Raising Children in the UAE: Tips for New Parents

Getting Started

Raising children is a rewarding yet challenging journey. For expat families living in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this experience can be uniquely enriching. The UAE offers modern amenities, rich cultural experiences, and a safe environment. This blog post provides insights and advice for new parents in the UAE, helping them make the most of their parenting journey in this vibrant country.

Understanding the Cultural Landscape

Embrace Diversity

The UAE is a melting pot of cultures, with residents from over 200 nationalities. This diversity is a fantastic opportunity for children to grow up in a multicultural environment. Therefore, encourage your children to learn about different cultures, languages, and traditions. This will foster open-mindedness and respect for others.

Respect Local Customs

While the UAE is quite progressive, it is important to respect local customs and traditions. Teach your children about cultural norms and expectations, such as dressing modestly in public places and understanding the significance of Islamic practices.

Choosing the Right Education

International Schools

The UAE is home to many international schools that offer various curricula, including British, American, and IB (International Baccalaureate). Research and choose a school that aligns with your educational philosophy and meets your child’s needs. Schools like Dubai American Academy and British School Abu Dhabi are popular choices among expats.

Early Childhood Education

For younger children, there are numerous nurseries and kindergartens that follow international standards. Look for institutions that focus on holistic development and offer a nurturing environment.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Encourage your children to participate in extra-curricular activities. The UAE offers a wide range of options, from sports to arts and music. These activities help in the overall development of children and provide them with opportunities to socialize and learn new skills.

Healthcare and Safety

Access to Quality Healthcare

The UAE boasts excellent healthcare facilities. Ensure that you have health insurance that covers your children comprehensively. Familiarize yourself with the nearest pediatricians, hospitals, and emergency services. Institutions like Mediclinic and Emirates Hospital have specialized pediatric services.

Child Safety

The UAE is known for its safety. However, it’s important to take common-sense precautions. Teach your children basic safety rules, such as not talking to strangers and knowing emergency contact numbers. Homes in the UAE often come with child-friendly amenities, but make sure to childproof your living space, especially balconies and swimming pools.

Building a Support Network

Expat Communities

Join expat parent groups and communities. These groups can provide valuable support, advice, and a sense of belonging. Platforms like ExpatWoman and Meetup often have dedicated groups for parents.

Local Activities and Playgroups

Engage in local activities and playgroups to help your children make friends and for you to connect with other parents. Many malls and community centers offer kid-friendly events and activities regularly.

Navigating Daily Life

Shopping for Kids

The UAE has numerous shopping options for children’s clothing, toys, and essentials. Stores like Babyshop, Mothercare, and online platforms such as Mumzworld offer a wide variety of products.


Consider your transportation options. While public transport is reliable, having a car can be more convenient, especially with young children. Ensure that car seats are used as per safety regulations.

Adapting to the Climate

The UAE’s hot climate can be a challenge. Make sure your children stay hydrated, use sun protection, and wear light, breathable clothing. Plan outdoor activities in the cooler parts of the day, such as early mornings or late afternoons.

Visa and Residency

Ensure that your children’s residency visas are up-to-date. The process can be straightforward if you follow the guidelines provided by the UAE immigration authorities.


Keep all necessary documents, such as birth certificates and vaccination records, in order. These will be required for school admissions and medical purposes.

Wrapping Up

Raising children in the UAE as an expat family can be a fulfilling experience. The country offers a unique blend of cultural richness and modern conveniences. By understanding the cultural landscape, choosing the right education, ensuring healthcare and safety, building a support network, and navigating daily life efficiently, you can provide a nurturing and enriching environment for your children. Embrace the opportunities and challenges with an open heart, and you will find that the UAE is a wonderful place to watch your children grow and thrive.

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