Coming to live in the UAE is a great opportunity, however, the initial move can be tricky. Here are four key tips to help you relocating in UAE and making the transition as smooth as possible.

1. Be financially and bureaucratically prepared

One of the big draws of moving to the UAE is its zero income tax. However, don’t think that this is a cheap place to live! Renting a property in Dubai can be expensive, so make sure you do your research so you know what to expect and adjust your plans accordingly. Research living costs, choose your accommodation wisely, work out a budget and make sure you come with a financial buffer zone capable of tiding you over until you find your feet.

It is also advisable to have all your paperwork in perfect order and ready for presentation; there will be a bureaucratic process to go through initially and this will run far more smoothly if you have all the relevant documents ready.

2. Finding a Home

The UAE is not as simple as most countries when it comes to renting properties; there are strict legal requirements, namely, you must have a resident’s visa to be able to rent an apartment, which you can only apply for once you have a working visa. This process is often protracted, so if possible it is a good idea to put the wheels in motion before you arrive in the region.

It’s also important to do your due diligence before you commit to a contract as quite often, rental contracts in the UAE require you to pay 12 months’ rent in advance. You will also need a bank account. To open one, you must go in person to the branch along with a letter from your employer stating your employment status and salary.

3. Visas & Schools

If you are coming to the UAE accompanied with your family, the process of relocating gets even more complicated. You must be able to prove that you are legally married and that your children are under the age of eighteen. Your employer will have to support your application for your family visa in the form of a ‘sponsorship’. Further, you will be expected to supply the government with bank statements to prove that you are earning a certain amount. These are relatively new laws introduced to prevent the families of low wage earners moving into the region.

There are many international schools in Dubai but you may have to wait a long time to get your child into the school of your choice.

4. Familiarise yourself with the culture

It is worth doing a bit of research into local customs and laws, talking to expats who know the region, and finding out what behavior is and is not acceptable. Typical things to watch out for are dressing appropriately for the area you are in. Consumption of alcohol in public is prohibited, as are open displays of affection between men and women.

Be very careful with how you manage your money. Getting into debt is a serious matter here and can land you in big trouble. Also take care to drive responsibly, if you are caught drink-driving and cause an accident you are likely to earn yourself a legal trouble.

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