Shipping to the UAE
Are you considering moving to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and need to move your belongings from your home in the UK? White & Company can offer you a door-to-door service for delivery of your personal effects.
Having been in the removals industry since 1871 and shipped to various locations around the world, White & Company have the expertise to achieve any international move. As members of the three major industry regulators, FIDI, BAR and OMNI, you can rest assured that your belongings are in safe hands!
Why Move to UAE?
More welcoming to westerners than its Middle Eastern neighbours, the UAE is a nation of expats that combines the comforts of home with a more exotic lifestyle.
There are an estimated 100,000 resident British nationals in the UAE. Many are drawn to the Emirates by the beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, a more engaging social life and the promise of much higher earnings.
The UAE consists of seven Emirates. Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.
The most popular destinations for expat workers are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These places offer workers huge incentives such as free healthcare, excellent schooling opportunities, not to mention zero income tax on salaries often larger than back home.
There are endless selections of places to eat and drink and enough high-end shopping outlets to rival just about anywhere in the world.
Perhaps the best-kept secret of the UAE however is its remote, magnificent desert dunes and wadis (mountain valleys). These provide various opportunities to do adrenaline-fuelled activities such as skydiving and dune bashing.
The cost of living is however very high, particularly accommodation. Although other expenses such as utilities, food and fuel are much more reasonably priced.
The weather, although attractive to Brits, can also get unbearably hot in the summer when temperatures can regularly exceed 40°C.
It is also important to note that the UAE is an Islamic country with certain traditions that might seem out of place to westerners.
There are different areas, rules and facilities for women. A zero tolerance to drunkenness in public and different working hours (the weekend is typically Friday and Saturday) are some.
It is imperative therefore that new arrivals are familiar with and adhere to the local laws. Penalties for flouting the law are harsh and swift.
Having said that British expats report that, provided they respect the laws and customs they are able to enjoy all the fruits provided by UAE, including feeling incredibly safe and secure.
Used household goods and personal effects can be imported into UAE duty-free if possessions have been used for at least six months abroad. And provided they are for the continued use of the owner for at least three months after arrival. The client must reside in UAE for more than 12 months.
As with other countries across the world, the UAE has very stringent import rules and regulations. The list below notes some of the strictly forbidden items.
Narcotics/illegal drugs of any kind and dried poppy flowers, seeds can lead to severe legal action
Firearms, ammunitions, explosives and any other type of weaponry, including decorative items
All forms of pornographic materials, erotic statues, religious idols, figurines & materials
Alcohol including fine wines, pork or pork products
Wireless transmitters, satellite antennas and any receivers
Items of ivory, animal skins, statues and those listed on the Endangered Species List
Goods and currency of Israeli origin or affiliation
Any material deemed offensive or seditious to Arabs and Muslims and the principles of Islam
For more detailed information on prohibited items, please visit the following web site:
The real estate market started to open up to expats living in the UAE in 2002, allowing them to buy property within selected housing projects. It is important to bear in mind that the purchasing process can be complicated and fraught with legislation. Plus, each Emirate has its own rules and regulations.
It is best to purchase property from a developer, or to enlist the services of a real estate agent. It is important to do background checks and confirm the reputation of both entities, though most operate with a high level of integrity. It is also advised to hire an attorney to aid with the purchasing process. As a result of the complications, the majority of expats tend to rent.
As an approximate guide, if you are renting, a 3-bedroom family sized apartment in the city, you can expect to pay around AED 7,327 (£1,772) per month. For a similar property on the outskirts of the city this drops to AED 5,316 (£1,285).
If you do intend to purchase a home. The current average cost per square metre in the city centre is AED 8,323 (£2,013) on the outskirts AED 6,367 (£1,540).
Working in UAE
In order to legally work in the UAE, expats will need to obtain a residence visa sponsorship for employment.
Most expats will be moving to the UAE under the condition of an already established residency visa, either through employment sponsorship or family member sponsorship. Without this document, it will be almost impossible to accomplish anything in the UAE.
Visit the following web sites for a more comprehensive information for obtaining a UAE work visa:
As a nation that has founded its wealth on oil, the UAE has had to deal with fluctuating oil prices and global oversupply but on the whole, the economy continues to flourish.
Major industries in the UAE besides petroleum and petrochemicals, include construction and fishing. There are also various opportunities in the financial services, healthcare and IT sectors.
Although Arabic is the official language, English is the main language of business, making it a relatively easy country to find a job for Brits. Having said that, even a basic grasp of Arabic can greatly improve your job prospects and reputation.
Moving to a new country is a huge, life changing experience. There will be a host of things to adapt to when you arrive. Currency, local laws, health care, taxes, bank accounts, driving, and public travel are just a few of the new aspects of life you will need to adjust to.
Living in the UAE you will find many laws which will seem strange to most westerners but important to remember.
It’s essential that all expats know the rules and are aware of their incredibly stringent consequences. As with most issues, it is best to do your homework before arrival in the country.
Here are some UAE laws you will need to be aware of and abide by:
Sexual relationships outside of marriage are strictly illegal — this rule is of the utmost importance to young women who are considering reporting sex crimes.
Dancing in public is considered provocative and indecent —do so only in clubs or in the home.
Publicly photographing women without their permission is frowned upon— it’s also illegal to take pictures of military, airport or government installations in the UAE.
Acting aggressively, cursing, spitting or using offensive language can result in imprisonment.
Smoking is acceptable only in designated areas.
Kissing, hugging and generally displaying affection in public is against the law.
Healthcare provision in the UAE is almost always excellent. Most doctors and nurses speak some level of English. Hospitals, doctor surgeries and clinics are modern and easily accessible for both locals and expats alike.
This said, it is still best to take out private health insurance before your arrival. For some Emirates, it is a legal requirement for an employer to ensure that employees have proof of cover. Most prospective employers will arrange this as part of a relocation package.
If you are paying for your own healthcare insurance, it will be expensive. Once registered for a health insurance policy, expats will receive a health insurance card. Merely present this at the appointed hospital or clinic to receive care.
Here are some useful websites to assist with healthcare provision in the UAE:
Most people choose to drive in the UAE as the road infrastructure is excellent. It is important to point out that there is often heavy traffic during morning and evening rush hours and local drivers can be very reckless.
Expats who have residence status and want to drive will need to get a valid UAE driver’s licence.
To replace your UK licence with a UAE equivalent, you will need to undergo an eye test and provide various documents, including your passport, foreign licence and legal translation of the licence.
It is strictly forbidden to drink and drive. If caught you can expect to receive a jail sentence and a hefty fine.
Travelling by public transport is both comfortable (air conditioned) and reasonably priced and services operate 24 hours per day.
For those who are put off by the driving conditions, taxis are also plentiful and an affordable mode of transport around the cities.
Contacting White & Company
For further information on our removals service to UAE, or any other international destination, contact our international office on 01489 858776.
Alternatively complete the form below with your details and we will contact you.
Currency & Banking
The currency of the UAE is the Dirham. It is denoted by coins and banknotes, of which many feature the national symbols of the UAE. The UAE currency is abbreviated by AED, Dh or Dhs. As for the dirham sign in Arabic, it is represented as د.إ
It is surprisingly easy to open a bank account in the UAE. There will be official documentation to present such as your passport and proof of residency.
For a step-by-step guide on anything to do with banking in the UAE visit the Expatica website.
White & Company
International Removals since 1871
We recommend booking either a visit or an on-line virtual survey with one of our surveyors for all International moves, so that we can assess your requirements, and the volume of goods to be moved.
Popular Places to Relocate in UAE
- Abu Dhabi
- Al Ain
- Khor Fakkan
- Mina Jebel Ali
- Mina Rashid
- Ras Al Khaimah
- Umm Al Quwain