Gateway of India
Bombay or Mumbai as it is now called is India’s most important city. It is the commercial and entertainment capital of the country and as a major economic, trade and industrial hub, it attracts expatriates from different parts of the world in large numbers.
Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra and is India’s wealthiest and the world’s most densely populated city. The city inherited a rich British colonial past history however it is a modern city just like any other city in the world. Mumbai is a peninsula with water on three sides. Marathi, Hindi and English are the main languages spoken and understood in the city.
Its economy primarily depends on industrial production, mechanics, marine trade, capital transactions, finance and banks, chemistry and prescription drugs, fisheries, textiles, automotive construction and food production apart from these, IT and media also are profitable sectors.
Mumbai, the land of dreams and the city that never sleeps as it is commonly known never fails to surprise you.
The different types of visas available are Business Visa, Employment Visa, Dependant and Tourist Visa. Foreign nationals visiting India for more than 180 days are required to get themselves registered within 14 days of arrival with the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO).
Housing in Mumbai:
Spreading across an area of 603.4 km², Mumbai is divided into different zones which are South Mumbai, Central Mumbai and North Mumbai. The city comprises of numerous neighborhoods and each region has its own distinctive character. Real estate prices may vary greatly, based on the neighborhood, infrastructure, and amenities available within the area. Over the years, certain pockets have emerged as ‘most-desirable’ and ‘happening’, causing property costs soaring.
The Key Residential locations in Mumbai are:
- Nariman Point / Churchgate / Cuffe Parade / Colaba
- Malabar Hill / Nepean Sea Road / Breach Candy
- Worli / Prabhadevi
- Bandra / Khar
- Juhu / Andheri
- Powai / Goregaon
With a wide variety of International schools available for the expat community, Mumbai is the ideal choice to relocate if you are to come on a short or a long term assignment with your family. This option allows students to make a more straight forward transition into expat life in India with minimal disruption to their studies. Admissions in these schools are available throughout the year. Fees at international schools are generally high with additional costs for extra-curricular activities. Some of the prominent International Schools are the American School of Bombay, Ecole Mondiale World School and Dhirubhai Ambani International School and they follow the IGCSE and IB Curriculum.
American School of Bombay
This is an important aspect for any relocating family and one can register at one of the prominent hospitals in Mumbai. In case of an emergency one can be directly admitted into the system and would not require to complete the registration formalities. Some of the preferred hospitals in Mumbai are Breach Candy Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Lilavati Hospital, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambai & Hiranandani Hospitals.
Facilities within these hospitals are world-class as all specialized treatments are performed by well-trained and experienced doctors using state of the art equipment.
In India the shopping concept mainly consists of high end shopping malls and other smaller family run shops which are very popular with the locals. Items whether of Local or International brands, pricing from the cheapest to the most expensive can be found here. Most shopping establishments do accept
all major credit/debit cards however it is advisable to always carry cash currency, as most smaller establishments do not accept cards. Some popular shopping malls are Palladium Mall, Phoenix Marketcity, Oberoi Mall and Infinity Mall.
Mumbai has various international supermarket brands for shopping of food and groceries such as Foodhall, which are spread across various parts of Mumbai and there are also local groceries stores which are available to pick up emergency stuff like breads, eggs, cookies etc.
Mumbai actually has a comparatively good public transportation system which includes Buses, Taxis, Auto rickshaws, Metro trains and Local Trains. The above modes of public transport are overcrowded for travel and therefore it’s best to have a personal car and a driver or use private taxis. Private rental cars with or without drivers are available. One can also avail private taxi transportation such as UBER, OLA and Tab Cab. Metro network is still in progress and it does not cover the entire Mumbai region yet.
Every year Mumbai comes to life with a wide spectrum of festivals that people from different communities celebrate together. Mumbai being the melting pot of ethnicity goes all out during celebration of different festivals. The popular festivals that are celebrated in Mumbai are the Ganesha Festival, Holi, Diwali, Dahi Handi (Human pyramid), Navratri festival, Christmas and Eid.
Wide options for recreation in Mumbai, both Indoor and outdoor are available. Club culture includes Recreational sports and restaurants under one roof. Other recreational places are Amusement Parks, Gardens and Parks for children. Weekend Getaway resorts are also available and very popular.
The membership for these recreational club is expensive and mostly preferred by the high-end population and the expats. Mumbai is much closer to weekend getaways, and there are wonderful options available which are within the radius of a couple of 100 kms. Expats do have a choice of traveling to these places as it is an approximate 2-3 hours drive from the city
Mumbai can be described as a city of contrasts with some of the wealthiest and poorest people, beautiful old buildings and sprawling slums, international standard restaurants and sidewalk food stalls, a city of great pleasure but many frustrations too. Heavy traffic can be a concern especially during peak hours and during monsoons the traffic slows down due to potholes being created.
Air quality in Mumbai may pose as a challenge and it is very important to be vigilant regarding one’s health.