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All about the Dominican Republic

  • Exploring the Dominican Republic by Car

    Do you plan on seeing a lot of your new home? Exploring the country by car is probably the best choice for most expats, as it offers the highest degree of flexibility. If you prefer not to buy a car, you can always rent one. Be sure to inquire about the insurance policy: which damages it covers exactly and how high the deductible (i.e. the sum you pay out of your own pocket) is. These questions are important because the road conditions are, in fact, not always great. A flat tire is one of the most common types of car trouble. Should this happen to you, try to get your vehicle to a gomera, a tire repair and retail shop.

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  • Safety in the Dominican Republic

    The Dominican Republic is friendly and welcoming and the vast majority of visits to the country are trouble-free. However, there is a high crime rate, ranging from opportunistic crime like bag-snatching and pick-pocketing to violent crime. But when you think of the Dominican Republic, you may associate it with relatively unsafe countries in the region, like Jamaica, Venezuela, or Colombia. Even though the DR is safer than those countries, the threat of crimes remains high, so make sure to be aware of the most common crimes.

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  • Tropical Storms in the Dominican Republic

    Tropical storms and hurricanes are a serious concern for those living in the Caribbean. These storms can cause serious damage and injury and are a threat which is not to be taken lightly. The main hurricane season is from June to November, with peak times from late August to the end of September. The last hurricane that hit the country was Hurricane Sandy in 2014. It was very powerful and deadly, and it is advised to be always prepared for a storm warning. Generally, you should find out if a tropical storm is approaching via different news media. Keep your eyes open for alerts (alerta) and approaching storms (aviso).

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  • Necessary Vaccinations and Precautions

    As is always the case when you move to a Caribbean country, living in the Dominican Republic requires expats to take care of vaccinations and immunizations if they want to stay healthy. Aside from routine vaccinations like measles, mumps, and rubella, as well as diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, there are other health precautions you need to keep in mind. Hepatitis A and B should by now be a standard vaccination for expats who travel abroad a lot to lesser developed countries. If you also plan on spending a decent amount of time outside the cities exploring rural areas and smaller towns of the Dominican Republic, typhoid and rabies vaccinations are definitely recommended.

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  • Dominican Medical Services

    In terms of medical services, the Dominican Republic is not far behind other developed countries and even offers far better services than other Caribbean nations in some areas. Its excellent reputation in the field of laparoscopic laser surgery and dentistry, for instance, attracts patients from the Virgin Islands, the Lesser Antilles, and other Caribbean countries who wish to take advantage of the high-quality care. However, most of these high-quality services are offered by private clinics which are well staffed and have the newest equipment. Fees range from DOP 400 to DOP 3,000 — around 65 USD — for the first visit, depending on the clinic. Make sure that your insurance covers treatments at these hospitals.

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  • Dominican Healthcare System

    Unfortunately, vacation doesn't always go as planned and some visitors do need Health Care in The Dominican Republic during their holiday. Tourists that end up in a Dominican Republic Hospital most time became sick due to food poising, accidents or diseases. But don’t worry the Dominican Republic has the largest healthcare system in the Caribbean. Here you will find all you need to know about Health Care in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican healthcare system has been undergoing reforms since 2001, which is good news for everyone involved. The old system was underfunded, inefficient, low quality, and resulted in a lot of out-of-pocket expenses for the patients — even the poorest of Dominican society.

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  • Dominican Local Food Culture

    Dominican cuisine is heavily influenced by its Spanish roots but includes a touch of local Caribbean spices and herbs. While spending your life in the Dominican Republic, try some dishes that are prepared a la criolla or guisado, which means the meat or seafood is served in a tomato sauce with garlic, olives, onion, and cilantro.

    Dominicans also particularly enjoy all types of fried dishes such as carne frita (fried pork chunks) or chicharrones de pollo (Dominican fried chicken) with plantains dipped in salt water and fried in vegetable oil. This fondness for fried food is also reflected in a typical Dominican breakfast, which contains mashed plantains (mangú) with onions, fried white cheese, fried eggs, and orange juice.

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  • Free Trade Zones

    There are over 46 industrial free zones in the Dominican Republic, with more of them under development. About 500 companies operate in the free trade zones, offering employment to around 200,000 people. The free trade zones play an important role in the Dominican economy. After all, 70% of all Dominican exports come from industries and businesses within the free trade zones.

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  • The Workforce

    The Dominican Republic’s workforce of over 4.9 million people is often considered the country’s greatest economic asset, according to various independent surveys. Employees are said to be hard-working, trainable, and skillful — even though the government spends minimally on education.

    Approximately 64% of all people working in the Dominican Republic are employed by the government or work in the services sector; 15% of the labor force is working in the Dominican Republic’s agriculture sector; the industry sector, predominantly manufacturing, employs about 22% of the entire workforce. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate is still at an alarming 14%.

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  • Language in the Dominican Republic

    As you'll be aware from the description of the country's historical background in our article on moving to the Dominican Republic, it does not come as a surprise that Spanish is the official language of this country. So, before starting your expat life in the Dominican Republic, you should brush up on your Spanish language skills, even if your business partners speak English. Expats living in the Dominican Republic may find it hard at times to understand the locals, even if they have a basic knowledge of Spanish.

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  • People and Local Customs

    Currently, there are about 10.4 million people living in the Dominican Republic, with a median age of only 27 years; the capital, Santo Domingo, is home to almost three million people. Family values, religion, and hospitality are the cornerstones of life in the Caribbean country, thus, it is not rare that three generations of the same family live under one and the same roof, with the oldest man making the important decisions affecting the entire family.

    Even though the majority of the population is Catholic (with around 57% practicing adherents of that faith), you are obviously free to choose your religion. Dominicans often go out of their way to treat their guests royally and to make them feel particularly welcome. In return, you should be a respectful guest in order not to upset your hosts while living in the Dominican Republic.

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We look forward to assisting you in making the right decision of changing your life and empowering your future in the Dominican Republic.