Where Are UAE Expats Moving To?

While focusing on the influx of expats to the UAE and moving trends within the region, we often overlook the fact that a lot of residents also leave the UAE. After all, sometimes those who move to the UAE have to go back to their home countries and others land in a new country when they take the next step in their career. If you are wondering where most expats are headed to, then this report by ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading online marketplace for international and local moving services, can help you understand the emerging international moving trends.

Here’s what we found out:

Based on the analysis of more than a thousand moving requests made by UAE customers in 2017, this study has revealed that the top 10 destinations are India, UK, USA, Canada, Pakistan, Australia, Lebanon, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia. Since the workforce in the UAE largely consists of expats from India and other countries that make this list, it is not surprising that many of them move back to their home countries.

Comparison to previous years:

India has been the most popular international destination for expats for the second consecutive year. The UK and USA have held the second and third positions since India overtook them in 2016.  Pakistan, which was not in the top 10 list in 2015, has been gaining popularity and is currently in the 5th position. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has dropped from the 5th to the 10th position over the last couple of years.

The average cost of moving to these countries:

If you plan to ship the contents of a 2 bedroom apartment, which roughly occupy 25 cubic meters, then you can expect to face the following costs for the top 10 destinations. The exact cost, of course, will depend on the weight and size of your cargo as well as the type of shipping service you choose. For example, door-to-door services are more expensive than port-to-port services, but if you choose the former option, your international moving company will take care of all the packing, unpacking and paperwork.  

Table 1: Approximate cost of moving
Destination 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. Pakistan              12,000 – 13,000
6. Australia              15,000 – 16,000
7. Lebanon              14,000 – 15,000
8. France              19,000 – 20,000
9. Germany              16,000 – 17,000
10. Saudi Arabia              13,000 – 14,000

Other considerations:

Here are some other factors you should keep in mind when you ship your belongings:

  • The approximate transit time will range from 4 to 10 weeks, depending on your destination. As a rule of thumb, the greater the distance to your destination, the more time it will take for your belongings to arrive.
  • Be sure to insure your belongings so that they remain protected during transit.  
  • Read the fine print to ensure your moving quote is comprehensive and includes all fees and charges, which may not be mentioned by some movers. These hidden costs can include import taxes, processing fees, and handling fees at the destination port, and additional charges when delivering your items to their final destination.  
  • Since transportation by land is riskier than shipping by sea, it’s recommended that you should choose the latter option. However, shipping by sea is usually more expensive.
  • If you’re not pressed for time and are willing to share the container with other people, then you can save a significant amount of money by choosing groupage shipping. It’s more suitable for smaller moves, but takes longer for shipping, as you’ll have to wait until the container is full.
  • Make sure all boxes are labeled clearly so that you can find and unpack the most essential items without any hassles.
  • You can cut down your moving costs by selling, donating and discarding items that you can easily buy after landing.
  • To avoid hassles, damages, losses and hidden costs, only select international moving companies that are FIDI accredited, which means that they go through periodic independent assessments to ensure that they comply with rigorous international quality standards. FIDI accredited international movers have the resources and know-how to handle your belongings with care.

ServiceMarket allows you to easily compare ratings, read reviews and check whether the companies you have shortlisted are FIDI accredited. What’s more, you can save a lot of money by requesting and comparing free quotes from multiple international moving companies in the UAE.

Moving to one of these countries?

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