Dubai is one of the most developed and new-age cities in the world. Everything and everyone seems to move faster here, and if you don’t move at the same pace, you are bound to be left behind. As a new expat living and working in this strange yet mesmerising city, you might find it a bit difficult to adjust to the pace and the way of life here. Here are a few useful things which will help you out as you settle down and make your transition much smoother;
1. The Metro Map and Bus Schedule
You won’t be able to drive around for the time being until you obtain your license, but this does not have to handicap your transportation in any way. Public transport in Dubai is readily available by way of metro train, with train stations all over the major parts of the city, as well as via the bus service and the tram. One of the first things you ought to do is buy a train and bus card which is known as a “Nol card”, which you can top up as required at any metro station. Familiarise yourself with the metro map so that you can find out which stations to catch the train, change lanes and get down from. You can download the metro map from the internet. It will also make your life much easier if you know which buses to take from where you live to the destination of your choice, and how often the bus comes. You can obtain this information online as well.
2. Obtaining and Renewing Your Tenancy Contract
Accommodation is one of the most important things to sort out as soon as possible when settling down in Dubai. You can look around for an apartment of your choice that will fit in to your budget, which will not be too hard to find as there are many apartments available for rent in almost all the populous areas of the city. Documentation in the form of copies of your Emirates ID, passport details page, valid UAE residence or work visa and English to Arabic translation Dubai of your personal documents such as the marriage certificate will be necessary in order to obtain the tenancy contract. Most tenancies last for a three year period and need to be renewed annually. If you wish to terminate your tenancy before the three year period is completed, you may do so but will be required to pay a penalty. Therefore it is advisable that you stay until the three year period is up to change your apartment if needed.
3. Getting Your Driving License
Once you are ready to get your license, you will have to attend a series of classes and driving lessons before you can obtain a valid driver’s license for the UAE region. This is required from everyone, regardless of whether or not you already have a driving license from another country. Again, you will need to submit a number of documents in order to obtain your license such as your Emirates ID, visa copy and a Dubai legal translation of an NOC letter obtained from your employer. The same will be required for the registration of your vehicle and for obtaining vehicle insurance.
4. When to Plan Your Holidays
Public holidays in the UAE are different from the usual calendar days as they depend mainly on the Islamic religious festivals such as Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Hajj. These dates can vary from the predetermined days too and are not official holidays until they are declared so by the government and usually this happens only a few days in advance. At the same time, accommodation and especially air tickets are very expensive during declared holidays. So it makes more sense to take your work holidays during off seasons such as the summer months. You will get much better holiday deals and packages during the summer too. However it is not wise to go on outdoor excursions during the summer as the weather is too unforgiving during this time of the year. You should leave those to the winter months that can range between late October and early March.