Abu Dhabi - Post Report Question and Answers

Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?

It is good for families, couples and singles. - Feb 2020

I think this city is great for everybody. Dubai might be slightly nicer for singles, but I think Abu Dhabi is still a great place for everybody. - Jun 2019

Good for everyone, you can find what you need. - Sep 2017

Yes, except for single women. Dating options for women are limited, but tor families and couples there are lots of activities. - Jun 2015

Abu Dhabi is a surprisingly dull place. Aside from one-off attractions like Ferrari World and a new water park, there's not much beyond shopping malls. Movie theaters are basically just places where local teenagers come to talk, and many movies are censored. And only the big action and kids' films get here in the first place. There are occasional pop concerts, but not much else. Some day there will be museums, a performing arts center, etc., but that's years off, and until then it's either seasonal things like the annual film festival or classical concert series, or nothing. - May 2013

Families say it is a good safe place to bring up children. Be aware that the local culture recognises and respects married couples, but not unmarried partners. - Jul 2012

Families and self-entertaining couples will have a nice time, although small chidren (and their parents) probably find the long summers trying. There is some nightlife for singles (on a reduced scale from that in Dubai) and outgoing types will enjoy themselves. Entertainment options are relatively limited - a fair number of movies (censored, frequently weeks or months old), lots of restaurant choices, but special occasions aside, not much in the way of culture (no museums, few art galleries, a couple of concert series, no high-quality jazz/live music clubs).It can be hard to find a social circle, as the Embassy is less community-oriented than some and different nationalities mix less than you might imagine. - Aug 2011

The UAE is an authoritarian regime and a police state where third-country nationals and guest workers have no rights; being a diplomat keeps you out of jail, but that's about it. People move to the UAE to make money but the risks and rewards are both high. In theory, Abu Dhabi is a good city for families with nice parks and malls. If you're happy making money and taking high risks for getting fired or deported in an atmosphere where there is no social justice, this could be for you. The American Embassy provides no personal services for its staff - so you are completely on your own in terms of getting your car registered; setting up and paying for home phone and internet. As such you will be subject to extra "fee payments" in a system where there is a very immature legal system. It is a very unhelpful embassy. NGOs are routinely shut down and democracy activists are jailed. For singles, Dubai might be better but remember sex outside of marriage and drinking alchohol (without a permit) is against the law and can easily land you in jail. - Jul 2011

Yes, for everybody. Single people do have to make more of an effort to make friends, but once you do, the relationships can be quite strong. This is a fantastic city for people with young children. Teenagers quickly get bored here as there is not much on offer for them. - Nov 2010

This is a good city for families, singles and married couples. - Jan 2010

Families seem to do okay, but they often leave in the summer with children, as there is little for them to do in the heat. Night life in Abu Dhabi is much more sedate that in neighboring Dubai, but the slower lifestyle is more to my liking. There are nice places to go, but they are expensive. In the winter there are lots of cultural activities. Desert safaris, boat cruises and water activities are always available. - Aug 2009

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