Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, the largest emirate in terms of land area, and the second-most populous city after Dubai. With its thriving economy, job opportunities, and many fantastic places to visit, it is not surprising that many expats choose to live and work here!
Abu Dhabi also happens to be the home of the UAE government, where you will find local and federal government offices. In recent years, the emirate has had tremendous economic growth and development, and is now a major hub for business, trade, culture, and tourism.
What Makes Abu Dhabi a Top Destination for Expats?
Without a doubt, the emirate of Abu Dhabi is among the top destinations for expats in the world, mainly due to the following reasons:
#1. Thriving Economy and Job Opportunities
As mentioned earlier, Abu Dhabi is the seat of government activities and industrial development in the country. Because of its major role in the economic growth of the UAE, many companies choose to establish their offices and headquarters here, thus leading to numerous job opportunities for locals as well as foreign workers.
Aside from providing employment, these companies also offer opportunities for learning, career development, and skills enhancement of their employees.
#2. Higher Salary and Tax-Free Income
The chance to earn a higher salary is one of the main reasons why a worker often chooses to go abroad. But what if we add “tax-free income” to the list? That’s right! As an expat in the UAE, you are not expected to pay any income text, which means you will receive your salary in full!
Benefits such as health insurance, accommodation, and transportation allowances are usually provided as well. Awesome! With a good salary, tax-free income, and additional benefits, you can save more money and make good investments… just be sure to budget wisely, of course!
#3. Warm and Sunny Climate
During the summer months, the weather in the UAE can get really hot, so air-conditioning is a must! For the rest of the year, however, the weather is generally warm and pleasant, making it possible to hit the beaches an enjoy the outdoors, almost all year round!
Keep in mind that the hottest month of the year is August, with an average daily temperature of around 36 degrees Celsius. In contrast, January is the coldest month, with an average daily temperature of around 18 degrees Celsius. Keep these in mind when making your travel plans!
#4. Safety and Security
If you ask expats what they like the most about Abu Dhabi or the UAE in general, many of them would mention “safety and security.” Indeed, law enforcement in the country is among the best in the world, with clear-cut penalties for all sorts of crime and violations. The main roads are monitored by cameras round the clock, while authorities are quick to respond to accidents and emergencies. The result? Citizens, residents, and tourists feel safe and secure!
#5. Work-Life Balance
Being a major hub for trade and business, you’d think that most Abu Dhabi residents are all work and no play. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! The emirate features plenty of resorts, restaurants, shopping malls, beaches, and other attractions. Simply head to the Corniche for a relaxing afternoon, or to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for a thrilling drive around its Formula One tracks. There is always something exciting and new in the capital!
#6. Religious Tolerance
Despite being a Muslim country, the UAE is actually tolerant when it comes to religion. The people are free to practice their own religion, and there are churches and temples of different faiths here. Religious groups can gather and organise freely. Now that’s what we call religious tolerance!
#7. Diverse Community and Culture
The Emirati culture has a rich history and heritage, and people are encouraged to join and participate in festivals and tradition-related events. What’s more, the population includes people from different countries all over the world, each with their own language, beliefs, and customs that make the UAE community diverse and colourful!
Whether you’re in the office, school, home, or out in public, the UAE is a great place to make friends from various parts of the world. Indeed, you’re up for an unforgettable multicultural experience!
#8. Food, Glorious Food!
If you’re an “adventurer” when it comes to food, you’ve come to the right place! Aside from offering local eats, Abu Dhabi features international cuisines: American, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Lebanese, Mediterranean, Nepalese, Pakistani, Vietnamese, and more! You name it, they’ve got it!
There are plenty of restaurants that serve local and international dishes in Abu Dhabi. On the other hand, if you prefer to eat at home, most outlets offer take-out and delivery services, too! Cool!
#9. Tourism and Entertainment
There are lots of amazing places to visit in Abu Dhabi, including museums, art galleries, shopping malls, and other attractions. For those who love to watch classical performances, the Emirates Palace hosts plenty of these! Meanwhile, Saadiyat Island is home to several cultural and entertainment attractions, so this is definitely a must-visit!
Here are some of the most popular places to visit in Abu Dhabi:
- Marsa Mina, a waterfront lifestyle destination;
- Yas Island;
- Public and private beaches;
- Traditional markets or “souks”;
- Museums; and
- Shopping malls.
Getting to these places are easy, even if you don’t have car, because of the convenient public transport system in Abu Dhabi.
#10. Travel Opportunities
From Abu Dhabi, you can easily travel to different countries around the world. Aside from exploring the Middle East, why not travel to Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia! Many countries are just a few hours away by plane, and you can even reach neighbouring countries by bus. Yay!
Higher salaries, religious tolerance, safety and security, delicious food, tourist attractions… these are just some of the great reasons why many expats decided to live and work in Abu Dhabi. If you are thinking about moving here, then you’re definitely up for an amazing experience! On the other hand, if you are worried about the budget, here are 20 free things to do in Abu Dhabi. Enjoy!