Relocation Guide: Abu Dhabi

Relocation Guide: Abu Dhabi

Key Industries: Unlike Dubai, the public sector is much more prominent in Abu Dhabi. This is due to its notable distinction as the capital of the United Arab Emirates. However, opportunities are blossoming in Abu Dhabi’s private sector across an assortment of industries. According to the nation’s Department of Economic Development, a few of the high growth sectors include renewable energy, gas, semi-conductors, construction material and petrochemicals. Aviation, transport equipment, iron and steel, aluminium, plastics and foodstuffs also appear to show strong growth.

Income Tax Rates: The entirety of the United Arab Emirates does not have any federal income tax on wages or salaries. Rather, each individual emirate, Abu Dhabi included, can impose income taxes. None of these do however.  It is also very unlikely for this policy to change in the near future.

Visa Information: To work in any of the seven emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, and Umm al-Quwain) an expatriate must first receive a work contract or a conclusive job offer before initiating the visa application process.

Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States are empowered to a 30-day or 90-day Visit Visa. This visa allows you to seek jobs and apply for suitable positions. Upon receiving an offer of employment, your employer will initiate the appropriate visa procedure by putting in a request at the Immigration Department. Your credentials are authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the UAE in your home country.

A multiple-entry visa allows the foreign worker to leave and re-enter the country anytime without additional formalities. Contracts in the UAE are usually for two years; these can be extended by mutual agreement. Once the contract is validated, the expat receives a labour card which can be used to apply for a residence visa. This is a mandatory requirement for expats planning to settle in Dubai.

The majority of employment contracts in the UAE are “single-status”. This means that your spouse and/ or family cannot accompany you to the UAE. However, there are visa options available for sponsoring spouses and children to live in the UAE as well.

Remember that if you leave your company of employment, your current visa will be cancelled. You will have to get a new residency permit from a new employer.

Main Relocation Costs: The biggest expenses to expect when relocating to this global city come out of the necessity of transportation. Owning a vehicle is more essential in Abu Dhabi than it may be in other global hotspots such as Berlin or London. Fortunately, petrol is relatively cheap in comparison, making this cost easier to cope with. Other significant costs can be seen in accommodation (if your work contract does not include a clause for this), given the rising prices seen in the housing market.

Costs of Living:  The 2014 Worldwide Cost of Living survey produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) shows that living in Abu Dhabi has become a bit more expensive than in years’ past. It is the 2nd most expensive city amongst the Gulf States, as well as the 33rd most expensive city in the world.

Lifestyle Synopsis: The capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, is also the largest of the seven emirates with a rich and vibrant lifestyle. It is a city now dotted with futuristic skyscrapers, international luxury hotels, numerous shopping malls, leisure and entertainment facilities . However, Abu Dhabi still maintains the charm and grandeur of an older and more cultural society. Blending the modern with the traditional, Abu Dhabi is the perfect destination for your career move in today’s changing landscape.

Private Schooling Fees: Private education costs have a wide variety, given the vast variety of curriculum archetypes and schooling standards. Some institutions, such as the British International School Abu Dhabi, cost as little as US$4,485 annually. Other schools, such as Brighton College Abu Dhabi, can be as expensive as US$19,797 per year. Private schooling options are abundant, so the severity of these fees is all dependent on what you require to fulfil your children’s education.

Expat Community: The expat community in Abu Dhabi is a blend from nationalities all around the globe. Among the largest communities come from the United Kingdom, the United States, Bangladesh, Germany, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

Overview: As an expat, it doesn’t get much better than Abu Dhabi. It is a location where you can make an excellent salary, enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, and make the most of this amazing emirate. In Abu Dhabi, you will be able to create marvellous memories by trying new things and having experiences that can only happen in this gem of the UAE.  

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