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 founder 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 (third largest), drawn to the Emirates by the beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes and promise of a more engaging social life.
The UAE consists of seven Emirates, namely 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, offering 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) and 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, such as different areas, rules and facilities for women, zero tolerance to drunkenness in public and different working hours (the weekend is typically Friday and Saturday).
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 say 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, are for the continued use of the owner for at least three months, and client is to reside in UAE for more than 12 months.
As with other countries across the world, the UAE has strict import rules and regulations. The list below notes some of the 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 sites:
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 and 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. With all this in mind, 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 11,811 (£2,294) per month. For a similar property on the outskirts of the city this drops to AED 8,518 (£1,654).
If you intend to purchase a home. The current average cost per square metre in the city centre is AED 13,587 (£2,639) on the outskirts AED 9487 (£1843).
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’s difficult 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.
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, many 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 website 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 licence 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 bus 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.
White & Company
International Removals since 1871
We recommend a visit from 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
Umm al Quwain
Ra’s al Khaymah
What Others Say…
Wayne Middleton and Brian Witherford were professional and extremely helpful. Did a brilliant job. Would recommend Whites to anyone. Thanks very much.
Have used this company regularly for 5 years including my time in the armed forces. They are professional and efficient. Will use them again on our next move.
The move went very smoothly and they were very polite.
A very smooth move by White and Co. The team worked very hard and were polite, professional and helpful.