Almost each of us in childhood, reading or listening to tales of a thousand and one nights, dreamed of spending a part of life in a mysterious and alluring Arab country. Where there is a luxury of emirs and sheikhs against the background of a hot desert, where snow-white minarets and such a unique voice of muezzin.
Now it's hard to believe, but the state of the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is only 48 years old! In 1971, having received the right to self-determination from Great Britain, seven emirates entered the federation. Of the States of Calm Coast, only Bahrain and Oman refused to become part of the UAE.
Descriptions of life and photos of the UAE resorts on the sites of travel companies, advertising exhibitions and conferences in the Emirates, the success of the Manchester City football club - all this creates a fabulous and alluring image of an Arab country in the Arabian Peninsula. After reading an enthusiastic review, someone has a desire to go to the Emirates as a tourist, someone is looking for real estate, and someone is trying to find a job or to find a place to live as an emigrant.
Of course, there is hardly a place on Earth where life is cloudless and rosy. But the growth rate of GDP (more than 38 thousand dollars per capita) in the Emirates and the standard of living can not fail to impress. Of course, the huge hydrocarbon reserves play a huge role in the welfare of the country. But it is equally important to correctly manage the available resources, taking into account the geographical location and political environment.
Unlike Muslim neighbors, the UAE adheres to the “western” vector of development: adherence to the British legal system, removal of customs barriers and improvement of investment attractiveness.
Faced with a shortage of labor, the government of the Emirates created a system conducive to labor migration. At the same time, the rights of the indigenous population are protected by law, which prevents it from being eroded and crowded out. Today, more than 9 million people live in the Emirates (for comparison, less than 90 thousand people lived in the territories of the state in the 50s of the last century). Of these, only 15% are citizens.
Social policy provides for a complete waiver of the main types of taxation and state regulation of prices for most goods (this is done to prevent price increases as a result of rising incomes).
But to be a citizen in the UAE is much more profitable than a labor migrant: the average salary of a citizen of the Emirates is about 10,000 dollars, and a qualified visiting specialist can earn 4-7 thousand dollars, while workers in the specialty are satisfied with 1-1.5 thousand. Therefore, caste is clearly seen in the country in terms of income and, accordingly, living standards. In addition, in addition to the high level of wages, citizens of the Emirates are subsidized electricity and motor fuel.
Nevertheless, life in the UAE has significantly more advantages for visitors. The price level in relation to the average wage makes living conditions in the Emirates one of the most comfortable for life even in comparison with European countries. Of course, the products are more expensive, since most of them come from other countries. However, lunch for two at an average catering establishment will cost 30-40 dollars for two. For the average Ukrainian salary - it is expensive, but by local standards - just right.
But with all the pleasures of life in the UAE, we should not forget that the Emirates is a Muslim country, with all the prohibitions and restrictions. Therefore, to observe customs and traditions is necessary for all visitors, regardless of religious preferences. Drunkenness, smoking, obscene language, littering in public places - all this is strictly regulated at the legislative level and controlled at the executive level. And of course, Ramadan: in this month in the Emirates it is strictly forbidden to eat, drink and smoke in public places before sunset. Drugs are also very strictly applied here: for the spread - the death penalty for all.
But even in a Muslim state there are “islands of freedom” - special zones. These zones were created by the Emirates in order to attract even more foreign investors. If in other places at least 51% of the business should belong to local citizens, then in special zones 100% ownership of companies for non-residents is allowed. In special areas there is no censorship in relation to the Internet. There are also no restrictions on the share of local employees in companies (the country has a quota of 25% for local citizens) and on the ownership of land and real estate. Also in the special zones of the United Arab Emirates, legal restrictions and regulations for foreign companies have been significantly simplified. More than 60% of oil and gas goods and services and at least 80% of exports fall within special zones, of which there are about 40 in the UAE.
Attitudes towards women in the Emirates do not fit into the general stereotypes for Muslim countries. Of course, in everyday life, local residents adhere to the traditions, but even the work in power structures is now open for them. And if a woman (first of all, we are talking about tourists), allows herself some liberties in clothes from the point of view of Muslims, then this does not cause any stir or close attention.
Almost a quarter of the UAE budget is invested in education. The system and structure of education is quite familiar, and the cost of education is much lower than in Europe. Therefore, many Europeans tend to study here, as local universities produce no less qualified specialists. A feature of education in the Emirates is that state universities teach only the indigenous population, while private ones are open to all.
What a Ukrainian or another resident of the former CIS in the Emirates will surely encounter is underdeveloped public transport. Basically, the local population moves in their own cars. For simplicity and convenience, you can take a taxi. The average trip around the city will cost about 5-7 dollars. For a wallet that came to work in the Emirates - this is a minus. Of course, a simple person can ride on regular buses (as most tourists and visiting workers do), which run strictly according to the schedule and equipment with air conditioners. It is very unusual to see in buses transparent plastic partitions separating women's places from men's ones. Travel by public transport (and there is also the subway) will cost about 1-2 dollars.
The local currency in the Emirates is Dirham. It is very tightly tied to the dollar: 3.65 dirham for 1 dollar. There are no restrictions on the import and export of currency.
In terms of language communication, there are also no problems. The official language is Arabic. All spheres of life in the UAE is intended to unite the widely spoken English. And in hotels the staff understands Russian.
Another nuance of local life - the weekend, weekend. It will be necessary to get used to the fact that for the Emirates it is not the usual Saturday and Sunday, but Friday and Saturday. This is due to religious peculiarities: Friday is the day of prayers (like ours, Sunday).
Considering life in the UAE from all sides, it is impossible to bypass climatic conditions. Dry tropical climate with irregular rainfall, most of the state - sandy desert. And with all of this - Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi amaze with the beauty and variety of greenery in gardens and parks.
The average temperature in winter is about 26 degrees, and in summer it is a real heat: 35-38 degrees with no rains, and the water temperature in the Persian Gulf reaches 30 degrees.
The most friendly climate in the emirate of Fujairah, located beyond the mountains Hajjar. Plus, this is also the exit to the Indian Ocean.
The most adverse natural phenomenon is sandstorms. Although it happens infrequently, it lasts for 2-3 days and everything around is covered with a layer of sand.
Of course, as in any foreign country, in the UAE, it is better for a visitor not to be ill if you have not previously been concerned with purchasing the Health Card. Medicine is at a very high level, but without insurance - very, very expensive.
As if someone did not want to choose the UAE for life, do not forget that to obtain citizenship is almost impossible. Emigrant, but stateless is not the best option. Therefore, no matter how well everything worked out, the majority of foreigners are returning to their homeland.
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