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Packing for the UAE

Packing for the UAE

If you are anything like me you have now realized that you must pack after you’ve received your visa and flight information from your employer! If you are a normal human being however you will have already likely started packing. In this section I will do what I can to give you some advice on what to pack for your new life in the UAE.

Now, I will preface this article with a caveat. I am probably not the best person to tell you what to pack. Due to the fact that I have moved around a lot and travel for work I have figured out how to compress around 2 years’ worth of stuff into an 80 liter ruck sack. I travel light and this will be my suggestion to you.

Let’s get started.

First of all let’s talk about what you don’t need to pack.

  • Television
  • Piano
  • Bicycle

You think I’m nuts for mentioning these right?

I have had emails from teachers asking about all of these items and more. You can easily buy these items and similar items for cheap when you arrive in country. Save yourself the headache and the extra baggage fees.

Here are things that I recommend you pack.

  • 7 outfits, business attire
  • 3 outfits, casual
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 1 pair of trainers
  • Toiletries
  • Swim wear
  • A couple of knick knacks from home that make you feel comfortable. ( I have a compass that my parents gave me that comes with me everywhere.)


That’s it. I know it sounds light but here is the thing. Clothes and the like are cheap in Abu Dhabi as are books and other similar items.

Here are few more things that I recommend packing/purchasing prior to heading over.

  1. Expat travel insurance. Listen, in a perfect world you will never need it however, the world is not perfect. Pay a little extra cash and give yourself and your family some piece of mind.
  2. Portable hard-drive. Put your lesson plans on it rather than bringing hard copies. There are plenty of print shops in the UAE. Plus, you can load it up with movies, music and tv shows to make your new apartment feel more homey.
  3. Sunscreen. Should be self-explanatory.


Finally, a quick note on power converters, you can pay $20-$30 bucks for one before you go or you can pay .70 cents for one when you arrive in Abu Dhabi. Just find one of the many electronic shops on the street.

Remember, part of this adventure is adapting to a new way of life. Try to keep that life simple, you will be surprised at the payoff!