Moving to the United Arab Emirates?
“We pride ourselves in providing 5 star shipping to the gem of the Middle East”
Made up of seven states - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Qaiwain, Ras Al-Khaimah and Fujairah - the UAE has become one of the most desirable worldwide destinations for expats looking to enjoy a quality of life simply unaffordable elsewhere.
UAE is the most westernised of the Middle Eastern countries offering a glamorous and exotic lifestyle that matches the comforts of home, explaining why Britons are included in the top three nationalities of expats who have immigrated to the UAE. Whether they have been drawn in by the perk of paying no tax on their earnings, beautiful beaches, active social lives or the opportunity to discover a new place so different to home, there are lots of reasons the UAE is a desirable place to live.
Whilst moving abroad can be stressful, particularly to a place so different to the UK, Britannia Harrison and Rowley aim to provide expertise service that will ease the journey. We will handle everything from packing, import documents and delivery to custom clearance. We specialise in packing effects so that they are safe and secure for transit as well as providing detailed plans of your removal so that you know exactly what is happening and when.
What to expect from moving to United Arab Emirates
With a large expat population which is almost five times bigger than the population of the Emirate nationals, moving to the UAE should be straightforward with Harrison & Rowley. Whatever your priorities for relocating may be, whether that is schools, work, social life and community, you can expect a vibrant culture and climate in the UAE. It has a subtropical climate and air conditioning in most buildings, which should serve as a prerequisite if you're concerned with the heat all year round.
The UAE is an Islamic state, meaning they operate according to Muslim traditions. You should take this into account when you decide where to move as it is common for some public areas to have designated facilities for women such as on public transport, fitness centres, banks and other recreational areas.
- Move to Sharjah if you're looking for an affordable, family oriented state. Expect strict dress codes and no pubs, bars or clubs.
- Move to Dubai for a cross between heritage, beaches, Islamic roots and strong western influences.
- Move to Abu Dhabi if you want to be surrounded by fellow expats, families and breathtaking landmarks.
- Move to Al Ain for an oasis. It's a 'historic city to the East' full of green.
- Move to Ras al-Khaimah if the perfect location for you is just outside the city centre with luxury amenities and accommodation.
Cost of living in UAE
There are many financial benefits to living in the UAE, the biggest perhaps being the no taxation on earnings. This positively affects the cost of other items such as vehicles, electronics and local produce meaning there have been dramatic drops in the cost of living in the UAE over recent years.
The UAE is home to some of the wealthiest and most ambitious people, and residents enjoy the 3rd highest per capita incomes in the world. Expats who prefer the luxurious goods and well-known international brand names should still be prepared to pay higher prices for those items.
Getting a UAE visa
To emigrate or spend any period of time over 30 days in the UAE you will need a visa. You can enter the UAE on a visitors visa if you are travelling to Dubai as a citizen of one of the 46 countries eligible to receive a visit visa upon arrival. Nationals from other states need to fins a UAE citizen who will sponsor them.
The easiest and most common route to obtaining a visa is if you already have a job that you are moving to the UAE for, as your future employer will sort out all of these details including the employment visa. If you are travelling with your family you should check if your employer will sponsor them.
You can enter the emirate on a visit visa if you are traveling to Dubai as a citizen of one of the 46 countries eligible to receive a visit visa upon arrival. Nationals from other states need to find a UAE citizen or resident who will sponsor them. The same is the case for expats moving to Dubai for work. You can contact the UAE Embassy in London regarding your UAE visa, or let Harrison & Rowley assist you as part of your removals package.
Your shipping options
Shipping your belongings to the UAE is as easy and straightforward as can be with Harrison & Rowley, as your options are to send everything by either sea or air. Shipping by air is the quicker option, but is more expensive than shipping in a container over sea. We can make things more cost effective for you by transporting your belongings to the UAE in a shared container.
If you're sending your belongings in a container, your items will arrive in around 8 weeks, or if you're sharing a container it could be around 12. 8 to 12 weeks may seem like a long time, but shipping your belongings this way is the safest, easiest and most affordable means of transferring everything. Whichever method you choose, your belongings will be handled with the utmost care and will arrive in UAE in the same condition you left it in.
It normally takes 7 to 10 days for customs clearance and delivery, but the time taken to clear goods through customs can be affected by Government policy, X-raying of goods, physical inspection, volume of traffic and the levy of any import duties or taxes. There may be charges raised by customs or quarantine officials, but these will be paid for by our Harrison & Rowley agents, who will seek reimbursement from yourselves prior to delivery.
Restricted items at UAE Customs
As you may expect, moving to the UAE is more complicated than in the UK. Its customs and restrictions are strictly applied to your imported items. Despite shipments of household goods and personal effects normally being accepted duty-free if you supply a residents permit, any restricted items could be confiscated for being deemed offensive.
Restrictions set on any written material such as books and magazines that is subject to censorship and confiscation must be packed separately and clearly marked for ease of access. Medication and food must also be packed separately as they are subject to special approval and inspection by the Ministry of Health.
The following items are included in the list of restricted items and need written permission to bring into the UAE:
- Written material (books, leaflets, newspapers and magazines)
- Computer software
- Firearms and ammunition
- Inflammable goods & substances
- Plants and plant material
- Foodstufs, perishables or otherwise
- Narcotics and dangerous goods
- Offensive materials
- Alcohol and Tobacco
From the initial meeting with Luke to the lovely guys unpacking our belongings into our new house - the service was friendly and professional. They looked after our belongings and were very friendly. I would recommend them to everyone I know. Thank you so much. It was a real pleasure!
Yes, would definitely recommend! Moves are stressful but with these guys, they made it look easy and smooth. All parts of the moving experience was handled professionally from Paul and Luke in Sales, Alberto, Vinny and Shirley co-ordinating in the office to the removal team of Ryan, Colin and Martin. All very friendly and there to put your mind at rest. We moved over a 2 day period.
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