Single American Woman --> Dubai

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Single American Woman --> Dubai Posted Dec 07, 2007
Hi to all who read,

I am a 23-year-old American woman, currently living in Brussels, who has the opportunity to live and work in Dubai for an 8 month assignment. I would be arriving around April 1st and staying until the end of November, 2007.

I know that I will be staying there during the extremely hot and humid summer months, but I am willing to take it in stride. I have a few specific questions that I hope those in similar situations or those who know people in my situation can help me with. There are quite a few, so if you want to email me your responses instead, I understand--message me if that's what you prefer!

-Is being young, single, and American going to propose a problem, both in assimilating as best I can to UAE culture and in finding expats who are also young and single to socialize with?

-Where do young single expats typically live in Dubai? I know Jumeirah is popular for families, but if you are not coming in a family unit, where should you start? Are there any areas that allow you to walk to the big mall/shops/movies/etc. rather than have to drive?

-What is the climate like for Jews? I am more culturally Jewish than religious, but this is a big concern for my family and I want to hopefully assure them I won't have any problems whilst I'm there.

-I understand that you need your work visa and resident visa in order to obtain your alcohol license, driver's license, etc. About how long should I leave to get the basics?

-Are there gyms there to join? Are they included in the various apartment/villa complexes? Are they standard international quality or leave something to be desired?

-It seems from reading through these forums that a car is truly essential--is there any type of walking/bus culture, or do you really get around solely via car and/or taxi?

-I heard the water is quite harsh because of the desalination process and can cause your hair to fall out--does anyone know where to get a filter to put on your shower so that this isn't as much of an issue?

Thanks in advance for all of your help--if anyone has been in Dubai for a bit and can give me some advice on the above as well as how to cope when I first get there (best places to go/who to talk to/ins and outs of assimilation) I would be so appreciative!! Hoping that I can give this move the OK and embark on an amazing adventure and experience.

MerOriginal
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Posted Dec 07, 2007
I don't think there is any filter that will stop the stuff in the water AND maintain the full force of the shower.

Also, the title of your post means a whole bunch of sad single guys will send you messages now.

And buy a car. The taxi service is crap.
gtmash
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Posted Dec 08, 2007
the taxi serivce isnt THAT bad.
with a car, you have to deal with the stress of dodging all the bad, inexperienced drivers on Dubai's roads and struggle to find parking at times.
whereas, with a taxi..once you find one..its somewhat stressfree :)
mighty.one
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Posted Dec 08, 2007
mighty.one wrote:the taxi serivce isnt THAT bad.
with a car, you have to deal with the stress of dodging all the bad, inexperienced drivers on Dubai's roads and struggle to find parking at times.
whereas, with a taxi..once you find one..its somewhat stressfree :)


The taxi service is crap.
gtmash
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Re: Single American Woman --> Dubai Posted Dec 08, 2007
MerOriginal wrote:Hi to all who read,

I am a 23-year-old American woman, currently living in Brussels, who has the opportunity to live and work in Dubai for an 8 month assignment. I would be arriving around April 1st and staying until the end of November, 2007.

Assume this is supposed to be 2008?

I know that I will be staying there during the extremely hot and humid summer months, but I am willing to take it in stride. I have a few specific questions that I hope those in similar situations or those who know people in my situation can help me with. There are quite a few, so if you want to email me your responses instead, I understand--message me if that's what you prefer!

-Is being young, single, and American going to propose a problem, both in assimilating as best I can to UAE culture and in finding expats who are also young and single to socialize with?

not at all, dubai is very cosmopolitan

-Where do young single expats typically live in Dubai? I know Jumeirah is popular for families, but if you are not coming in a family unit, where should you start? Are there any areas that allow you to walk to the big mall/shops/movies/etc. rather than have to drive?

depends really what you can afford, you will need transport (private or public) unless you want to live in bur dubai or deira


-What is the climate like for Jews? I am more culturally Jewish than religious, but this is a big concern for my family and I want to hopefully assure them I won't have any problems whilst I'm there.

i don't think that this is a problem, at all. i stand under correction, but many of the islamic cultural practices do overlap to a certain degree with judasim (food preparation etc). bear in mind as well that most gcc countries have a problem with the political state of israel, not with jews. there are a number of jewish business people in dubai who could vouch for that.


-I understand that you need your work visa and resident visa in order to obtain your alcohol license, driver's license, etc. About how long should I leave to get the basics?

depends on the company employing you, it can take any where between a few days and a few weeks depending on the PRO officer of the company and the time of year (holidays etc.). Driver's license should take a few hours to convert.

-Are there gyms there to join? Are they included in the various apartment/villa complexes? Are they standard international quality or leave something to be desired?

a lot of appartments do offer this, it normally adds to the rental though. the equipment i've seen varies in standard, some being first rate and some border-line accidents waiting to happen.


-It seems from reading through these forums that a car is truly essential--is there any type of walking/bus culture, or do you really get around solely via car and/or taxi?

yes, it's also not very pleasant to walk around outside during summer (or even wait for a bus)

-I heard the water is quite harsh because of the desalination process and can cause your hair to fall out--does anyone know where to get a filter to put on your shower so that this isn't as much of an issue?

no, they add chlorine and flourine to the water in higher levels than in the "west" due to the climate, this is to reduce the occurance of water-borne disease through bacteria, fungal spores etc.


Thanks in advance for all of your help--if anyone has been in Dubai for a bit and can give me some advice on the above as well as how to cope when I first get there (best places to go/who to talk to/ins and outs of assimilation) I would be so appreciative!! Hoping that I can give this move the OK and embark on an amazing adventure and experience.
dbxsoul
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Posted Dec 08, 2007
Also look here http://www.dubaiforums.com/viewtopic.php?t=23790

In addition:

a. Don't suggest a draddle party.
b. They don't celebrate Hanukkah here. By the way, Happy Hanukkah.
c. You won't miss pork anyway.
d. You'll be ok even if you are Jewish!

Good luck.
Concord
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Re: Single American Woman --> Dubai Posted Dec 08, 2007
MerOriginal wrote:

-What is the climate like for Jews?



Absolutely brilliant question!!!
:lol:
gezza
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Re: Single American Woman --> Dubai Posted Dec 08, 2007
gezza wrote:
MerOriginal wrote:

-What is the climate like for Jews?



Absolutely brilliant question!!!
:lol:



Easy answer. Same for all: hot and humid.
Concord
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Re: Single American Woman --> Dubai Posted Dec 27, 2007
MerOriginal wrote:I know Jumeirah is popular for families,

Singles also live in Jumeirah/Umm Suqeim in shared villas (and a couple of apartment blocks).

-What is the climate like for Jews?

Animosity is directed more at Israel than Jews. But don't advertise the fact and you won't have problems. How's your beak?

-I heard the water is quite harsh because of the desalination process and can cause your hair to fall out--does anyone know where to get a filter to put on your shower so that this isn't as much of an issue?

I bought one from Carrefour (presumably similar items at hardware shops and Geant).

Have a look at Dubai FAQ also for general info.

best places to go/who to talk to/ins and outs of assimilation

I am a 23-year-old American woman

I'm sure there'll be plenty of offers in your inbox :).
bonk
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Posted Jan 06, 2008
Hey there

I myself am actually a single 23 year old American woman so I can definitely speak to your questions/concerns

Living here is great! (Not so great if you don't want to remain single however.. the guys are all dogs... but thats another story)

I live in Jumeirah 1 near the beach which is great and very walkabe; there are several families but also some apartment blocks with mostly young expats

Most people I know live in the Marina and increasingly on the Palm, I also have friends who live in the Greens, on Sheikh Zayed, all over pretty much

I actually have a friend in town visiting from New York, she is Jewish and her parents were terrified, but she would assure that there have been no issues whatsoever; just better to leave the Israeli paraphernalia home...

You need a visa to get most things done, but with a US passport you can get a driver's license, bank account, rent a car, all of that without a visa so no problem

You can do all of this in a week if you are aggressive about it

A car is awesome, and it can be a hassle to function without one, but I lived here for about 6 months before I had one and even though it was a hassle I survived, but you might not need one if you're here for only 8 months

Renting is fairly cheap and easy though, you can get a Yaris or something of the sort for about AED 1500 per month

There are tons of gyms, most apartments in the Marina or the Greens or on Sheikh Zayed have gyms that residents can use so I wouldn't worry about that, there are also a couple of big gyms around (Fitness First) that are really comparable to the mega gyms, like NYSC or something of the sort in the states

I'm from New York so I know good gyms and Fitness First is quality

The water is okay; a few of my friends have actually had breakouts when they first came to Dubai, but this only lasts a couple of weeks and might have more to do with the climate than the water

You will have an amazing time!

Dubai is a really great place to be young, American, single and 23

PM if you need any more advice or insight

Good luck!
jenji
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Posted Jan 12, 2008
LOL @ the number of views! :lol:
liverpool4ever
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