Top 10 Countries UAE Expats Are Moving To

International movers and packers in Dubai

ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading online marketplace for moving services, recently analyzed thousands of international moving requests made by UAE residents in the first half of 2023 to reveal the top 10 countries expats are moving to. India is the most popular international destination, which isn’t surprising since Indians constitute the largest group of expats in the UAE. This report can help you understand the emerging international moving trends and the average cost of moving to these destinations. It also includes insider tips and factors you should keep in mind when moving to another country. 

Where are UAE expats moving to? 

India emerges as the top destination for expatriates from the UAE, driven by its growing economy, burgeoning job market, and the allure of proximity to family. The influx of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) returning home due to enhanced career prospects and a lower cost of living further solidifies India’s position as a favored relocation choice. The US witnessed a decline in popularity due to shifting perceptions of the “American Dream.” Saudi Arabia emerges as a rising star, attracting migrants with its promising development prospects and investment opportunities. Meanwhile, Canada maintains its appeal with its promise of economic stability, multiculturalism, and streamlined immigration processes. The inclusion of Middle Eastern countries in the top 10 highlights regional migration trends, facilitated by cultural similarities and lower relocation costs. As global dynamics evolve, so do migration preferences, emphasizing the importance of economic opportunities and familial ties in shaping relocation decisions among UAE residents.

Top 10 destinations % of International Moving Requests on ServiceMarket in Jan – Jun 2023
1. India 15.64%
2. United Kingdom 9.42%
3. Saudi Arabia 8.94%
4. Canada 6.28%
5. Lebanon4.53%
6. United States3.99%
7. Australia3.56%
8. France2.42%
9. Oman2.17%
10. Jordan 2.11%

How much does it cost to move to these countries? 

The cost of shipping to another country depends on several factors, including the volume or weight of your belongings, the distance to your destination as well as the type of relocation service you choose. Door-to-door services are more expensive than door-to-port and port-to-port services, but with the former option, you won’t have to pack everything yourself or deal with paperwork at customs. ServiceMarket has compiled the average cost of shipping the contents of a two-bedroom apartment (roughly 25 cubic meters) to the most popular international destinations by sea:   

Top 10 destinations Approximate shipping cost in AED for a 2-bedroom apartment
1. India 11,000 – 12,000
2. United Kingdom 16,000 – 17,000
3. United States 21,000 – 22,000
4. Canada 20,000 – 21,000
5. Pakistan12,000 – 13,000
6. Saudi Arabia 13,000 – 14,000
7. Lebanon14,000 – 15,000
8. Australia15,000 – 16,000
9. Egypt 10,000 – 15,000
10. Germany 16,000 – 17,000

Insider international moving tips and considerations:  

  • Only hire accredited international movers: To avoid hassles, delays, and hidden costs, and make sure that your belongings reach their destination in good condition, be sure to hire an accredited company. The most important accreditation is FIDI, but there are also other accreditations such as the International Association of Movers (IAM), the American Moving and Storage Association (AMSA), the Canadian Association of Movers (CAM), the British Association of Removers (BAR), and International Air Transport Association (IATA). 
  • Transit insurance really matters: Don’t skimp on transit insurance when shipping your goods to another country. It’s unlikely that your goods will be damaged or lost if you hire FIDI-accredited international movers and packers, but you still shouldn’t take any risks and keep your belongings protected during transit. It’s also a great way to make the process of moving less stressful and have peace of mind.  
  • Sell, donate, and discard: Before you start requesting quotes from international movers, make sure you’ve sorted through all of your belongings to get rid of unnecessary items. Keep in mind that the cost of shipping also depends on the size and weight of your belongings, so you should sell, donate or discard anything that you can easily buy after reaching your destination, e.g., furniture, appliances, etc. 
  • Consider groupage shipping: You can cut down the cost of moving by opting for groupage shipping. While this option will help you save a significant amount of money, keep in mind that you will have to share the container with others and wait for it to be full. You should definitely consider groupage shipping for smaller moves if you’re not pressed for time.
  • Never underestimate comparison shopping: Besides helping you save a lot of money, comparison shopping also makes it easier for you to find the most suitable international movers and packers. Be sure to get free quotes from multiple international moving companies and compare them not just in terms of cost but also the services they are offering.

You can easily find reputable international movers and packers in Dubai through ServiceMarket, which only partners with vetted companies. You can also check accreditations of international moving companies, compare ratings, get free quotes, and read customer reviews online on ServiceMarket to make an informed decision.   

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