Thinking of moving to the United Arab Emirates? Palmers Relocations have helped families from all over Australia with their goods and guarantee only the best service and expertise. The UAE is a business and tourism hotspot, with the extravagance of city life backing onto endless desert beauty. Boasting the second largest economy in the Middle East, you’ll want to feast your eyes on luxury cars and world-class architecture, or feast in a more literal sense, in some of the world’s finest restaurants. It’s not all dune racing and sight-seeing however, and this guide will provide you with a slice-of-life package of knowledge and information you’ll need, to make the most of your move to the UAE.
Packing your Items – Think twice
Moving is a fantastic opportunity to not only see what you have, but downsize while you’re there. Decluttering as you pack is an effective way to not only reduce the cost of moving what’s left, but to make a new start and potentially let goof items you no longer need. The sub-zero parka from your trip to Canada? Consider letting it go, and maybe make some pocket money to spend at the world’s biggest shopping mall. The logistics of moving a house load of personal items can also be a daunting thought, but at Palmers, we’ll do the heavy lifting, and take care of the busy work, like shipment, budget, insurance and time frame, leaving you with more time for the things that matter, like planning your desert safari.
Vehicles – Time for an upgrade
To move a car to the UAE, you must provide a valid UAE Residence Visa, which can be a task considering you aren’t even there yet. However, the UAE is one of few countries where residents enjoy tax-free living and because of this, many people treat themselves to an upgrade. The second-hand car market is thriving and so some incredible deals can be snatched.
If you watch the streets of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you’ll notice an abundance of luxury cars; however, the car isn’t everything. Number plates also contribute significantly to the value of a vehicle, and the less numbers, the richer you seem to be. If a number plate isn’t everything to you, that’ll only leave more in the budget for your new Ferrari – or, maybe just a smart beamer.
Destinations – You’ll need a long bucket list
The UAE is loaded with things to do and see, covering every sight and sound imaginable. You can discover the breathtaking expanse of the Dubai desert with a guided safari, or if a taste of cold weather is more your thing (hopefully not if you’re moving to a desert), you can shred the slopes at the Emirates Mall indoor ski park. The UAE is most famous for, of course, the Burj Khalifa, and what better way to take advantage of the world’s tallest building than to go to the top. The observation deck sits comfortably at 555 metres above sea level, allowing you to see all of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf in astonishing style.
It’s hard to mention Dubai and the UAE without shopping. If you have cash burning a hole in your pocket, the extravagance and luxury of the multiple world-class shopping centres are hard to go past. The Dubai Mall, for instance, is the world’s largest shopping centre, boasting a modest 5.9 million, yes million, square feet of leasable space. With over a thousand shops, a hundred restaurants, a hotel and 22 screen cinema, you’ll be here a while.
Weekends – The working week is a bit different
You might think to reserve Saturday and Sunday for sightseeing and mall exploration, but in the UAE, things are a bit different. Because of the high importance of Fridays to Muslim faith, weekends fall on a Friday and Saturday, meaning Sunday hangovers aren’t as cruisy.
Lifestyle – Some other differences
While moving to the UAE is a pretty easy transition from Australian life, there are a few surprising differences that people often don’t know about:
Health care is all up to you. While this seems like a disadvantage, Dubai Healthcare City provides some of the world’s best medical treatment, and is no less extravagant than the rest of the metropolis. Covering 4.1 million square feet and counting, it houses over 100 medical facilities and over 4000 professionals working within them.
Payment on things such as rent and receiving paychecks is also different to what you’d be used to. Rental payments are usually made either quarterly or yearly, and salaries come in monthly, making it important to budget and monitor your money a bit differently.
The postal system in the UAE relies heavily on PO boxes, instead of home addresses. This can be a strange transition, however it’s really no different; also, because of the incredible shopping facilities, online shopping isn’t as popular. Why order it online when there’s an eye-catching store to browse instead?
Language/Culture – A boiling pot
Islam is the national religion and Arabic the official language. However western culture and business have created a slurry of cultural integration, meaning English is actually more widely spoken. You won’t have any trouble with signs or conversation, but it is a good idea to research respectful practices that will make social and business interactions that little bit more seamless. These include greeting the most senior person first in a conversation, and dressing modestly when it is expected; most of which is common sense anyhow.
Climate – She’s a scorcher
Arabian summers are among the absolute hottest, with the humidity of a sauna to match. This double team of wet heat make the desert landscape even more formidable than our own outback. The mercury regularly touches up into the forties, however every building is packing adequate air-conditioning, so it’s not too much of an inconvenience. Thankfully, winters are much cooler, sitting around the mid-twenties and at night dipping into the teens. December to February is prime winter weather, so don’t dismiss the idea of a jacket, even though it won’t be necessary for the rest of the year.
Social life – Making the most of being an expat
One last thing that you might not consider, is making new friends. Having a support network of relatable and likeminded individuals can make moving to a new country exponentially less daunting. The many forums and social network groups connecting expats can ease you into a new social circle, and get you savvy with the life you’re about to dive head-first into.