This is based on my personal experience and the opinions are my own. No hate, just info.
Where do I live?
1 – OK well accommodation BY LAW needs to organised by your employer. They will either give you an apartment or give you an allowance for accommodation! They should also pay for your flight over and your visas. Hotels will be expensive and there isn’t really a cheap area either so I recommend you find a job before you go over or at least have several interviews lined up before you go. I have NO idea how much apartments are as I never met anyone working for themselves and having to pay for one.
How much money must I go over with?
2 – With money, I went over with 4k. (4000 useless rands) This was too little. Especially if you go halfway through the month and only get half month pay. Google “average monthly living cost in Dubai” and go over with a couple months worth of cash. Clubbing is VERY expensive and so are taxis. The Brits will say it’s cheap but they are not dealing in Rands so tell them to sod off!
3 – OK this is tricky cause I don’t know what vibe you would be into. You have the most ‘expat’ friendly Emirate which is Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi. After that, they start getting stricter and you see more locals than expats. I would initially start up in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi and then visit the other Emirates to see if it’s to your liking.
What are the people like?
4 – The people in Dubai are EXPATS. I think it’s something ridiculous like 91% expat to the locals. The actual locals (Arabs) are something to be admired but I doubt you will become besties with any of them. You will see them in the fancy clubs (Cavalli. Armani etc) but they tend to stay away from expat clubs and pubs. There is an awesome nightlife which is ‘expat friendly’ if you will. Try Barasti, Rock Bottems and Irish Village. There are also a few awesome English styled pubs which serve amazing brunches!
Where to live in Dubai?
5 – Do some research on living at The Marina, Palm Jumeirah and Business Bay. Search the areas in detail and make sure you know where you will be based. Ask yourself how far you are from your place of work and from the nearest supermarket if you will be relying on taxis.
I would like more information…
6 – BLOGS BLOGS BLOGS! Stay tuned to more UAE blog posts from myself, otherwise read as many blogs by expats living in the UAE. It is an honest review and it helps you to get an honest feel of what it’s like to live in a country.
And finally the most important question….
7- Yes, you can get bacon from selected supermarkets.