Expats in Abu Dhabi

Expat life in Abu Dhabi UAE

Sarah Peddie

What to know before moving to Abu Dhabi

The United Arab Emirates is one of the most popular destinations for expat doctors with many job opportunities in the different emirates. Healthcare is considered one of the fastest growing sectors in the middle east which is why there are so many great vacancies available in both public and private hospitals. 

The UAE consists of seven emirates - Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Around 80 per cent of the population is non-citizens, the remaining percentage is made up of UAE citizens. 

As we have a few jobs located in Abu Dhabi, we take a look at what the city and emirate has to offer to expat physicians looking for a move to the gulf. 

About Abu Dhabi

This is the largest of all seven emirates and also the capital. Abu Dhabi is a modern city which is much more calm, more traditional and more community led compared to Dubai. The city itself is located on an island in the Persian Gulf.

Most of the city and the emirate reside on the mainland which is connected to the rest of the country. The city of Abu Dhabi has an estimated population of 1.48 million out of 2.9 million in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

Medical opportunities

Abu Dhabi has around 20 hospitals - a mix of both public and private situated throughout the emirate. Foreign physicians are highly sought after throughout the UAE as the Ministry of Health is expanding health facilities and hospitals in all seven emirates which is why there is a high demand for GP jobs that need filling. Most of the health provision is government funded but the private sector is growing rapidly as well. 

Job vacancies in the UAE

The opportunities to work as a physician or a doctor in Abu Dhabi is considerable and it is a well respected place to practice as a medical professional with most jobs being at consultant level. 

Cost of living

The cost of living in the city of Abu Dhabi was ranked 40th out of 209 cities in Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey back in 2018 and is also the second most expensive place to live in the Middle East, just after Dubai. 

Compared to Dubai, it is around six per cent cheaper to live taking into consideration food, clothes, transport, personal care and entertainment. But housing costs are 11 per cent more expensive than Dubai - they will set you back around 50 percent of your monthly salary.


Abu Dhabi has extravagant resorts, beautiful skyscrapers and big shopping malls. They also have the famous Ferrari World to visit. Despite all the glitz and glam - Abu Dhabi has gorgeous natural landscapes like mangroves and turtle nesting spots along the coastline.

There are many beaches in the emirate that offer lovely turquoise waters to enjoy some water sports or just soaking up the sun. 

There are also many cultural and heritage sites in the city such as mosequez, temples and stunning desert landscapes.

If you are thinking about a move to Abu Dhabi then register with Odyssey Recruitment today and we could help you find the perfect job!