Top 10 Countries UAE Expats Are Moving To: 2019 Edition

ServiceMarket, the UAE’s leading online marketplace for moving services, recently analysed thousands of international moving requests made by UAE residents in 2019 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? 

Over 60% of UAE residents moved to just ten countries. India is currently the most popular destination with more than 17% of all international moving requests on ServiceMarket. It has been the top country where UAE expats move to since 2017. India was followed by the UK and US, both of which have been on the list of top 3 international destinations since 2015. Other popular countries include Canada, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Australia, Egypt, and Germany. Given that the UAE’s workforce mostly consists of expats from other countries, many of them choose to move back to their home countries.  

Top 10 destinations % of International Moving Requests on ServiceMarket in 2019
1. India 17.39%
2. United Kingdom 10.90%
3. United States 7.10%
4. Canada 6.38%
5. Pakistan4.12%
6. Saudi Arabia 3.94%
7. Lebanon3.33%
8. Australia3.12%
9. Egypt 2.65%
10. Germany 2.22%

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 the 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, 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), 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. If you go with this option, you’ll be sharing the container with other customers and will have to wait until it’s full, but it will help you save a lot of money. It’s idea for smaller moves and people who are 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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