Watch yourself on the roads
The UAE's highways are full of high-powered 4x4s, driven fast and often badly. Everyone has been tailgated by one of these tinted-window armoured personnel carriers - its occupant invariably with mobile phone pinned to his ear and flashing hazard lights. Seasonal fog and blown sand can add to the danger. An accident last year saw more than 100 cars collide on the Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway.
© Rex Features
Watch the small print
Although most employers are reputable and help with accommodation, education and healthcare for senior staff, it is wise to check your contract of employmentcarefully, and never rush into signing accommodation contracts or loans of any kind. Ensure, too, that you take a test for a local driver's licence.
Expect lively political debate
The English-language media in the region, whether daily newspapers or radio phone-ins, range from informative but safe to downright sycophantic. World events are covered well and occasionally dirty laundry - from sleazy court cases to admonitions on littering or poor driving - is washed in public. But the utmost respect is always paid to the ruling elite and senior government ministers. The global downturn has presented the media with challenges, however. It is no longer possible to present a constantly glowing picture of economic success, and the press in Dubai, in particular, has been fairly frank with its readers. But if you are tired of doom and gloom reporting and want to live somewhere where people are upbeat and the media look on the bright side, the Gulf is for you.
Disrespect the local culture
© Rex Features
Neglect your finances
Bear in mind your (tax-free) salary will be paid in the local currency. The UAE dirham is pegged to the US dollar, so if you have a non-dollar mortgage at home, you may gain or lose according to exchange rates. Foreign citizens must also be aware of their government's tax laws. Best consult an accountant.