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Abu: Dubai Expat Blog

In our InterNations Recommended Blog section we let you take the spotlight! Expat life in general is, of course, a perfect breeding ground for great, user-generated reads, and life in Dubai makes no exception. Take your time and browse the great blogs showcased in this article!

Our first entry, Dubai Expat Blog, is not only a diary of experiences and a communication tool for advice for other expats, but also offers coverage of business - and other - news on Dubai, as well as a guide to living in this emirate, including tips on shopping, dining out, and more.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Dubai, etc.

I am Abu Hamza. I am a web developer and internet marketing specialist. I have relocated to Dubai from Karachi, Pakistan in 2009.

When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?

I have decided to start a blog about Dubai mainly to express my feelings about this wonderful place. The idea was also to share the happenings with other expats as well as global readers who are interested in Dubai and UAE.

Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?

One of my favorites is on the scene coverage of an accident which happened near Dubai.

Tell us about the ways your new life in Dubai differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?

Life in Dubai is way different than life back home. Although Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan, and the most inexpensive metropolitan city to live in the world, it lacks the sophistication of Dubai. Most people are in awe of the materialistic aspects of Dubai (the shopping malls, high rises, glitz and glamour). However, I really admire the discipline, law and order and the harmony between various expat communities.

Adjusting to Dubai was a task but now I feel, more or less, at home. There was no cultural shock for me due to strong presence of Pakistani and Indian communities here.

Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Dubai? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?

Although I have heard about the competitive life in Dubai and planned accordingly, I can’t say I was fully prepared when I landed here. I made quite a few mistakes, learned some tough lessons and met some good people during my time here.

If I had to start it again, I may do it bit differently than how I acted when I arrived here.

Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?

Right now I don’t remember any funny experience. Expat life in Dubai is not a bed of roses J

Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Dubai?

  • If you are coming to work in Dubai, do your homework about the company, the salary and the work environment beforehand. Otherwise you may have some unpleasant experiences.
  • If you intend to use public transport, try to get accommodation near a bus / metro station. Using taxis in Dubai is quite expensive due to long traffic jams.
  • Do not fall into the “sale” trap. Dubai always has one shopping festival or other, with sale signs displayed everywhere, making expats go on impulse buying spree.

How is the expat community in Dubai? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?

The expat community is very vibrant in Dubai. You can find like-minded people of every taste and inclination. There are number of social network sites that expats use to plan meetups and get-togethers.

How would you summarize your expat life in Dubai in a single, catchy sentence?

All that glitters is not gold.

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