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The ultimate checklist for expats moving to Dubai in 2021

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is becoming a popular place for expats from all across the globe. With lots of job opportunities, high salaries, and a good standard of living, Dubai is one of the most expat-friendly cities in the world. However, there are some things you have to think about before making the move to the UAE. To make the transition as easy and smooth as possible, Pacific Prime Dubai has compiled this handy checklist for moving to Dubai.

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Do your homework

Before you even think about living in Dubai, you must do some research first. The UAE has an entirely different culture and lifestyle than what many expats are familiar with. It’s imperative that you know what you’re getting yourself (and perhaps your family) into and carefully consider whether it’s the ideal fit. Knowing what to expect beforehand is much better than simply showing up and finding out once you’ve already settled in.

Our blog has plenty of articles to help you get started, covering topics like 10 important things to consider before relocating to Dubai and 9 things you absolutely need to know before moving to the UAE

Sort out your visa

Are you aware of the UAE entry requirements? Regardless of where you move to in the world, one of the first things you need to find out is whether you can legally live and work there. UAE entry requirements depend on individual circumstances, so make sure you have the proper visa and immigration documents ready before getting on a plane. That way, you can enter your new country of residence as smoothly as possible.

Move your personal belongings

Unless you’re the ultimate minimalist, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to move everything you own in a couple of suitcases – especially if you’re moving with family. Moving all of your belongings to the UAE might be tricky (and more stressful) without the help of relocation specialists. Not only do these professionals transport your belongings, but many of them also offer assistance and support with everything from storage and furniture rental to settling-in services.

Whether you prefer a relocation specialist or global logistics company to transport your belongings, just be sure to sort out everything ahead of time.

Get your finances sorted

A crucial step when relocating to the UAE is to get your finances sorted. The last thing you want to do is arrive in a new country only to find out you don’t have the funds to support yourself and your family. Managing your finances includes considering your short- and long-term financial needs and options, such as bank accounts, tax, and insurance. Additionally, consider that you may have to transfer money internationally to cover your expenses in the short term.

Remember your pet

If you’re planning on moving to Dubai with your pet, you have to understand the pet import requirements into the UAE. The Emirates place certain restrictions on importing pets and animals that might be different to what you’re familiar with. To avoid any last-minute surprises, prepare for the move of your pet as soon as possible. That way, you’ll have enough time to gather the necessary documents to make the process run smoothly.

Find your new home

You have plenty of options for where you choose to call home in Dubai. Do you picture yourself living in a downtown apartment or in a house in a residential neighborhood? Regardless of what type of place you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it in Dubai – especially if you’ve got the budget for it. If you’re moving with your family, check out this article on the best places to live in Dubai for families for an in-depth look at your options.

Consider schooling options

Moving to a new country with your family comes with its own challenges, especially if you have little ones. While it can be tricky to get them settled in, you can help reduce some of the stress by researching before making the move. Even though the standard of public education is high in the UAE, many expats prefer to send their children to one of the Emirates’ international schools. Fortunately, there are plenty of schooling options in Dubai for you to choose from.

Get started on your job hunt

Many expats relocating to Dubai will already have a job lined up. Even so, some will be moving without knowing where they’ll be working in Dubai. The UAE has witnessed significant economic growth over the past 40 years, which means there are lots of opportunities for expats who are looking for work.

Dubai is also a paradise for remote workers. If you plan on moving to and working remotely in Dubai, this article on how to apply to work remotely in Dubai should come in handy.

Secure health insurance

Make sure you and your loved ones have adequate health cover in place before moving abroad. Along with giving you peace of mind that your medical needs will be met in your new country of residence, health insurance is now legally required for all expats residing in the UAE. Protect yourself and your family from otherwise expensive medical fees and ensure you can access the best healthcare by securing comprehensive health insurance in Dubai.

Find the best health insurance plan with Pacific Prime Dubai

Need help looking for family health insurance in Dubai? Look no further than Pacific Prime Dubai. Along with family plans, we also help you find the best individual health insurance in Dubai and more. Just tell us your needs and budget so we can compare plans from leading insurers for you. Contact us for a free plan comparison and unbiased advice today!

Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jantra Jacobs is a Senior Copywriter at Pacific Prime with over 10 years of writing and editing experience. She writes and edits a diverse variety of online and offline copy, including sales and marketing materials ranging from articles and advertising copy to reports, guides, RFPs, and more.

Jantra curates and reports on the results of Pacific Prime’s monthly newsletters, as well as manages Pacific Prime’s Deputy Global CEO’s LinkedIn posts. Complemented by her background in business writing, Jantra’s passion for health, insurance, and employee benefits helps her create engaging content - no matter how complex the subject is.

Growing up as a third-culture kid has given her a multicultural perspective that helps her relate to expats and their families while 8 years of working remotely have given her unique insight into hybrid work arrangements and enthusiasm for employee benefits.
Jantra Jacobs