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Key Facts

Official Name: United Arab Emirates

Capital City: Abu Dhabi

Official Languages: Arabic

Religion: Islam

Currency: Dirham (UD or Dh)

Time Zone: GMT + 4 hours

Country Domain: .ae

Country Tel Code: 971

Moving to United Arab Emirates

he seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates are: Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and Ras Al Khaimah. The Emirates' capital city is Abu Dhabi.

The discovery of oil was a breakthrough, in the 1960s, for the area in the Arabian Gulf that now comprises the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dramatic development has occurred since. Although there are still camel races and dust storms, and in most places the traditional laws of Islam are strictly interpreted, the sleek and shiny buildings and cars in the cities reflect a new attitude toward the modern international marketplace.


Today, the UAE is a federation of seven autonomous Emirates, each led by its own ruler; each maintains a considerable degree of control over its own laws and customs. Federal authority is vested in a Supreme Council of the Union, consisting of the hereditary rulers of the seven Emirates. The council elects a president from among its members and the president appoints a prime minister and the Union Council of Ministers to run the government.


Since the 1960s discovery of oil and the union of the rich and powerful sheikdoms of the seven Emirates, this federation of states has achieved one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. The economy is based largely on oil and petroleum products. Conservative estimates predict that oil reserves will last at least 100 years.


Housing for Western expatriates, while plentiful and of a generally high standard, is expensive. In both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, most homes are air conditioned, on one floor, with three to four bedrooms, two baths, and a living or dining area. Staff quarters are often attached.


There are a number of schools in the three principal expatriate living areas – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah – catering to the international student. Teaching in these schools is primarily in English, although in some cases Arabic and other languages are also offered. U.S., U.K., and International Baccalaureate curricula are available, at grade levels from pre-K through 12.

In addition to international schools, there are also others geared specifically to students of Japanese, German, French and other nationalities. Contact the appropriate embassy or consulate for information.

Visa & Immigration

Santa Fe offers Visa and Immigration services for the United Arab Emirates and countries around the world. For further information, please contact your local Santa Fe office.

Contact Us

Santa Fe Relocation Services Dubai Office

Address: Office Warsan Building #501, Tecom, P.O. Box 125478, Dubai, UAE

Contact Number: +(971) 4454 2724

Fax Number: Fax: +(971) 4454 2726


Manager: Mike Arnold

Let us assist you with obtaining a UAE visa, finding an apartment or school in Dubai, and more!”

"Disclaimer: This information is provided in conjunction with Living Abroad LLC. The information contained in this destination guide is not, and can not be used as, professional advice in areas such as Law, Taxation, Accounting etc. And whilst reasonable commercial efforts have been made to ensure correctness of the information at the time of publication there is no guarantee that the information is free from errors or omission. Santa Fe and it's associated companies disclaim liability for any damage, loss or cost directly or indirectly attributable to the contents of this destination guide."