Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Expat Life

Dubai Relocation Tips

20 November 2018

Relocating to a new country is more than just making a career move. It can be challenging for the entire family. It literally involves uprooting your family, finding the right home in the right place, co-coordinating utilities, visa procedures, and finding the best schools, doctors and dentists. Moving to another country also means, starting over again, with little or no local knowledge.

Although it seems to be a daunting experience, things can happen smoothly with a little planning. Relocation certainly involves some important aspects such as packing and moving your belongings, bringing in your family to the planned destination, and ensuring that you have the necessary visa and documents, shipping your pets (if you own them) and finally, settling on the other side.

dubai relocation tips

On the whole, relocating to another country is, no-doubt, a challenging experience, particularly if it involves changing job and moving home, both at the same time! So, the best thing to do is to make a list, and seek help.

When planning relocation to Dubai from any destination, here are few things to consider:

  • Before leaving your home country for Dubai, you will have to first sort out your goods that you wish to take with you, and decide on the give-away/discard piles before packing up.
  • Take the duration of stay in Dubai into consideration. If you are on a short-term contract, the cheaper alternative would be to rent furnished accommodation when you land in Dubai.
  • Check if your employment package includes any relocation allowance for shipping of items. Several employers offer flight and relocation expenses, while others just offer an advance. Else, you may have to calculate if you can afford this expense. See the difference between the cost to move and clear your belongings at customs and obtain clearance for these items on arrival in Dubai, against purchasing second-hand or new items on arrival in Dubai.
  • Find out about the customs regulations in Dubai. Dubai does not permit any alcohol, drugs or narcotics, arms and ammunitions, pornography, religious or blasphemous books or any endangered animal items.
  • Before shipping electronic appliance, check if it will work here. At times, electricity voltages, TV signals or DVD zones may be incompatible.
  • It should be noted that most of the times, container shipments can take 6 to 12 weeks or more, and hence, you may have to book a hotel or serviced apartment initially.

Relocation Companies

When you are ready to move your belongings, ensure that you contract an internationally insured and reputable Relocation Company, preferably with branches in both cities, or at least with good partnership at the other end.

A Relocation Company is an organisation that can assist you with the task of relocating. Further, if you are renting out your current property for the duration of your contract, or if you place some items on storage, you will have to keep your personal insurance company updated about this change.

Some employers may bear the fee of a relocation companies too. A relocation company, can actually help you in making the entire process of arrival and settling-in, more smoother and as humanly as possible.

Some of the other services offered by relocation companies include Area Orientation, home search and settling-in support, Red-tape and Utility Connection management, school search advice and help, cultural information and events, home furnishing assistance, lease renewal negotiations and exit service.

Relocating Pets

Your pets need special attention during the process of relocation. There are 'Specialist Pet Relocators' to assist you in this task. Dubai has no quarantine, apart from certain banned breeds. Every adult passport holder is permitted to import two animals. Your pet may be allowed to travel in the same flight as you, but, the class of travel may vary, as animals must travel as cargo.

Once your pet arrives at the cargo section of the airport, you will have to collect it producing the original import permit, original Good Health Certificates, the original Vaccination Certificate and photocopy of your passport. The best option would be to begin with your paperwork involving pet relocation as early as possible, once you have decided to move into your new location, as the process may take time.

  • Getting a pet may be the best decision you have made, but, Dubai has some strict rules for pets in place for pets. Keeping the man’s best friend as a pet comes at a huge cost in Dubai, mostly, in the form of exorbitant fines. Therefore, it is essential to know the pet rules that are in place here:
  • Pets are not allowed on public beaches, and they need to be on leash at all times. Make sure that you keep a tight leash on your pet when taking it outdoors.
  • An updated vaccination record of your pet should be maintained at all times, and ideally, your pet’s collar should bear the Dubai Municipality registration number.
  • Make sure that your pet does not cause any harm to other people or their property. Failure to do so can lead to a fine of Dh.5000 and also get your pet impounded.
  • Feeding stray dogs could attract a fine of Dh.1000, and may also invite legal involvement.
  • Remember to place a mask on your dog when bringing it to public places or be prepared to pay a fine of Dh.200 or Dh.400 on repeating the offence.
  • Improper clean-up and inappropriate disposal of pet waste can prove to be an expensive offence. You may end-up paying Dh.400 along with giving an undertaking that the offence will not be repeated in future.
  • If you own a pet dog, use of pet dogs for dog-fighting is strictly prohibited. They should also be left in a secure place before you travel out of country, else, it may lead to their confiscation. For a detailed list of pet rules, visit the Dubai Municipality website.

Few Relocation Tips

It is best to list out all your items as you box them. This will be required when clearing your boxes at Dubai Customs. Also, update your insurance at home country, if you are storing items, renting out your existing home or only in Dubai on a short-term contract. Move your goods preferably in a reputable international relocation company, and insure these.

A shipping delay of 2-7 days is likely. Hence, be prepared to make use of a serviced hotel apartment.

Ensure that you have all important certificate copies and get them attested before leaving your home country. Get them translated into English, if they are not in English.

Familiarize yourself with basic facts about Islamic faith and cultural aspects before arriving in Dubai, as it may help you to understand the Arab culture a little better when you arrive.

Relocation may be traumatic for young children. It is better to prepare them in advance about your relocation plans, and involve them too as much as possible when preparing for the move.

Contact details of few relocation companies

  • Relogulf

    Email: [email protected] Tel: +971 4 886 8148

  • Pet Relocation Company

    Blue Oasis Petcare Hospital
    Tel: +971 4 884 8580

  • Dubai Kennels and Cattery (DKC)

    Email: [email protected]
    Tel: +971 4 285 1646

  • Dubai Relocation and Concierge Specialists

    PO Box 502187
    Tel: +971 4 323 7688

  • Intouch Relocations

    Office 903, Indigo Tower, Jumeirah Lake towers
    Tel: +971 4 4472535

  • Global Relocations

    Al Asmawi Building, Green Community Village, Jebel Ali, Dubai
    Tel: +971 4 88 55 611

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries

Top Dubai City Sightseeing Tickets & Passes