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Entertainment, Media and Television for Expats in the United Arab Emirates

Submitted: January 2014

So you may be in the UAE for work but that does not mean that you cannot enjoy all that the UAE has to offer entertainment wise.

One of the go-to sources of entertainment for all ages is a trip to the local cinema. For a list of cinemas in the UAE along with movie times, please see the following links below:

If you would rather spend your time outdoors, you should consider visiting one of the UAE’s relaxing beach clubs. You can opt for a day pass or annual membership and enjoy the many privileges and entertainment that makes a visit to a beach club no ordinary day at the beach. Please refer to the article below for a selection of beach clubs in the UAE.

You can also partake in the UAE’s thriving restaurant scene. For tips on the best restaurants, you can consider the options mentioned in the articles below:

For a general list of restaurants, please refer to the links below:

There are many attractive options to enjoy the nightlife in the UAE. Bars and nightclubs are kept open until 3am. Please be advised that you must be over 21 in order to purchase alcohol and most clubs have minimum age requirement of 25 years for entrance. For a list of various nightclubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, please refer to the links below:


Media and Television


There are two cable television providers in the UAE, Du (du) and Etisalat (E-Vision) which offer a variety of packages to meet your needs. In fact many basic packages include over 200 stations in several languages covering all your news and entertainment requirements. For information about the various packages offered, please refer to the links below:

Basic packages range from 40AED to 80AED per month (excluding the initial installation costs).You can compare the rates of two providers by examining the websites below:

You could also check with your potential provider to see whether they offer bundles which include internet, telephone and television services. This is regarded as a cost-efficient option and is widely done in the UAE. For an example of bundle prices, please refer to the following links below:

It is important when selecting these services to have regard to the length of time that you will be staying in UAE in terms of contract lengths. Please see the link below for an overview of the required documents for setting up these services:

There is a number of English languages free to air channels in Dubai including Dubai One, MBC 4, MBC Action, MBC 2, and City 7 TV.  For a list of the television schedules of these stations, please see the links below:

Some of us cannot bear the thought of being separated from that “big screen tv” from home and would endeavour to bring it to the UAE. You should be reminded that the voltage of electrical outlets is 220-240V in the UAE so you may need a converter in order for your set to work.  Please also be advised the video format used in the UAE is PAL as opposed to NTSC and SECAM which is used throughout United States, France, Japan and other Eastern European countries



Life in the UAE is ever changing, with new developments often happening daily. To keep abreast of the current affairs of the UAE, you can easily reach for the nearest newspaper. There are several English language publications including The National and the Khaleej Times. If a walk to your neighbourhood store seems is out of the question, you can get updated on local and international news quite quickly by visiting one of the many online news sites.

Please refer to the following link below for a list of UAE newspapers and their websites:



When you are stuck in a heavy traffic jam, you may come to treat the radio in your car as a lifeline. There are numerous radio stations in the UAE in a variety of languages including Arabic, English and Hindi.

You can visit the following website below for a list of radio stations and their websites so that you can stream live on the internet:



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