Dubai is one of the most exciting cities in the world — thanks to its jaw-dropping architecture, world-class amenities, booming economy, and vibrant expat community. These are some of the great reasons why more and more people find themselves wanting to move there.
Written for Expat Network by Sushma Salian, Business Head, Asset Mobility of Writer Relocations
If you are looking to move to Dubai (or are in the process of doing it), then you want to make sure that the relocation process goes as smoothly as possible. The last thing you want is to encounter avoidable issues or get frustrated when starting your new life.
To help you on this exciting journey, read on for the three things you need to consider before relocating to Dubai.
1. Consider your whole mobility journey.
There is no denying that relocating to a different country is a process with many different stages that all need to be planned and managed expertly. Therefore, before starting your relocation, it is helpful to consider the whole mobility journey and what needs to be done at each step of the way.
The first stage is making the decision to relocate. This may come as a result of a new job, an educational opportunity, a relationship, an adventure, or something else entirely. Whatever the reason behind your move, your mobility journey begins the moment you decide that it will happen.
From there, you move into the preparation stage, where you need to apply for your visa, work permits, and any other immigration-related documentation. Once you’ve obtained these, you will need to book your flights and start planning your new life!
Then, the actual move happens! This involves packing up your belongings and getting them to Dubai. Generally, it is recommended that you use a professional service to do this as they have the expertise required to ensure that your belongings are packed safely and securely. They can also deal with customs and ensure everything is compliant with any other rules and regulations.
Depending on where you are moving from, you may want to be transporting your belongings by sea, air, or land. Often, individuals also want to utilise secured storage for a period of time.
The best international relocation services provider will also work with you upon your arrival in Dubai. This means they will take care of delivering your belongings and unpacking the boxes. They can also assist with temporary housing or home searches and other helpful settling in services such as language and cultural orientation programmes.
2. Prioritise finding housing.
One of the most important things you need to focus on is finding housing for when you first arrive.
In some cases, your company may be sorting out accommodation for you, or you may have a temporary set-up for the first couple of months. But, for many individuals who choose to relocate, finding housing is their responsibility, and the sooner you can find a place, the quicker you will be able to start feeling settled.
If you are having issues finding housing, consider working with a global mobility services provider that offers comprehensive home searches. These services recognise that moving to a new country is a big step and that it can be challenging to find your dream home on your own.
For this reason, they will work with you to learn about your housing requirements and to ensure that the process of finding your next home is as smooth as possible.
3. Learn about Dubai’s cultural norms.
Dubai is home to a large expat population (recent figures show that 85% of the city’s population is made up of expats), making it the ideal locale for anyone relocating from another country. For this reason, as an expat in Dubai, you are guaranteed to meet people from all around the world and to expand your friendship circle and cultural knowledge.
That being said, you also want to learn about Emirati cultural norms – not only because it will make your life easier, but it is also important to respect the local culture. For starters, the weekend is from Friday to Saturday in Dubai as Friday is a holy day in Islam.
One of the best things about Dubai is that it is incredibly safe for both women and men.
In fact, Dubai is one of the top ten safest cities globally, and it is frequently ranked as the safest place for women in the Middle East. This has a lot to do with the fact that the city offers a variety of women-only facilities such as separate metro carriages, ladies-only taxis, and female-only days at some beaches.
One of the reasons the city is so safe is because there are harsh punishments for offenders and a zero-tolerance outlook for breaking the rules and regulations. For this reason, you will want to brush up on your understanding of these rules.
Some strict rules that may be new to you include the fact that you are not allowed to take a photograph of someone without their consent (this is considered an invasion of privacy), and you can’t eat and drink on all forms of public transport. Additionally, it is illegal to swear in public (this is punishable by up to a year in prison).
Generally, English is spoken everywhere in Dubai, but you may enjoy learning some basic Arabic phrases that you can use as you settle into your new life.
Have a Smooth Move to Dubai
In order to deal with all the aspects of your mobility journey and your relocation to Dubai, it is highly recommended that you utilize the services of an international moving company. The best ones will be there for you from the beginning of your journey to the end and will offer support and guidance every step of the way.
From transporting your belongings to helping you find a home or a school to offering classes on culture and language, they will be on your team.