Updated 18th June 2014
If you are one of the many people who have signed a contract for a job here and are just waiting for the air tickets, try to do some research before you get here – it’s time well spent and will help you settle in quicker.
Thanks to the magic of the internet, it’s never been easier to gather information on a remote location; here are some sites I recommend.
British Expats Middle East Forum
You dont have to be British to be a member; great site to search and ask questions, and there’s a huge thread on Al Ain with invaluable information
two forums are worth reading here, the first covers the UAE and has some Al Ain threads. Also worth a look a the Dubai page which is more active although not all advice there is for the rest of the UAE, for example they have DEWA and RERA which we don’t have in AD emirate.
Niala News website – free to join – lots of information about what’s happening within the community.
Another internet group – join all that you can as you can never have too much information!
Abela Noticeboard – good place for picking up second hand goods (see my Life in Al Ain Part 1: shopping for co-ordinates for Abela)
Rugby Club – part of the AAESG complex, pop in on a Wednesday night to take part in the quiz and have a look for used furniture and cars at the same time
Don’t be scared to go to coffees and social occasions as most of the western expats you encounter will have arrived in the last two years and will remember how it is to be new!
Coffee mornings happen on a Tuesday at 10am-11.30am in Shakespeare’s Coffee Shop, Al Ain Mall. All ladies are welcome; the majority who come along have teenage or grown up children, and we think you will find us a friendly bunch. We aren’t interested in who has got the biggest villa or the best car, we sit and swap stories about life, our experiences here and where we have been on holiday! We’ve got a facebook page too – Tuesday Coffee Morning FB
There are also a few Mother and Toddler groups – one of the best known formerly Al Ain Mums and Tots can be found here – Al Expats Parents Group
Groups running activities
Al Ain Weekends organise some amazing trips; they visit local must see places such as the souq and some oasis, and they also organise trips in the mountains and wadis of Oman. Hook up with them on their facebook page – Al Ain Weekends
If you hanker after some desert camping or driving then it’s worth researching the vehicle you will need (before you buy the wrong one!) and what to expect then it’s worth joining an offroad club. A great place to meet other people, expats from all over the globe as well as locals, the groups are either free or request a nominal donation. You don’t have to have a 4×4 to join – here’s a link to my club Oasis Offroad.
To meet new people and learn more about the history and nature of the area why not go along to an Emirates Natural History Group meeting – read more about them here
I hope this blog has given you useful info, there are lots of other groups out there and places to network, the ones listed here are those I have found particularly helpful!
Here’s links to the other blogs in the series –
And for information on the Industrial Area – Sanaiya