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So, you are new(ish) to Dubai or possibly planning to relocate to Dubai in the near future? We are happy that you have found our blog, Expat Echo Dubai. Hopefully, you will find it a helpful resource during your settling in process into this unique city.
First of all, let me start by the obvious. Dubai is unlike any other city in the world. It’s very likely that you will be relocating here from some place very, very different. Do not fear. Don’t let the glitz, glam or size scare you. (more…)

unnamedNew fines: Make-up when driving – Dh1,000; Mobile at signal – Dh200
4-12 black points and in some cases, vehicle will be impounded

The Ministry of Interior has issued a circular to traffic departments across the UAE as regards a Dh1,000 fine to be levied on women applying make-up while driving.

The new violation will also include men combing their hair, or adjusting their traditional Arabic head-gear while driving, Colonel Saif Al Mazrouei, Director General, Department of Traffic, Dubai Police said in a press statement.

Motorists found violating the new rule – which Colonel Mazrouei says comes under the dangerous driving category – can also draw 12 black points against their licence and have their vehicle impounded. Read more

garden-in-dubaiWhen renting a villa with a garden in Dubai usually the maintenance of the garden is the tenants responsibility. Often when new tenants move into the villa the garden has died off due to the villa being left vacant for a few weeks or months and so the garden has not been watered.

The up keep of a garden is something to be put in your budget when searching for a villa as it can be expensive because of the amount of water they ‘eat up’.  Don’t be fooled by that corner villa with a huge lawn – remember this will need to be watered and sometimes of the year twice a day!  In reality there is also a limited amount of time you and your children will spend in the garden.  From May to October the balcony doors will be kept hermetically sealed  due to the intense heat and the garden will only be for looking at.

It is worth thinking about putting an irrigation system into the garden (many will come with one) as it is more efficient.  The plants around the borders can be watered through a ‘drip irrigation system‘. Read more

Dubai-Courts-2Earlier this month, married British women were warned to think carefully about the state of their marriage before moving to the UAE. The warning was prompted by campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW), which highlighted the serious legal problems that even non-Muslim women can encounter if their marriage fails while they’re in the UAE and they end up battling their divorce in a sharia court.

HRW also said the UAE authorities were “failing to respond adequately to reports of domestic violence”, leaving battered women here in dire straits.

The caution comes as the UAE prepares for the annual influx of new expat families arriving in time for the new school year. And I feel for them because, these days, it’s very easy to hop on a flight and arrive a few hours later in the land of opportunity without fully comprehending that things are done differently here. Very differently. It is after all a Muslim country governed by sharia. Read more

W4W-Jan 25th -30Following on from the success of the June initiative, The Sameness Project is looking for volunteers to join them for a morning of hot, sweaty and heartfelt fun where volunteers hand out bottles of cool water and a ton of thank you’s and handshakes to anyone working in Dubai’s heat, keeping our city built, clean and beautiful.

Event: Water for Workers
When: Saturday August 30th @ 10AM (For an hour or so)
Where: Emirates Int’l School, Al Thanya
Who: Anyone! By yourself, with friends, family, or colleagues!
How: All you need to do is to meet us outside the school & we will load your car with boxes of water ready to be given out! Read more

Life has been on overdrive lately. Moving to Dubai, living in a serviced apartment, house hunting, car shopping, furniture shopping, taking care of 3 kids, working full time and trying to set up a life here has been extremely exhausting. Every time I try write about the millions of things I have on mind, I end up getting distracted. Now, it is Friday night, and after a long day I have a few minutes of quiet to sit with my laptop. Read more

In Dubai, you will find most expats drive. Driving in Dubai can at times be challenging as many drivers are known to speed, which can make others on the road nervous. If one is not comfortable driving, taxis are on call and generally inexpensive – a good alternative to driving yourself. Public transportation is also available, but it may not take you as far as you need to go and schedule times can often be inconvenient. Read more

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