When first hearing of our family’s new adventure to Abu Dhabi, my husband and I began scouring the web for all the information we could find to expat successfully. Expat is our new verb, just like google, lunch, etc. To expat well we needed others to tell us how they did it successfully. Unfortunately, we found very few blogs or websites from an American perspective. Most were Brits, Aussies, or New Zealanders and frankly if we were to suddenly move to those locations we would still be trying to expat successfully. I say that from experience as we were once moving to the UK and trying to figure out how to do everything despite being in an English-speaking nation.
The experience of living abroad in the UK prepared us for this move and we found the void of information from an American experience something we would like to address. Rule number one to expat successfully is look to a community for support. Luckily, we live in the world of information and social media. It’s much easier now than it was for us to connect to social media groups such as Facebook. You may have gotten tired of Facebook in the states. However, it will now be one of your most valued resources in a foreign country. The UAE is no exception. It is convenient to post a “looking for recommendations request” and information will be delivered right to your wall. No question is too small, and the expat communities tend to be helpful and kind.
The UAE is expanding incredibly! This feels like the next frontier and much like our westward expansion. The UAE can look like a modern version of the wild west with skyscrapers and at times blowing sand, just like the image chosen for this blog. Everything is new and being built faster than the Wal-Mart’s went up in the States. There is a huge need for everything. If you have a niche or an adventurous spirit, come to Abu Dhabi! The culture is very welcoming to everything American. From food, to clothing, to entertainment, all your new favorites and even many of the old brands are already here just waiting for you! Other nations with their branding are also well represented in this new sort of cosmopolitan world.
Hopefully this blog will be a place where other American’s can share their experiences and we can all learn together. I hope you will join our family on this adventure and let’s expat together!