Moving to Dubai can be a challenging experience. Initially, you’re likely to spend a considerable amount of money and face the stress of adjusting to new surroundings, including highways, apartments, jobs, and cultural differences. However, with proper research and planning, your move to Dubai can be swift, cost-effective, and stress-free.

Dubai is a popular destination for British and other expats due to the availability of excellent jobs, reasonable living costs, and improved healthcare and education systems. Situated between Asia and Europe, Dubai has become a vital part of the global trade mechanism.

Dubai is known for its rich heritage and warm hospitality. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, tourism accounts for about 11.5% of Dubai’s GDP, compared to a Middle East average of 8.9%.

Before planning your life in the UAE, you need to prepare for living in an Arab country and the challenges of life in the desert, such as sandstorms and temperatures of up to 48°C. Although the pandemic had a significant impact on Dubai’s economy, it is now recovering.

Moving to Dubai from UK in 2023

If you are planning to book a flight to Dubai, it’s important to check the UK government’s advice first, as UAE is currently on the amber list of countries.

UK passport holders are allowed to enter Dubai for 30 days upon arrival at the airport. However, before moving to Dubai from the UK, you need to ensure that you have the right type of visa. Moreover, it’s important to ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months.

If you have secured a job in Dubai while in your home country, your employer will ask you for some documents. But don’t worry, your employer will arrange and pay for a medical test and fill out a form on your behalf.

On the other hand, if you are coming to Dubai on a tourist visa with the intention of finding a job, you need to be careful not to incur overstay fines. If your tourist visa is valid for 30 days, you must either leave the country or extend your stay in a timely manner to avoid any penalties.

Regardless of your situation, you will need to hand over your actual passport to your employer. While this may make some people uncomfortable, there is no way around it as you will be considered an expat.

When it comes to driving, you will need to convert your driver’s license upon arrival. The good news is that it’s a straightforward process. You will need to obtain an optician’s certificate and a few other documents, visit the RTA Driving License Centre, and pay a reasonable fee. Just make sure to bring your original driver’s license with you.

However, this option may not be applicable to all nationalities and some may still have to go for driving lessons and a driving test.

To-do list

1. Sort out Visa and Passport – Check passports have at least 2 years remaining

Foreign & Commonwealth Office


2. Understand shipping costs and obtain quotes

Shipping International to Dubai

3. Ask your bank for credit references

4. Switch to online banking & statements

5. Credit cards & unpaid debts – receive full closing Statements

6. Cancel direct debits and standing orders (utilities & service providers)

7. Inform official organisations – DVLA, NI Service, Inland Revenue

8. Open an offshore account.

9. Obtain handover files from your dentist & doctor

10. Obtain temporary accommodation

Dubai Property

11. Identify and register children in school

BSME: British Schools in the Middle East

Schools and Universities in Dubai

12. Organize the transfer of family pets


Passport for Pets

13. Talk to other ex-pats

Dubai Forum

Get a Skype account for cheap and easy internet telephony communications

14. Finally, get a great Shipping Quote to Dubai, Don’t delay

Now that you are here.

The UAE is made up of seven Emirates

Many people don’t know this, but the UAE is actually made up of seven different Emirates, the most famous of which are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Each emirate has a different ruler and different sets of laws. Some adhere more to Islamic law while others do not.