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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…)

Beach in dubaiWhen you move to Dubai one of the most pleasant surprises to greet most new expats is how lovely the beaches are. Miles and miles of golden white sand and apart from the weekend they are practically empty.  Thanks to the Dubai Municipality they are regularly cleaned and the water is crystal clear.

The main downside to the beach is come May it is just too hot to enjoy them and even the ocean is like stepping into a luke warm bath.  However, from mid-October through to May they are well worth a regular visit.  The best bit is they are FREE so what are you waiting for throw a beach chair, and cooler into the back of the car and off you go!  Expat Echo Dubai explains where all these beaches are. Read more

Dubai-Airport-Freezone-DAFZAQ. What is a free zone? Why do some companies opt to set up their business in free zones?

A. In general, a free zone or free trade zone may be described as a portion of a city or a clearly designated area in a country apportioned for business activities such as the receipt and storage of goods without any import duties, and where commercial/industrial operations may be carried on and certain taxes or restrictions on business or trade do not apply.

What makes free trade zones attractive for business is the tax exemption they offer; and, especially in the UAE where regular companies are required to have a UAE national sponsor, the fact that businessmen get to enjoy 100% ownership and control of their business. Read more

For many new residents it maybe a couple of months since you moved to Dubai.  The home has finally been found, furniture has arrived and curtains hung.  The children seem settled and are busy with their new friends and your husband is busy getting to grips with his new job and probably a lot of travel.  However, at this moment in time it maybe you the trailing spouse who is suddenly left feeling a bit lonely and unsure of how to meet new friends.

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You need to renew your car registration once every year. If you have purchased a new vehicle, the dealer will handle all formalities for the first year. From the second year onwards, you will have to renew your car registration.  Car registration takes place at the Dubai Traffic Department/other emirates traffic department or online and the vehicle testing at Tasjeel Centre Al Barsha, Tasjeel Centre Al Twar, Wasel Belhasa Vehicle Testing Centre in Al Jaddaf and Quick Registration in Al Ghusais (all open 24 hours).

It is worth noting if  a vehicle is not older than three years, it does not need to be tested. It is, therefore, not necessary for the customer to visit the service centre as the whole process can be done online.

Half an hour from start to finish! That’s how long it took me to renew my car registration at the traffic department in Al Barsha this morning. Remarkable when I think back to 15 years ago when I dared not go to get my car registered without our office PRO (Public Relations Officer) to guide me through every step, all the queues and manic hand waving. Read more

Moving overseas is all about change: new country, new customs, new job, new language. It’s a lot to handle all at once. When the lifestyle changes include trading in a career for full-time parenting, an even bigger adjustment is required. And if the expat in question is a man, the upending of traditional gender roles adds yet another layer of complexity to the process.

Men who have successfully made the transition know that approaching these changes as opportunities is the first step to thriving in expatriate life. “My advice would be: if you’re going to do it, give it everything you’ve got,” says former expat spouse John Burke. Here are some more suggestions for getting the most out of life as an expat spouse. Read more

frying-pan-adventuresRise and shine! If you’re an early bird looking to dive right into a mix of cultural food experiences around the city, this food lover’s march is your perfect morning cuppa’.

We ride one of Dubai’s oldest forms of water transportation across the historic Creek and find a cozy breakfast table a stone’s throw away from the water. Breakfast will feature your choice of the classics with flavourful twists inspired by local ingredients and Emirati culinary traditions.

We head off after breafast to visit the Spice Souk and learn about exotic ingredients (ever heard of the Rose of Jericho? Myrobalan? Gum Tragacanth?) Test your spice savvy with a competitive foodie game concocted in our Frying Pan laboratory: SPINGO!

We switch gears from spices to coffee, uncovering a coffee collector’s project that aspires to bring coffee culture back to the region where it was born – the Middle East. We learn about regional coffee traditions from Ethiopia to the U.A.E., and lose ourselves amidst the exhaustive coffee collection that that spans roasting, grinding and brewing machines dating back to two, or even three centuries old.

Having worked up an appetite at the souk and museum, we leave the Creek behind and head off to a middle-class neighbourhood that few tourists – or even new Dubai residents Read more

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