Moving to Dubai? This Checklist Has Got You Covered!

Moving checklist

If you are moving to Dubai from another country, the experience can be a roller coaster of emotions. It may feel like the tasks at hand are overwhelming; that’s why ServiceMarket has put together the following checklist in order to make your big move as stress-free and smooth as possible.

The months before your move (we recommend you start these tasks at least 2 months before your move).

Sort through your personal belongings:Β Figure out what from your personal belongings you want to take with you vs. selling/placing in storage.

Let your landlord know you are leaving:Β If you are currently renting a home, check your contract to see how much notice you need to give to your landlord to leave the premises. If you own your current home, think about whether you want to sell it or rent the property out and accordingly get in touch with an estate agent.

Pick an international mover and book your moving date:Β You can get quotes from multiple international moving companies from ServiceMarket. Note that international moves in Dubai typically take between 8-12 weeks.

Book temporary accommodation in Dubai:Β Getting your paperwork sorted and finding a place to live will take you a few weeks, so you will need to arrange for temporary furnished accommodation. For longer stays, consider choosing a furnished apartment as these are usually more reasonably priced than a hotel. To find furnished short stay options, the best sites to use are Dubizzle and Property Finder.

Book your flight:Β Once you have sorted out your temporary accommodation, the next step would be to book your flight. You can often save a significant amount of money by booking your flights in advance, rather than waiting until the last minute. Also, make sure to check that you have at least 6 months left on your passport from your travel date.

Get important documents attested:Β In order to apply for residency in Dubai you may need to get key documents attested including your birth certificate, education certificates and marriage certificates (if you are married).

Start the process to get your Dubai residency visa:Β You can’t rent an apartment or villa without your residency visa. So the faster you can sort out your visa, the faster you can get yourself settled into your new home. Your company should arrange this for you and pay for its costs. Budget for this taking up to one month and remember that you will need to pass a medical test to get the approval.

Find a school for your children:Β If you have children, then you should start looking for school places for them as soon as possible. Many of the popular schools are at full capacity and have waiting lists, so the sooner you start looking the better. The KHDA website is a good place to start as they have full listings of schools in Dubai and their curriculum, facilities and ratings.

Visit your local vet:Β If you have pets that you are planning to bring with you, visit your local vet to make sure that all their injections are up to date and that they meet all the requirements to be brought into Dubai. Companies such as Dubai Kennels & CatteryΒ can offer sound advice and assistance to import your pets.

Right before you move

Update your post office address:Β Depending on which country you live in, you may be able to forward your mail to a new address. You should also update your friends and family with your new address and how best to contact you after your move!

Get your utilities disconnected:Β Before leaving your home you will need to get all your utilities disconnected or transferred into the new resident’s name. Make sure to research the process of doing this in advance to avoid any last minute complications.

Pack and move! You should have already arranged the details with your international movers in Dubai so this should be a less-stressful process.

Upon arrival

Find a place to live:Β For advice on finding a new home that matches your needs and budget, check out our guide to finding a new home.Β 

Apply for your Emirates ID:Β Once you have your residency visa you will need to apply for your mandatory Emirates ID card. You can start this process at any authorized typing center or at an Emirates ID office. After submitting your application and paying the fees you will need to visit the Emirates ID center to get your photo and fingerprints taken before you will be able to collect your ID card.

Set up the utilities:Β To find out more information on how to set up your electricity, water, landline and internet accounts read our helpful guide on how to get utility connections.

Register your tenancy contract with Ejari:Β You will need your passport and visa, your Emirates ID, your tenancy contract, a connection receipt from DEWA (or a recent bill) and the title deeds of the rented property. You can get the Ejari certificate at any RERA office or authorized typing centre.

Get your new home ready:Β Whether the walls are screaming for a fresh coat of paint or you want a new shelf installed, now is the time to get that out of the way. You can also book a professional deep cleaning company to make sure your new house is spotless before you move in. Usually the cost of doing this is borne by the landlord, so ask to make sure these are done by him/her before you move in. You can get competitive quotes from ServiceMarket for these services.

Transfer your driving license:Β Depending on which country you got your driving license from, you may be able to immediately transfer your driving license to a UAE driving license. You can check if your driving license is transferable on the RTA website. If it is not, you will need to complete a number of driving lessons and pass a local driving test. There are a number of institutes you can register with including Emirates Driving Institute and Belhasa Driving Center.

By ticking each item on this checklist, we hope that you will have a smooth transition into your new home. Happy moving! Β 

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