The Guides

Moving to Dubai from UK


The ultimate checklist before you relocate to Dubai from UK

Words by Ankita Bhowmick in The Guides · Oct 10th, 2019

Being a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, Dubai welcomes expats from all around the world every year who come to the city looking for better opportunities. Holding a great diplomatic & historical relationship with the UAE, many Brits live and move in large numbers to Dubai each year. If you are a British citizen and are planning to relocate to Dubai, here's our one-stop guide for your ready reference.

1. Visa

Photo Credit: Dubai Airports

Holding a British Passport will entitle you to a visit visa on arrival which will be valid for 30 days and can only be used for tourist purposes and can not be depended upon for residence. 

For residence, there are different types of visas that you can apply depending on your eligibility. The types of visas include Employment Visa, Dependent Visa, Student Visa, Investor Visa, Retiree Visa and a Gold Card Residency Visa. However, the most common type is the Employment Visa. This type of visa will only be issued to you by your employer once you get a job. The proceedings and costs associated are also taken care of by the company.

2. Documents Required


Following are the general documents that you will need to arrange prior to moving to Dubai on an Employment Visa:

1. Educational Certificates duly attested according to the guidelines of the Ministry of Labour. They should have Apostille Stamp by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and be attested by the UAE Embassy in London. They will also need to be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

2.  Your passport should be valid for more than 6 months from the time your visa is applied.

3. If you are planning to move to Dubai with your spouse, or want to apply for a dependent visa for him/her, then you need to make sure that you get your attested marriage certificate along with you.

3. Health Checkup And Health Insurance

health checkup

According to the laws of UAE, expats need to get a compulsory health check-up as a part of their visa process. After the check-up, they are issued an Emirates ID, which is required for most of the transactions in the country.

In Dubai having medical insurance is mandatory. Those on Employment Visa can have their medical insurance taken care of by their sponsors. If you are on an Investor Visa, Student Visa, Retiree Visa or a Gold Card Residency Visa, you will need to take care of your insurance by yourself. Also, if you have dependents, their medical insurance is your responsibility.

4. Relocating Companies

relocating company

Relocating to a new country altogether is one of the most tedious processes that one can think of. If you want to do it hassle-free, hiring a relocating company is a good idea. The companies offer services that include packing, transportation, unpacking and arranging at the new location. Some of the international relocating companies that you can consider hiring are 1st Move International and Britannia Movers International.

5. Accommodation

In Dubai, you can either rent a home for yourself or can also choose to buy one.

If you plan to rent a home, Dubai will leave you spoilt for choices. Having your budget and the kind of lifestyle that you are looking for in mind beforehand will help you choose the residential community that best suits your needs. While there are some communities that are ideal for families, there are others that fit the lifestyles of singles, young couples and young working professionals. Prior to renting a home, you will need to make a tenancy contract with the municipality and will also need to pay to DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) for utilities. 

If you do not want to rent a home, you can opt to buy a property. For villas, you can consider Al Barari, Arabian Ranches and Dubai Hills and if you are keen on apartments, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai and Business Bay are ideal.

6. Education


While searching for a school for your little ones, you should only go for the ones that have KHDA (Knowledge and Human Development Authority) approval.

Dubai hosts a number of British Schools that will cater to your needs. Most of them are located near residential communities, offer quality education and feature state-of-the-art infrastructure. 

Dubai is also home to a number of British and other international universities, offering the best education and great facilities.

7. Culture


Dubai is one of the most tolerant and liberal places in the Middle East. Its official religion is Islam and all expats, irrespective of their faiths should respect the religion and UAE's culture. 

Prior to moving to Dubai, it is advisable that you learn about the local laws, which are quite different than that of the UK. In Dubai, it is illegal for unmarried couples and unrelated individuals to share a living space. Non-Muslims must possess an alcohol license in order to consume, purchase, serve or possess alcohol. Muslims, however, are not allowed to do anything with alcohol. During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims observe fast and do not consume food, drinks and do not smoke cigarettes during the daylight hours. Non-Muslims are also supposed to follow these rules while in public as a respect to the local culture. Also, make sure to dress modestly, which is a part of the local tradition.