lonely- Remember you don’t have your extended family and friends around you like you would in your home country. You might feel lonely or down at times- don’t panic- it’s perfectly natural. Try to start forming new friendships with people but also keep in touch with loved ones through webcam and Facebook- will make you feel less isolated.
5. Room at the inn? Don’t get too inundated with visitors in the first 6 months- yes it’s exciting to have people coming to visit but if you’re not careful you will be a bed and breakfast and tourist guide every week as aunts, uncles and random cousins all decide to descend upon you and you won’t have settled in properly yourselves.
6. Say yes to things- you will start to get invited to all sorts once you have made a few connections- anything from camping trips to barbeques- say yes! It’s all about expanding your social circle and having new experiences- if you’re not enjoying yourself you can always leave.
7. You may experience changes in your health- anything from hair loss to upset stomachs- this is all part of the settling in experience. You are being exposed to different bugs, water, atmosphere, foods etc. and your health may be affected. You can fit a shower filter to help with hair loss and make sure all fruit and veg are washed properly before eating.
8. Drive time- driving is a major part of your independence in Abu Dhabi. Yes taxis are plentiful but having the ability to just pop in your own car to the shops or do the school run is a great independence booster. The roads look big and scary and the standard of driving is somewhat erratic but you will get used to it- practice defensive driving techniques and start of learning a few regular routes to ease you in gently.
9. Watch out for the “Abu Dhabi stone”! You may find your weight starts to creep up- this is due to a lessening in walking and the scrummy food available here. Make sure you keep an exercise regime and try and stay as active as possible to replace those lost steps you would normally take every day. Almost every possible type of gym, class, sport and exercise is available here so make the most of it.
10. Take full advantage of everything offered by ExpatWoman.com of course! Use the forum for research and queries to the experts, read the FAQs to help guide you through all the processes and procedures, attend a coffee morning to meet new people, attend the EW special events to have some fab experiences and read YOU! Magazine to catch up on all the news!
We do hope you settle in as soon as possible and as calmly as possible!