Al Ain

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Moving to Al Ain

The strategic location on the border of the UAE and Oman means that especially GCC nationals find that moving to Al Ain is easy and convenient. Expats in general are very welcome to this vibrant city, even if expat numbers are not high as high as in Dubai, for example.

About the City

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.

Visas for the UAE

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.

Getting to Al Ain

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.

Peter B. Krehmer

"There are so many expats in the UAE, but the InterNations Dubai Ramadan dinners brought some wonderful guests together. "

Suzanne Payne

"Dubai is such an overwhelming mixture of tradition and modernity that I was very grateful for all the support from other expats. "

Global Expat Guide