The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is famous for its relentless sunshine, its golden dunes that roll on for miles and some of the most ambitious, opulent building projects of modern times.
But it’s not all super-tall skyscrapers and shifting sands. The country founded just 47 years ago is now home to more than 200 nationalities and a world pioneer in many sectors.
Both English and Arabic are the most widely spoken languages in the UAE, though because of its diverse expatriate population, visitors may also hear Urdu, Hindi or Pashtu. Arabic dialects are numerous, but several basic phrases are the same throughout the region.
During the months of June, July and August temperatures can soar up to 48 degrees Celsius, making it difficult to walk outside. The weather during the rest of the year is so glorious that it makes up for the hot summers. When temperatures are a balmy 27 degrees Celsius in the middle of December.
The UAE’s Constitution declares that Islam is the official religion. However, the UAE government follows a policy of tolerance toward non-Muslim religions. There are a number of Christian churches, as well as a Hindu temple complex.
No matter your age, gender, nationality or preference you are bound to find something fun to do in the UAE., especially when it comes to weekends that are held on Friday and Saturday.
The UAE is home to the world’s largest shopping malls, which contains thousands of restaurants, shops, a movie theaters and numerous activities. In addition, the UAE has the world’s most beautiful beaches, hotels and theme parks providing families with limitless staycation spots across the country.
Cuisine from around the world mingles in UAE restaurants offering a vibrant and varied mix of international flavours and impressive culinary standards. Hotel outlets also serve alcohol and these are complemented by many superb licensed outlets across the emirate.
The UAE also holds the title for the third best air transfer infrastructures in the world and has been ranked the second safest country in the world by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
A well structured and expansive network of local and international banks, strictly controlled by the UAE Central Bank, offers a full range of commercial and personal banking services. Most banks operate ATMs, which accept a range of cards.
The local currency is the UAE dirham (AED or Dhs) and is pegged against the US dollar (US$ 1: AED 3.6725). Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted.
As the UAE government continues to invest in developing its knowledge-based economy, education is considered a key driver of the growth and, as such, this sector has experienced rapid expansion. According to the latest figures, the U.A.E. has a total of 580 schools with a total enrolments of 584,932 students.
The U.A.E. education system is divided into public schools, private schools and higher education. The public schools follow the Arabic curriculum whereas the private schools follow 17 different curricula. Schools following national curricula from the U.K., U.S., India, and the MoE cater to 90 percent of the private school student population.
To find more about the practicalities of relocating to the UAE – the following sites provide some useful information: