Mysterious, Magic, Magnificent and always Memorable
Often referred to as the “Gateway of India,” Mumbai is a place that is characterized by color, energy and life. It is an extremely busy place to live, where different people from various cultures, religions and economic backgrounds converge to carve a path for themselves in a city that has come to be known as “the city of dreams.”
Mumbai is often described as a place of contrasts and this is never more evident than in the stark divides between the rich and the poor. Slums and shanties are juxtaposed next to the multi-million pound homes of the rich and famous, sleek limousines glide past over-crowded double decker buses and the bling on display in the glitzy shop fronts is obscured by homeless beggars and pavement stalls. Yet, despite these differences, the people of Mumbai exist peacefully, permeating an attitude of unity and fortitude.
Many expatriates may approach their impending relocation to Mumbai as a necessity that is to be endured, as opposed to embraced. However, there is much more to this fascinating city than power cuts, congestion, poverty, red tape and pollution. After living here for some time, you will slowly start to realize that the city is much more organized than it may first seem, albeit in a different way than that you may have become accustomed to it the West. You may also discover the heart of the Indian people and warm to their incredibly friendly nature and willingness to help.
Both gritty and glamorous, Mumbai seems to embody the personality of current day India. From the hip and trendy cocktail bars and after-hours clubs in Bandra and Colaba, to the hawker stalls stocked with patties, puris, kebabs and lassis, there is something on offer for everyone and an experience that will live with you forever.
Carving out an enjoyable live in a city as challenging as Mumbai involves adapting your outlook and embracing the environment for what it does offer, as opposed to what it doesn’t. Your ability to enjoy life in Mumbai will depend upon the ways in which you handle the heat, traffic, crowds, poverty and pollution. While it is certainly a place that presents expatriates with difficulties, it is also a fascinating part of the world that can be compelling, eye-opening and life-changing. Expats who make a success of their move to this city are those that are well prepared and informed. The expatriate guide to living in Mumbai contains everything you need to know to plan your life, face what lies ahead and embrace life in what is arguably India’s fastest growing city.
Settle into the rhythms of this thriving city and you will soon be won over.
Our guide was written by Shannon Frandsen and last published on Tuesday 14th May 2013.
Mumbai's suburban rail systems carry a total of 2.2 billion passengers every year. This a third of the total population in the world (6 billion).