Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My hubby is still awaiting a package offer to accept for a job he has been offered in Abu Dhabi - however, we have started exploring possible areas we could live in. We would like to rent and ideally live within a British expat community and with 3 children (we also need to find a school for - but that's another search for another time!) we would love to live in an area with lots going on. We would welcome any suggestions please.
 

·
Super Moderator
Originally from UK but lived in many countries
Joined
·
6,931 Posts
My hubby is still awaiting a package offer to accept for a job he has been offered in Abu Dhabi - however, we have started exploring possible areas we could live in. We would like to rent and ideally live within a British expat community and with 3 children (we also need to find a school for - but that's another search for another time!) we would love to live in an area with lots going on. We would welcome any suggestions please.
Hi,
We have lived in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi - they are both very different.
Firstly, Abu Dhabi does not have that many villa compounds and communities like Dubai.
Living location will depend on where your husband works and the schools you choose for your kids.
Rush hour traffic can be quite heavy and there are not so many schools (with available places) as Dubai.
We live 50km from our sons school - so do 200km per day just for the school run!
Cheers
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Steve has got a good point. I'll admit I'm slightly tainted by the fact that I am not a Dubai fan at all and have been in Abu Dhabi for my entire 4.5 years in the UAE.
However, it's true that there are not so many compounds down here, but it is getting better and there are probably twice as many now if not more than there were in January 2011 and the expat community can be quite good in some of them. You won't find much in that regard in the real city centre, as that was built years before such considerations came into their minds.
Traffic can be bad in places, but if you find the right runs, which most seasoned AD expats can help you with then traffic can be easily gotten around. My wife does around 150km a day to do the school run, but in all honesty, the fact that the lowest speed limit (when you take that the speed limits are not the actual enforced limit*) is 50mph (80kph), it doesn't take long to get to most places.

On to schools. Get on with your search now! Depending on the ages of your kids, places are severely limited. The most popular schools have 10 applications to each available place, so you'll need to start applying immediately.

Things going on? Well, there's things going on all over the city to be honest. There are family places such as Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World, a whole host of family days at hotels, pool days and anything else you can think of. You can something to do most of the time, regardless of where you are.

Really shortstop, it's nice to say you want to live in a British expat community, but just get involved! There are loads of great guys and girls who are not british out here. I'm off out tonight to meet one of my Emirati friends who is a great chap. There's much to be found in this city and I'm sure if you're open minded, you'll love it. Don't hesitate to give me a shout if you need anything.

* All speed limits are +20kph, so in town it's 60kph on the signs, +20kph enforced (maximum) speed limit = 80kph. So 80 = 100, 100 = 120... Seriously, as you drive up the main highway to Dubai, the speed limit sign says 120, then 500 yards later, a larger sign says Maximum Speed Limit 140. Yes this is complicated and really reflects a brain bending level of logic that I've only ever seen in the middle east.
Also, if you think you've seen tailgating, local driving is Red-Arrows style formation flying. I hope you're not a nervous person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your replies. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. You've certainly provided lots of food for thought.

I must confess that school places (or lack of) is one of my main concerns. Our children are in KS2 and KS3 so I'm hoping that the situation is a little less critical than it seems to be for FS1/2 and KS1. I've been researching British schools this weekend and as soon as we know roughly when we may be arriving I'll start applying. We're hopeful that may be in the next week or so. However, I would be happy to receive any recommendations/sharing of experiences that may help make our decision easier.

I'm not a nervous person but I must admit the thought of driving in Abu Dhabi terrifies me!! But I guess it's like everything in that you get used to everything eventually. I will have a vision of the Red Arrows in my head every time I drive now. That comment did make my hubby chuckle.

Some much to think about, I'm not sure where to start :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
In all honesty, let's hope that you're able to find a place for your kids. The choices are far greater now with the arrival of Cranleigh, Repton, Brighton College and many others over the past few years, but still it seems that there is a massive squeeze on places. The key seems to be getting one of them in and then the sibling gets a preference place.

Give any of us a shout if you need help on the where to start bit...

Driving isn't so bad once you get used to it. Just expect everybody to do something utterly stupid and you'll be fine!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top