The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Dubai

Moving to dubai

Moving to Dubai can seem daunting although it is not in reality. While shifting to a new city can be an exciting prospect, it may also be stressful at times. Here are some of the things that you should keep in mind to ensure a seamless moving in Dubai experience. 

Shipping Your Essentials

If you were wondering how to move to Dubai, then the first step is to ship your belongings and other stuff to the city. You can always consult a specialist company that offers international removals. Some options include Cadogan Tate, My Baggage and Internations. However, you should have a thorough understanding of the relocation rules of city customs. 

Remember that the UAE has strict drug regulations and you should get a permit from the Ministry of Health and Prevention to import controlled medications. Make sure that you do not have medicines like Akineton, Abilify, Prozac, or Alghaphan without a prescription. Customs taxes may differ across regions and there are specific levies on the same. Your belongings should arrive within a maximum of 30 days after your arrival. You should be present during clearance and maintain an extensive list with relevant invoices and receipts for proving ownership of specific items. 

If you are still getting your residence visa, you may submit a letter from the sponsor of the entry visa. In such scenarios, you have to pay approximately 5% of total goods as the security deposit. It will be reimbursed once the process is completed and you get your residence visa. You can obtain the refund by presenting your visa within 59 days of the arrival of the items in the UAE. 

Shifting with Your Pets

If you are moving to Dubai with your pets, then you should abide by specific rules and regulations in this regard. You should have your residence visa or a letter from your employer that verifies the processing of the application. For relocating your pet to the city, you will require a copy of your passport, a recent veterinary certificate that verifies the latest rabies vaccination of your pet, UAE import permit from the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, and a valid pet passport. 

The cost is roughly Dh 500 for each pet while you should also account for the compulsory Ministry veterinary inspection charge, which is Dh 500 for each cat and Dh 1,000 for each dog. This permit should be ready before entering the UAE and will be valid for up to 30 days. You can bring only two pets into the UAE and they should be microchipped. Specific breeds are also restricted/prohibited in the country so consult the Dubai Kennels & Cattery (DKC) beforehand. 

Plan Your Finances Carefully 

Before moving to Dubai, you should have your finances in place. If your employer does not provide any living allowance for settling in, then you should have a backup plan for the costs that you will incur. Some of the costs may include renting serviced apartments Dubai for the initial phase, car rentals, food and drink expenditure, and phone costs. Budgeting around Dh 12,500-13,000 each month should be sufficient to cover your expenses. 

If you are moving with your family, you should budget for Dh 18,000-21,000 each month along with accounting for upfront costs like agency fees, utility costs, and deposits while relocating to Dubai. 

Plan Your Accommodation in Advance

When it comes to settling into the city, you can book serviced apartments Dubai after comparing parameters like the location, proximity to your workplace and child’s school, amenities, and pricing. Your company may also offer temporary accommodation in such apartments since you cannot rent villas/flats directly from landlords without valid residence visas. If you select a serviced apartment, then you will not have to worry about deposits, maintenance charges, utilities, and other hassles. 

Complete the Visa Formalities

While moving to Dubai, you should also keep an eye on the visa regulations. Keep your personal items and paperwork handy before landing in the country. You should have attested documents like your professional qualification certificates, divorce certificate (if applicable), marriage certificate, birth certificates of family members, and original driver’s license from your country of origin. You can also get a temporary tourist visa if you are from any one of the 46 countries which are eligible to receive visitor visas on arrival. However, you will have to leave the country after a specific duration till you get your valid residence visa. 

Ultimately, a UAE residence visa is compulsory to live in the city. It will have a validity period of two years if you work in the private sector. The validity period will be three years if you work in the public sector. You can then renew the visa to stay longer in the Emirate. Your employer will usually sponsor your work permit and visa. Prior to your application, you will have to get a health checkup which includes a chest X-ray and blood test. For the application, you will have to furnish your passport which is valid for at least six more months along with medical test results, recent colour photographs, and additional proof of identity, if needed. 

If your employer applies on your behalf, then you will get your visa in approximately 2-3 weeks. Once you get the residence visa, you can sponsor and also apply for visas on behalf of your family. Your family members will have to get their entry residence visas and you will have 30 days thereafter to get their resident passport stamp. You may also download the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigner Affairs of Dubai application to guide you throughout the entire process. 

Open a Bank Account

You should set up your bank account without any delays. Visit the Government of Dubai portal to know more about the major requirements in this regard. You can also open on-resident accounts at some banks before obtaining your visa. However, these accounts will only enable deposit or savings accounts. Your employer can also recommend a good bank with better offers or rates. 

Get Health Insurance

Your employer is mandated to provide health insurance coverage for you as per the law in Dubai. They may offer basic coverage which is the Essential Benefits Plan 3. It covers up to an amount of Dh 150,000 per year for every individual. Yet, it is not compulsory for employers to offer health insurance to their dependents. Get more guidance in this regard if that is the case. 

Get Your International Driving Permit

Dubai has a robust transportation network although you may still want to get your own private vehicle in the city. For getting a driving license in the UAE, you should get an international driving permit from your home country for the initial period of settlement. Once the residence visa for the UAE is officially processed, then you can apply for your driver’s license. Expats holding permits from 36 approved nations or expats with international licenses may easily drive and lease vehicles in the UAE. 

Check Available Educational Choices

If you are moving to Dubai with your children, then check the available educational options in the city. You should understand the school system in Dubai. There are several private schooling options with diverse curricula, including IB, American, British, and more. School fees may range between Dh 10,100 to Dh 110,000 on average, depending on the schooling year. 

Weather Conditions in Dubai 

Dubai offers an arid and sub-tropical climate with higher temperatures throughout the year. There is erratic and low rainfall and you should be prepared to withstand the hottest summer months of July, August and September. Temperatures may easily go up to more than 40 degrees Celsius in this period while the humidity levels may also be high. The best weather in Dubai can be enjoyed between the months of November and March when temperatures usually fall to around 24 degrees Celsius during the day. 

Keep Dubai’s Cultural Norms in Mind

Dubai is a Muslim city and you should embrace a conservative behavioral code in the city. Dress modestly and avoid revealing clothes. Keep the entry rules in mind while visiting religious landmarks. Unruly and drunken conduct is not allowed in public areas. The Government has a zero-tolerance approach towards several offences which may lead to deportation and detention in some cases. Do not publicly display affection or use obscene language. Making indecent gestures, showing your contempt for the religion of the city or its leadership may also land you in major legal trouble. You should not photograph residents without their consent. It is also recommended that you avoid taking pictures of Government buildings, military installations, or mosques. 

Get Your Alcohol License Without Any Delays

It is an offense to purchase, store, or transport alcohol for Dubai residents without a valid alcohol license as per UAE laws. You will have to submit an online application to get your license. This can be obtained with a copy of your valid passport, Emirates ID, residency visa, and a passport-sized photograph. A fee of around Dh 270 should be paid upon confirming the application and it is usually processed within four weeks. 

Moving to Dubai need not be stressful if you follow these tips and arrange everything adequately for a smooth transition towards becoming a resident of the city. Embrace the vibrant culture of the Emirate and be mindful of the local rules and regulations. Here’s to a wonderful stay in Dubai! 

Read More: How to Find a Pet Friendly Apartment in Dubai

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