Moving abroad as an expat is one of the most exciting – yet nerve-racking – things that any of us do.
According to statistics just moving house within your home country is rated as more stressful than getting divorced or being made redundant. Just imagine how that stress can multiply when moving half way round the world.
Yet every day more and more of us willingly choose to become expats; whether that’s to further our careers, to follow a loved one or just simply in the spirit of adventure. And few destinations can have more appeal than Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. These days there are estimated to be nine expats to every local Emirati.
So what can be done to make moving to Dubai and integrating into the local culture as smooth and effortless as possible? The answer, of course, is information.
Actually, scrub that. Not just information; fantastic information.
To this end we at Expatriate Healthcare have been combing the Internet for the last few weeks and speaking to as many expats in Dubai as possible in order to create a definitive list of the top websites for expats moving to Dubai.
Today we take great pleasure in bringing you a roundup of the very best sites you should be bookmarking before leaving for this vibrant and cosmopolitan part of the world.
Top Dubai Blogs
One of the very best ways to get a realistic view of a certain country is to read the blogs of people who are already living there. Fortunately in Dubai there are no shortage of bloggers. Having sifted through dozens of alternatives, we proudly bring you the best blogs we’ve found on moving to Dubai:
Mommy in Dubai – http://mommyindubai.com/
As an expat living in Dubai, Corrine’s lifestyle blog is awash with tips and advice for expat parents living in the Middle East.
From posts about raising expat children, through to a fantastic post about moving to Dubai, Canadian-born Corrine simply sparkles with enthusiasm and energy for her family and the life she is living in Dubai.
A must-read for all wannabe expat parents.
Expat Woman Dubai – http://expatwomandubai.blogspot.co.uk/
One of the best-known brands in the expat sphere, Expat Woman aims to connect women worldwide.
Their dedicated Dubai blog certainly doesn’t disappoint. Filled to bursting point with tips on moving to Dubai, Expat Woman is both inspirational and full of solid advice.
Posts cover everything from coping with your first Ramadan, to a very handy guide to driving in Dubai.
Dubai in a Frame – http://www.dubaiinaframe.com/
Shweta Dembla writes arguably the most original and creative country-based blog we’ve ever seen.
Dubai in a Frame provides a colourful guide to this exciting and culturally-rich city, covering everything from fashion to art.
Dive into Shweta’s eclectic mixture of Emirati culture and fully immerse yourself.
Top Guides for Living in Dubai
It’s no secret that living in the Middle East can be very different to other parts of the world. Not only is Dubai culturally unique, but there are also all the practical aspects of establishing yourself in a brand new country. Fortunately there are some exceptional websites to act as your guide as you familiarize yourself with life in Dubai.
Living in Dubai – http://www.livingindubai.org/
Whether its advice on mortgages or banking, where to buy groceries or which restaurants to frequent you’ll find Living in Dubai to be a one-stop shop.
Here you’ll find everything from tips for surviving the heat of an Emirati summer, through to how to buy a car as an expat.
For any practical concerns you might have, this is one site well worth consulting.
Expat Echo Dubai – http://www.expatechodubai.com/
Founded by global mobility company Move One Relocations, Expat Echo Dubai isn’t just notable for the depth and breadth of its information, but also its interactive nature.
For example you can read interviews with expats in Dubai and even have your questions answered in person by an experienced expat.
If you want advice from other expats that have moved from Dubai this is a must-see site.
Dubai Expat Blog – http://www.dubaiexpatblog.com/
Dubai Expat Blog is updated regularly with the very latest news from Dubai.
Of particular emphasis are the living costs in Dubai (always a hot topic) and careers in the city.
The features cover everything from school fees to a complete guide to the Emirates ID card. Subscribe to the blog and you’ll always be up-to-date with developments in this dynamic and fast-paced city.
Eating in Dubai
For the uninitiated, the diversity and quality of cuisine on offer in Dubai can be both surprising and bewildering. Rest assured that food-lovers relocating to Dubai will be far from disappointed with the wealth of eating establishments available here, nor the richness of the dishes on offer. But where to start your culinary adventure?
Ishita Unblogged – http://ishitaunblogged.com/
Described by blogger Ishita as a “culinary travel blog” this is a site guaranteed to give you an appetite.
Within moments and visiting for the first time you’ll be overwhelmed by the incredible food photography, which will make you want to drop everything in favour of making a restaurant reservation!
For the ultimate jumping-off point to life (and food) in Dubai, just start here.
My Custard Pie – http://mycustardpie.com/
British expat Sally Prosser takes us on a journey through life in Dubai, with a particular emphasis on good food.
With travelogues, recipes and photography so good it makes you want a plane ticket right now, Sally’s blog oozes charm, character and inspiration.
For expats considering a move to Dubai there is much to be learned from the archives.
DoinDubai – http://doindubai.com/
Looking for impartial and independent Dubai restaurant reviews?
If so, British expat Monica Kapila has you covered.
While Monica writes about a plethora of topics related to life in Dubai, it’s her “eating out in Dubai” category which really sizzles with advice, opinions and guidance.
If you’re looking for the next restaurant to try in Dubai then comb through Monica’s “back catalogue” for a detailed list of munch-worthy destinations.
Time Out Dubai – http://www.timeoutdubai.com/
Time Out is rightly known around the world for the quality of their information and Time Out Dubai is no exception.
Whilst this impressive and exhaustive site offers guidance on aspects of life in Dubai, we have included them here due to their extensive list of restaurant reviews.
Pleasantly, these don’t just describe the culinary delights on offer but even provide sample prices, making the selection of an appropriate restaurant a breeze.
Job Vacancies in Dubai
One of the most popular reasons for moving to Dubai are the many job opportunities on offer to expats. No expat article about Dubai would therefore be complete without some top career site recommendations. Of course, there are the big multi-national job sites, but there are also a number of more focused job vacancy sites that you might not have considered. Today we’d like to tell you about some of these gems just ripe for exploration.
Career Dubai – http://www.careerdubai.net/
For job seekers looking specifically at the Dubai job market there can be few better sites than Career Dubai.
Rather than focusing on the Gulf States in general, or even just on the UAE, this is one of the few sites specializing in job opportunities in Dubai.
With such a specialist remit you might be forgiven for thinking that there will be very few vacancies on offer, however nothing could be further from the truth.
Here you will find dozens of possible opportunities; and if you don’t find anything suitable you can even upload your CV to their searchable database for potential employers to peruse.
GovJobs – http://www.govjobs.ae/
For expats seeking vacancies within the government sector this specialist site makes finding suitable vacancies a breeze.
While there are fewer jobs on offer than on some competing sites, the reality is that the narrow focus of GovJobs makes finding these highly-regarded and well-paid jobs much easier for the lack of clutter.
Gulf Talent – http://www.gulftalent.com/
One of the broader job sites, Gulf Talent published vacancies from all the main Gulf States.
As a larger site it draws in plenty of recruiters all looking for the qualified and hard-working individuals. Of all the more specialist job sites this one therefore arguably offers the largest range of vacancies.
Even better, thanks to their user-friendly interface it is easy to find jobs just in the UAE, or even based on city.
To search for jobs in Dubai alone, for example, just click here.
As you can see, there are dozens of helpful sites out there that will help expats moving to Dubai. Thanks to the information they freely provide almost any question you might have can be answered. If you’re moving to Dubai then also don’t forget to look into expat health insurance to ensure you have access to the finest medical care available while abroad.