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Housing is one of the great challenges of setting up in the UAE, and although you may receive a housing allowance from your employer, you’ll probably need to top it up from your own pocket to cover the rent or mortgage.

Getting Started

Whether you're waiting for your freight to arrive from overseas, or are staring at a big empty apartment, you'll need to go shopping for some essentials that will help you turn your house into a home. There's everything including the kitchen sink at these popular stores, many of which have branches in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and sometimes the smaller emirates too.

Shops to set you up


Budget-friendly, well-designed furniture you can take straight home. Also stock up on bits for the house – from towels to tealights, cutlery to curtains.


Stock up on home appliances such as toaster, kettle and fridge, and fill your kitchen cupboards with good international branded products as well.

Sharaf DG

From cameras to washing machines, there's a great choice of appliances, electronics and accessories at both ends of the price range.

ACE Hardware

Shop for everything you need for DIY around the house, plus garden furniture and plants, as well as outdoor equipment and decorations for seasonal events such as Christmas and Halloween.

Home Centre

Furnish your home from top to bottom, from sofas for the living room to pillows for the bedroom, shower curtains for the bathroom to cutlery for the dining table.


This is a one-stop shop for affordable brands: clothe your kids, stock up on baby essentials, shop for shoes and decorate the home.

LuLu Hypermarket

Great for household essentials and cleaning products, as well as stocking up on groceries, fresh meat and fish, and store cupboard supplied.


There's a wide range of electronic brands to get your home entertainment sorted, from TVs and game consoles to wireless routers, plus cameras and mobile phones.

Adventure HQ

Prepare yourself for the UAE's great outdoors and active lifestyle by stocking up on trainers, sportswear and all kinds of camping, fitness and biking equipment.


From cars to furniture, search this online classifieds site for an incredible range of pre-owned goods at budget-friendly prices.