Known as the Garden City, Al Ain is a shock of green against the reddish gold of the surrounding desert. It has been continuously settled for more than 4,000 years, welcoming expats from every part of the world.
Although the city has fewer expatriates than sister cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the expat population is significant and well-established. English is spoken almost as widely as Arabic, while South Asian cultures are visibly represented.
Al Ain is located on the border between the emirate of Abu Dhabi and Oman, and it is approximately 130 km south-east of Dubai, and the same distance from Abu Dhabi to the east. It is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and has a continuous population of approximately 500,000.
The UAE has visa agreements with more than 50 countries worldwide, granting free 30-day visas upon arrival with a free 30-day extension upon request. Other nationals can choose between a tourist visa, a transit visa and a service visa, for example for company managers, executives, consultants.
For longer stays, the options available are long term visit visa, tourist visa-multiple entry, and long term visit visa multiple entry. In order to obtain a work permit, a residence permit is required. Expats need in this case a sponsorship from a resident or a company and they can apply for residence permits if they are employees, family members, students, domestic helpers, or investors.
For more detailed information, please refer to our article on Moving to the UAE.
Al Ain is connected to Dubai and Abu Dhabi by two main highways, both of which are long, straight and well maintained. From Abu Dhabi International Airport, it is a 150 km journey to Al Ain city center, and it is the same distance from Dubai International Airport. The Al Ain International Airport sits on the outskirts of the city and offers flights around the local area, as far away as northern India and Ukraine.