What do Abu Dhabi expat women imagine about life in Abu Dhabi? Covering up and not be allowed to drive? Being gawked at by hordes of men? Unable to buy the latest shade of lipstick?
This ain't Saudi Arabia.
You're free to dress as you like for the most part. For example girls wearing shorts and relatively low cut tops is considered acceptable.
Yet dressing conservatively is a good idea in certain situations, for example when at work or visiting a local's home. Going to bars alone can be a bad idea, as it sends out strong signals. Men here assume that women sitting alone are looking to be hit on.
Abu Dhabi is a safe city. On the odd occasion you might be stared at or approached by someone, but this is true of any country.
The number of traffic lights also makes getting out of cabs relatively easy if you meet an overly friendly taxi driver.
In Abu Dhabi the crime fits the punishment and the prospect of prison is enough to keep people in check.
Making friends is easy, try joining a health club or the Abu Dhabi expat women's forum. There are lots of expats of all ages living here so meeting people isn't hard.
However, this is a transient society (people coming and going) so finding long term friends can be hard.
Internations organizes monthly expat events which is another great way to meet new people.
Abu Dhabi is home to the top brand names such as Marks and Spencer's, Boots the chemist and the Body Shop. The malls are teaming with clothes shops.
The good sales are on in January and June, with shops knocking as much as 70% off prices.
Hair and nail saloons are plentiful, so getting beatified is easy. The private saloons tend to be run by Western women while the ones in hotels are operated by Lebanese men and usually more expensive.
So as you can see you shall not be deprived of hand bags and make up nor pretty nails and fancy clothes.