We're moving to Dubai. Help! Where do I start?
Moving to a new country can be daunting at the best of time. Add to that a different culture, language and a household to set up and sometimes you wonder what you've let yourself in for.
We've been there and know exactly what it's like to move a family around the world. For what it's worth here are our words of wisdom and some handy contacts. We'll be adding more and more information to this page.
Kerry Baggott, Chief Editor,
Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Marhaba, Bienvenue, Willkommen, Mabuhay – to be honest, with over 200 nationalities living in the Emirate, you can choose almost any language in which to say ‘Welcome’ to Dubai’.
In very few other cities in the world would you have so many different world cultures living so harmoniously together. Indeed, Dubai is probably the most tolerant and safest country in the whole of the Middle East.
If you’re new to this city, or if you’re planning on moving here, then you’ll be living in one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the world. You’ll be able to go to the beach every day; plan that BBQ with little to no fear of rain; indulge in world-class shopping and dining and enjoy entertainment and attractions that tourists consider once-in-a-lifetime opportunities all year round. Oh, and not to forget, some of the world’s best sporting events – I never miss seeing the world’s top tennis seeds at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships each February.
As outlined in Expat Explorers’ Dubai Suitcase, moving and settling into this exciting city can be a lengthy process – as it is into any strange city for newbie expats. However, Dubai has come a long way in the seven years that I have lived here. You can now pay your parking fees on your phone; pay your electricity bill at an ATM; do your banking on the internet and do your grocery shopping online.
The pace of change is phenomenal and it defies belief that go back just 50 years and Dubai was little more than a fishing village beside The Creek. You literally will see this city expanding before your very eyes and we’re always wondering what’s coming next. Tests start next month on Dubai’s new tram system and new roads open almost every month. And there are certainly many more developments in the pipeline, especially now as the city prepares to host the World Expo 2020 and we work to achieve Dubai’s Tourism Vision to welcome 20 million visitors per year by 2020.
Work has already started on building the new Mohammed bin Rashid City – a city within Dubai that promises a green park 30% bigger than London’s Hyde Park, a theme park in collaboration with Universal Studios International and a shopping mall, Mall of the World, that will be even bigger than the world’s current biggest mall, The Dubai Mall (you see, we’re even breaking our own records now).
No less than five theme parks are planned for the Jebel Ali area; an opera house is being built; more cycle ways and pedestrian crossings are opening…..I could go on.
One thing’s for sure, you’ll certainly be arriving at a very exciting time in the history of Dubai.
It’s a great place to bring up a family in a safe, multi-cultured and tolerant society where there is heaps to do for all ages. Conveying the sheer variety of experiences to be had here is probably best done by asking the people who live and visit here, which is why His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, recently launched an initiative to create the world’s first autobiography of a city. With the aim of capturing the true essence and soul of the city, all residents and visitors of Dubai were invited to share their experiences by posting images and videos on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #MyDubai.
In the first week following the launch in January, over 75,000 images were submitted on Instagram and now we’ve created of an online museum, featuring some of the images that showcase the lives of the Emirate’s residents and visitors. The #MyDubai e-Museum can be found at www.instagram.com/mydubai and www.twitter.com/mydubai.
The museum will be added to each week throughout the year giving you lots of inspiration.
So take a look, enjoy Dubai for yourself and share your experiences at #MyDubai
(All opinions are her own)
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Need a break?
There is nothing like a bit of exploring to help you feel settled. If you've just moved to the UAE and Oman you might like to give these trips a go. Just click here:
Trips around the UAE and Oman